Over the last year, you’ve probably become very conscious of your data caps and your internet usage. Between online schooling, video conferences, and not much to do besides binge everyone’s favorite shows, a family of four can easily run over even a generous data cap. To avoid paying extra or seeing your speed throttled back, try these tips to manage your data caps.
- Stream smart
Streaming video is the biggest data drain most people use these days. But it doesn’t have to devour your data! Check your playback settings in all your streaming services and take them down to the lowest level you’re comfortable with. Skip streaming in 4K and you could see a big difference in your data usage. Some streaming platforms manage these settings under individual profiles, so make sure you check the whole family’s accounts.
Zoom and other video calling platforms also have low-data options. Most of the time, the lower settings will be perfectly fine and using less bandwidth means you’ll be less prone to freezing and dropping out.
- Take advantage of your cellular data
It’s been common practice for most people to use their cell phones over their home Wi-Fi for years now – it preserves your cellular data and keeps you from running over there. But these days most people have higher data cell plans and you may benefit from rearranging your priorities. Balancing your data usage across your cell and Wi-Fi can help you stay under your data caps on both plans.
- Check for off-peak usage
Some ISPs offer a form of free time outside of peak usage hours, usually overnight, when usage won’t count toward your data cap. This doesn’t help with your work or your kids’ schoolwork, but delaying downloading system updates or large work files until this period could make a difference in staying under your data cap.