The concept of data caps is no less than a nightmare for professional gamers and streamers. While you can sign up for an internet plan that offers access to unlimited data, it may cost you a hefty price per month. Besides, even if you have subscribed to an unlimited data plan, you may not need that much data for carrying out various tasks, even if multiple users are connected to the same network. This indicates that you will end up paying a lot more for the high amount of data that you won’t even consume. Therefore, in this article, we will provide all the details related to data caps so you could decide whether you are better off with or without data caps.
What Is Data Cap?
The term ‘data cap’ refers to the monthly data usage limit set by the internet service provider (ISP). While some providers do not impose data caps on their internet plans, some may offer a limited data allowance per month.
Upon exceeding your data caps, you may get an overage fee on your monthly internet bills, which can add extra dollars to your bills per month. In case your ISP does not impose overage fees for going beyond your monthly data caps, it may offer throttling speeds, which can disrupt your online activities.
What Is Speed Throttling?
The term ‘speed throttling’ refers to when your ISP reduces your internet speeds upon exceeding monthly data caps. This may occur even if your internet provider offers access to unlimited data, as speed throttling helps prevent network congestion. In addition, speed throttling works as a great way to handle network traffic during peak usage hours.
Which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Impose Data Caps?
|Internet Service Provider (ISP)||Connection Type||Data Cap||Overage Fees|
|AT&T||Fiber, DSL, fixed wireless||1 TB per month (Internet up to 75 Mbps), unlimited (Internet 100 up to 5 Gbps), 350 GB per month for fixed wireless||$10 per 50 GB|
|Xfinity||Cable||1.2 TB per month||$10 per 50 GB|
|HughesNet||Satellite||10 GB-50 GB (with slow internet) per month||None|
|Cox Communications||Cable||1.25 TB per month||$10 per 50 GB|
*Offers and availability are subject to change and may vary by location.
Which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Do Not Impose Data Caps?
|Internet Service Provider (ISP)||Connection Type|
|Astound Broadband Powered by RCN||Fiber|
|Starry Internet||Fixed Wireless|
How Much Data Cap Do You Need?
Most internet users look for internet plans that offer unlimited data allowances without compromising on speed and quality. When it comes to data caps, your online activities determine how much data you will need. For example, if you are running data-intensive apps for machine learning, image processing, or marketing analytics, we recommend you sign up for a MetroNet internet plan, as it provides access to unlimited data.
On the other hand, for everyday tasks, such as checking emails, scrolling on social media, reading the news, or browsing the web, you can get away with an internet connection that imposes data caps. If you have multiple roommates or family members at home connected to the same network, then you may need to sign up for an internet plan with a high data cap.
Which Internet Service Provider (ISP) Should I Go For?
Many internet providers offer plans with unlimited data allowance; however, they come with a hefty price, which can exceed your monthly budget. At $59.95 per month, MetroNet internet imposes no data caps and does not require you to sign long-term contracts. Besides, the MetroNet Fiber plan includes fiber internet and phone packages without any hidden fees. So, if you are looking for an internet plan without data caps, then MetroNet is the best option for you.
How to Prevent the Risk of Exceeding Your Data Cap?
Now that you have known how data caps work, you can avoid going over your monthly data limits in the following ways:
- Switch to a lower video resolution while streaming on Netflix or YouTube.
- Monitor your monthly data usage and limit your data consumption by reducing the frequency of data-intensive activities.
- Keep your gaming activities in check and find off-peak hours to schedule them.
To sum it up, for a big household, you should consider subscribing to a plan without data caps or with data caps that are much higher than your average monthly data usage. But, if you are the only user connected to an internet network, then you don’t need to worry about data caps, as long as your data limit is above your monthly data usage.