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Is 75 gigs a month enough? (cable modem bandwidth caps)

Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
edited September 2010 in Moe's Stupid Technology Tavern
Hello.

I am thinking about switching over to a cable modem as it is offering me speed levels at 2 to 3 times what Verizon is offering me.

The issue is that between 5pm and 1am the cable company monitors your download limits and caps you at 75 gigs a month. Unlimited all other times. To uncap it I would have to spend another $20 a month.

I would use it for streaming Netflix, Youtubin', Huluing, online PC gaming, and downloading some standard definition anime. I don't torrent massive BluRay movies and with Steam I am not reinstalling my entire library on a monthly basis. I'll buy a couple games every couple of months but nothing crazy.

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    kdrudykdrudy Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    With Netflix involved that could start to push it. I do download plenty of random stuff, but the months I watched a lot of stuff on Netflix my usage climbed fast.

    kdrudy on
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    EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2010
    I was just about to make a thread about the same thing. I just got an HTPC in the main room with netflix and everyone uses it. We have 4 roommates on one 40mb/5mb up connection.. Im sure we are pushing 250gb a month.

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    ShensShens Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    I was just about to make a thread about the same thing. I just got an HTPC in the main room with netflix and everyone uses it. We have 4 roommates on one 40mb/5mb up connection.. Im sure we are pushing 250gb a month.

    If you have Comcast (they have a 250GB cap, that is why I am assuming) you can check here:

    http://customer.comcast.com/

    Click on User and Settings after logging in with your master account. Then click View details under the High Speed Data Usage. It will show you a graph of past months as well.

    For OP: We are heavy Netflix streamers and I use Steam quite a bit and I am constantly around 75GB/month. If that is your totally monthly cap, you will probably get close to it.

    Shens on
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    Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Here are the pricing plans available to me:

    3 mbps dsl is going to cost me about 44 dollars a month for unlimited use

    Local cable company (Service Electric, and no, you haven't heard of them) offers:

    5mbps at $35
    7 at $40
    10 at $44

    This is regulated by "peak hours" 75 gig a month limit which is between 5 pm and 1 am.

    Uncapping this access to unlimited is an extra 20 a month. I know no one in the area who uses them and all I can find online are a couple of complaints. No personal experience at all with them myself outside the $20 super basic cable I have, which I am just about to cancel anyway because it gets no use. Canceling cable with further increase the internet access prices by $10.

    wat do?

    Lord Jezo on
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    kdrudykdrudy Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    What happens if you reach the cap?

    If it isn't too bad I'd probably start at the 75gb cap and then up it later if it looks like I'd have difficulty staying under it with normal use. It doesn't immediately sound like you'd be going over, but if you start streaming a lot of stuff it can go up fast.

    kdrudy on
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    Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    kdrudy wrote: »
    What happens if you reach the cap?

    If it isn't too bad I'd probably start at the 75gb cap and then up it later if it looks like I'd have difficulty staying under it with normal use. It doesn't immediately sound like you'd be going over, but if you start streaming a lot of stuff it can go up fast.

    I think they boot you in a three strikes sort of fashion or bill you some stupid amount per gig over the limit. I should go ask them that.

    Lord Jezo on
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    FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I live in a rural area and pay more than my electric bill for what is supposedly 512kbs DSL with a 18Gb limit. It is incapable of streaming video in real time at a higher quality than 288p. When I go over, I get downgraded to something even closer to dialup for the rest of the month.

    The downgrading is something I'm convinced every throughput-limited ISP should do. At least there isn't some stupid hidden charge. The rest of it, not so much.

    Frem on
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    FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Here's my recent Comcast usage, for comparison's sake:

    usage.PNG

    I wish they kept more than three months. Not entirely sure what I was doing last month, but I generally hang around 150GB doing fairly normal nerd things. 75GB would be doable, but super annoying.

    Fats on
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    Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Well.

    I live in a house with 2 other nerdy guys, and we download everything ever and play xbox live all the time, sometimes more then one of us at a time, and generally use the internet a lot of every day.

    We average around 300gbs a month.

    My comcast usage meter makes me laugh.

    Captain Vash on
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    ShensShens Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Do you guys get angry letters or calls when you go over your 250GB cap? I have wondered what they would actually do.

    Shens on
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    IconoclysmIconoclysm Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Having seem both sides of the story in capping situations, I can only honestly answer that it depends on the current management policies of the ISP involved. By that I mean what happened to one customer who exceeded their cap 6 months ago may have absolutely no bearing on what happens now; the goalposts are constantly shifting in both directions.

    I'd personally completely avoid any ISP that charges per gig for exceeded bandwidth, its nearly always a way to cheat the uninformed.

