Want freedom to surf the internet without having to worry about how much data you’re using? Well there’s only one way to go – unlimited broadband.
Imagine for example, being half way through streaming a family movie when your broadband speed suddenly drops to a crawl. Or playing the latest online game with your friends and suddenly you’re booted out as you’re out of data. Not good.
That could happen with some broadband packages as they have a monthly download limit. They might be cheaper but if you use up your allowance you’ll find your speed drops or extra charges applied.
To avoid this happening to you, choose an unlimited broadband package.
Working out if you need unlimited broadband
Everything you do online uses data; some activities as we shall see, use more than others. If you only use the internet occasionally, say for example to check your emails or making a few search enquiries, a monthly allowance might be the way to go. However, if your home set up sounds anything like this, you might want to consider an unlimited package:
- The household has multiple internet users, often online at the same time
- Amongst you there are a number of devices; PC’s, laptops, TVs, tablets, mobile phones. Often more than one of them is connected to the internet at the same time
- You enjoy streaming movies, sometimes HD
- You watch catch-up TV
- You download or stream music
- You download video games and enjoy playing online
If one or more of these sound like you or your household, you’d be quite likely to use up your monthly allowance quickly, and therefore an unlimited package might be best.
If you want to check further, here are a few things you might do online, along with how much data they tend to use:
Download a document - 2 MB
Download a music track - 4 MB
One hour of browsing - 10 – 25 MB
One hour on social media - 20 MB
Stream one hour of music/radio - 150 MB
Stream one hour non-HD video - 250 MB
Download a non-HD film - 700 MB
Stream one hour HD video - 2 GB
Download a HD film - 4 GB
What happens if I get a capped allowance and use it up?
Burning through a monthly data allowance isn’t a great idea. There’s usually the possibility of two consequences if you do so:
1) You’ll be charged, often quite expensive rates, for each extra MB of data that you use, which could lead to a hefty bill.
2) Your speed will suddenly slow to a crawl as your provider turns your connection speed right down, making most things impossible.
Anything else you should know about unlimited broadband?
If you’re considering getting an unlimited broadband package, there’s a couple of things to consider in the detail of your package.
- Does your provider practice traffic management? Traffic management involves your provider managing the speeds on its network. Essentially, if everyone in the area that you live in is accessing the internet at the same time, servers get congested and this could lead to a general fall-off in speed. To try and get around this, the provider might reduce the speeds on certain activities, for example file sharing. This helps maintain speeds on other services such as streaming.
- Does your provider have a fair usage policy? A fair usage policy includes a monthly data limit even if you’re on an unlimited package. Most users shouldn’t have to worry as the limits are usually set very high. However, if you’re a very serious data user it might be something to be aware of.
If these two issues worry you, there are some truly unlimited broadband deals available - just be sure to check the small print. These deals have no usage caps and don’t practice any traffic management.
Whatever package you get, your speed isn’t entirely guaranteed. Your speed may still slow if there are lots of people online. However, with a truly unlimited package, what it does mean is that your provider won’t be intervening. If you have fibre optic broadband, any speed reduction is likely to be much less of an issue than for those who have a slower standard broadband package.
Let’s compare unlimited broadband deals
With unlimited broadband deals now very popular, it can be confusing deciding which deal is best for the way you use the internet. With comparethemarket.com we’ll make the process of comparing our best unlimited broadband deals simple.
Try it today, and see what you could save.