    I would then get an ISP account that more or less honestly fits my bandwidth usage, and see what happens if I exceed the limits. Their response dictates whether I stay with that company. Use 3rd party email addresses, webspace/online storage providers to make it easy to up and leave the ISP whenever you want to.

    In short, stay flexible and avoid long term commitments like 24 month min contract periods in exchange for a free whatever they offer etc.

    Iconoclysm on
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    Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    My issue now is that unless I want to live with 3mbps for the next unlimited years as Verizon has no plans to roll out anything faster in the area I will need to switch to cable and either deal with the caps or the extra $20 a month to uncap it. As speeds increase and more and more stuff is streamed online this archaic 75 gig a month limit will sit there and haunt me. While other people are complaining about a 250 or a 300 gig limit I am stuck with a quarter of that.

    Here is the price list I have come up with for DSL, cable modem with cable tv service, and cable modem without tv service, capped and uncapped.

    https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Ak_ILd9mYWDIdEN5VmdOVVlwbmQ3QTNUUDVYWjU5d0E&hl=en&authkey=CLXfDg

    Lord Jezo on
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    Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Shens wrote: »
    Do you guys get angry letters or calls when you go over your 250GB cap? I have wondered what they would actually do.

    I haven't heard a peep.

    Captain Vash on
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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Comcast looks at more than just your bandwidth usage, they monitor how you are using it before they send nasty letters. I hover around 250GB a month, but I do very little Torrent'ing (outside of Blizzard patches, and a few other specialized things that use BitTorrent for it's distribution system). My usage is just my wife and I doing normal internet things.

    The internet is a big place now, with a lot of bandwidth hungry applications.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
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    Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    The internet is a big place now, with a lot of bandwidth hungry applications.


    Yeah, and the ISPs know this and will gouge us for the privilege of using it.

    Lord Jezo on
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    Roland_tHTGRoland_tHTG Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    You should keep things as they are for a couple of months and track your usage.

    It's easy to use a third party firmware on a router now to see what you use without being worried about it. You could also set daily or monthly quotas per computer to see how much you would be limited if you do swap.

    Roland_tHTG on
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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Lord Jezo wrote: »
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    The internet is a big place now, with a lot of bandwidth hungry applications.


    Yeah, and the ISPs know this and will gouge us for the privilege of using it.

    Bandwidth caps are still not the norm in most of the US, though I am sure it's just a matter of time as I know Canada has them and so does most of Europe.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
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    AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Our service is supposedly capped at 100GB but we've been doing 500+ gigs a month and have received one threatening letter ever. I guess it just depends on the ISP and what kind of mood they're in

    Azio on
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    DekuStickDekuStick Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Make sure you understand what happens when you go over that 75GB. I'm in Canada so it's probably more harsh here but I get charged $2/GB I use over my limit.

    I personally barely survive with 95GB and go over the limit every other month. If I was offered a $20 fee for unlimited I'd shit rainbows in joy at the opportunity and pull out my wallet.

    DekuStick on
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    ShensShens Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Damn. We need to get it together in North America. Even in major NA cities broadband is still years behind our Asia dwelling friends.

    Shens on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    My campus internet when I was in college had a 2GB per day cap. Rumor was that they really only bothered to deal with the top X%, and that if you only went over a little here and there it was no big deal. And this was my experience, over the course of three years on campus.

    My last week I was all "fuck it" and wound up downloading UT3 on Steam (8GB), and the Win7 RC twice (first download failed, so about 14GB total) over the course of two days. Came back to the room, shit was shut off.

    It is my understanding that at least on the U.S. side of things, this is also how it operates (overseas I guess "hard" caps are more common).



    Anywho, I consider myself a fairly normal nerd with fairly normal nerd usage (Netflix, some Hulu, Steam, some various torrenting, Xbox Live, etc.). My monthly usage so far this year has ranged from 36GB to 140GB, with most of it falling in the 60GB-95GB range. Though keep in mind that this obviously isn't all "prime-time" usage...it's easy enough to set Steam downloads or torrents to go off-peak. If you have cable/DVR, you can stay under 75GB peak usage easily. If you're "cutting the cord" on your television, expect to go over.

    mcdermott on
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    AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    DekuStick wrote: »
    Make sure you understand what happens when you go over that 75GB. I'm in Canada so it's probably more harsh here but I get charged $2/GB I use over my limit.

    I personally barely survive with 95GB and go over the limit every other month. If I was offered a $20 fee for unlimited I'd shit rainbows in joy at the opportunity and pull out my wallet.
    Damn, man. What ISP are you on?

    Turbo Telus has terrible customer service but I <3 everything else about it

    Azio on
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    RohanRohan Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    When I first saw this thread title, I was sceptical of anyone being worried about 75GB being enough of a cap, but now you're all talking about hitting usage of around 500GB a month?! What the hell? What is taking up all that bandwith? My flatmate and I have an ADSL connection with UTV Internet over here in Ireland, and pay €5.99 extra per month for unlimited bandwith, but our typical monthly usage is about 35GB - the highest I've ever seen it go is just over 50GB.

    The 'net is always being used here in some form or another - a good amount of torrenting by either one or both of us at the same time, or friends whenever they bring their pc's over. We have Sky Player (a subscription service from a satellite television company) installed on the Xbox 360 and media pc and is nearly always playing something, plenty of online gaming (probably not even worth mentioning, that, but still), constant browsing, streaming videos on the media pc through MSN, TED Talks, etc. All that, and our typical monthly usage is still around 35GB.

    What the hell are you guys doing that you're using so much?

    Rohan on
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    DekuStickDekuStick Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Azio wrote: »
    DekuStick wrote: »
    Make sure you understand what happens when you go over that 75GB. I'm in Canada so it's probably more harsh here but I get charged $2/GB I use over my limit.

    I personally barely survive with 95GB and go over the limit every other month. If I was offered a $20 fee for unlimited I'd shit rainbows in joy at the opportunity and pull out my wallet.
    Damn, man. What ISP are you on?

    Turbo Telus has terrible customer service but I <3 everything else about it

    I'm on Rogers. I haven't had any troubles with it other than costing mad cash.

    DekuStick on
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    Blood DriveBlood Drive Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I have 2 people using there netflix accounts constantly since we got the wii disks.
    My usage in June was 154GB.
    In July it 245 GB.
    In August it was 377GB!!
    Ive used 88GB (35%) counting up to the 8th. Im waiting for the possible phone call from Comcast now.....

    Blood Drive on
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    ShensShens Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I feel like they imposed the "cap" because of services like Netflix cutting into their cable TV offerings.

    Do you have cable TV from them? I wonder if that is a factor in them calling people with "over-usage".

    Shens on
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    Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Shens wrote: »
    I feel like they imposed the "cap" because of services like Netflix cutting into their cable TV offerings.

    Do you have cable TV from them? I wonder if that is a factor in them calling people with "over-usage".

    no.

    Captain Vash on
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    Blood DriveBlood Drive Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I went home last night and got a few more details from my renters. Apparently they had to redownload the Cataclysm beta about 5 times last month. That combined with the streaming and a few full seasons of shows downloaded by them apparently drove my usage through the roof.

    I also do not have regular cable tv so I know thats not falsly inflating the numbers.

    Needless to say i have asked the renters to cut back just a bit ;)

    Blood Drive on
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    vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    DekuStick wrote: »
    Azio wrote: »
    DekuStick wrote: »
    Make sure you understand what happens when you go over that 75GB. I'm in Canada so it's probably more harsh here but I get charged $2/GB I use over my limit.

    I personally barely survive with 95GB and go over the limit every other month. If I was offered a $20 fee for unlimited I'd shit rainbows in joy at the opportunity and pull out my wallet.
    Damn, man. What ISP are you on?

    Turbo Telus has terrible customer service but I <3 everything else about it

    I'm on Rogers. I haven't had any troubles with it other than costing mad cash.
    Dude, you need to switch ISPs. Like yesterday. Thanks to CRTC decisions, you have options. I recommend TekSavvy, they're a reseller, they use the major ISP's wiring but route your traffic over their own trunk connections. Their monthly cap is 200GB, they only charge $0.50/GB if you go over the cap, and they offer an Unlimited package for ~$10 more than the 200GB-cap package. Oh, and their base rate is probably cheaper than what you're paying now. And they resell both cable and DSL connections. And any time I've had a problem their support people have been excellent

    Doo eet

    Edit: Honestly, anyone in Canada who actually uses Bell/Telus/Rogers/Videotron and has significant usage should switch to a reseller. Those major ISPs are seriously taking you for a ride with insanely low caps and insanely high overage charges. I know what wholesale bandwidth costs, and it ain't no $2/GB. Try two orders of magnitude less than that. I know they have to turn a profit and maintain their network and blah blah blah, but what they're currently charging is outright highway robbery.

    vonPoonBurGer on
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    AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    We are on Telus and we have never paid an overage charge ever in 15 years. And we do a lot of downloading.

    Azio on
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    vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    If you haven't been hit with an overage charge yet, you're probably not downloading more than 60GB / 100GB per month (depending on your plan). If you do go over the cap, you'll notice. $2/GB adds up fast. I really doubt you're over the cap and they're not charging you. That's where they're making the most profit these days.

    vonPoonBurGer on
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    AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    As I said earlier we are downloading and uploading many times our advertised limit every month and all we got is one email a couple years ago.

    Azio on
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    Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Azio wrote: »
    As I said earlier we are downloading and uploading many times our advertised limit every month and all we got is one email a couple years ago.

    You are playing with fire, and your experience is completely terrible advice for the OP.

    Captain Vash on
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    DekuStickDekuStick Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Doo eet

    Edit: Honestly, anyone in Canada who actually uses Bell/Telus/Rogers/Videotron and has significant usage should switch to a reseller. Those major ISPs are seriously taking you for a ride with insanely low caps and insanely high overage charges. I know what wholesale bandwidth costs, and it ain't no $2/GB. Try two orders of magnitude less than that. I know they have to turn a profit and maintain their network and blah blah blah, but what they're currently charging is outright highway robbery.

    I would switch over to Teksavvy but they aren't available in my area. I'm stuck with the big guys.

    DekuStick on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Shens wrote: »
    I feel like they imposed the "cap" because of services like Netflix cutting into their cable TV offerings.

    Do you have cable TV from them? I wonder if that is a factor in them calling people with "over-usage".

    No, the "cap" really was in response to Bittorrent; some people really have no idea how much bandwidth motherfuckers can use with that in the course of a month.
    When I first saw this thread title, I was sceptical of anyone being worried about 75GB being enough of a cap, but now you're all talking about hitting usage of around 500GB a month?! What the hell? What is taking up all that bandwith? My flatmate and I have an ADSL connection with UTV Internet over here in Ireland, and pay €5.99 extra per month for unlimited bandwith, but our typical monthly usage is about 35GB - the highest I've ever seen it go is just over 50GB.

    The 'net is always being used here in some form or another - a good amount of torrenting by either one or both of us at the same time, or friends whenever they bring their pc's over. We have Sky Player (a subscription service from a satellite television company) installed on the Xbox 360 and media pc and is nearly always playing something, plenty of online gaming (probably not even worth mentioning, that, but still), constant browsing, streaming videos on the media pc through MSN, TED Talks, etc. All that, and our typical monthly usage is still around 35GB.

    What the hell are you guys doing that you're using so much?

    Online gaming is worth mentioning. You're talking about upwards of 128kbps bidirectional, which can easily add up to 9 or 10 GB in a month; when you only get 75, that's significant. And yeah, we hit 75+ pretty easily, generally watching Netflix (in HD), downloading the occasional Steam game, online gaming, and when we have kids watching video after video on YouTube...plus other "normal" usage. It just isn't that hard when you've got multiple people in a household.

    The good news is that it's not hard not to hit that cap, too...you just have to monitor your usage a bit.

    mcdermott on
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    AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    You are playing with fire, and your experience is completely terrible advice for the OP.
    Look all I'm saying is caps appear to be selectively enforced. If you're in a low usage area the provider may be willing to tolerate excess traffic.

    Also apparently telus doesn't even monitor usage on ADSL2+ ports, but that's just a rumour I heard

    Azio on
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    vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    DekuStick wrote: »
    I would switch over to Teksavvy but they aren't available in my area. I'm stuck with the big guys.
    Bummer. I didn't even know that was possible, I thought they could resell anywhere there was a regular ISP. Guess not though. :?

    vonPoonBurGer on
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    DekuStickDekuStick Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    DekuStick wrote: »
    I would switch over to Teksavvy but they aren't available in my area. I'm stuck with the big guys.
    Bummer. I didn't even know that was possible, I thought they could resell anywhere there was a regular ISP. Guess not though. :?

    I can get the DSL but it's not quick enough to live up to my standards.

    DekuStick on
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    ApogeeApogee Lancks In Every Game Ever Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    DekuStick wrote: »
    DekuStick wrote: »
    I would switch over to Teksavvy but they aren't available in my area. I'm stuck with the big guys.
    Bummer. I didn't even know that was possible, I thought they could resell anywhere there was a regular ISP. Guess not though. :?

    I can get the DSL but it's not quick enough to live up to my standards.

    I got Teksavvy in Toronto. The DSL is decent; good price, but my speed seems to cap out at ~550 Kbps. Seems odd. Juuust barely fast enough to stream 1080p. Unlimited usage, though.

    I ran some speed tests on DSL Reports, and I found that I could get over 1GBps to the Teksavvy servers, but far less to anyone else. I get the feeling Bell is throttling them or something.

    Apogee on
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