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Concerned about my usage

tichtich
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 02-02-2009

Concerned about my usage

Hi. I've been with Plus Net (Broadband Option 1) for nearly a week. Very happy so far except that I've just checked my usage figures and am a bit surprised by how high they are. I thought 2 Gb per month would be plenty, but now I'm not so sure. With my last supplier, I managed on 1 Gb per month. The only big downloads I've done so far (total about 1 Gb) were overnight and showed up as "free" usage. Apart from that it's mostly just web browsing. I suppose the trouble is I'm not used to having such a fast connection. With about 6 Mbps, you can get through a lot of usage without being very aware of it!
My paid-for usage shows as 789 Mb usage on the day I was first connected to Plus Net, which seems far more than I can account for. Since then it's been between 20 Mb and 160 Mb per day.
It might be helpful if there was a help page (I couldn't find one) explaining how much usage various activities incur. Two things occur to me that might have used quite a lot:
- Youtube videos. I couldn't find any way of checking the video size on the Youtube site.
- I used a broadband speed tester (http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest.html) a few times to check my download speed.
Also, what happens if I exceed my 2 Gb limit? I've checked the "Change My Usage Allowance" page, but it's not clear how this works. And if I "Set A Broadband Price Limit", what happens when that limit is reached?
Thanks for any help.
6 REPLIES
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: 26-07-2007

Re: Concerned about my usage

Using You Tube can very quickly use up data as can running lots of speed tests so you're probably correct in your assumption!
When you reach your 2GB limit what happens next will depend upon whether you've set your account to PAYG or not.  You can check that on this page
If you've ticked the small box and the page says "You are currently: Pay as you go" then extra usage will be added automatically (up to any price limit you set in "Set a Broadband Price Limit") and you'll get billed for the extra.
If it says "You are currently: Fixed Cost" you will be throttled to 128k until your next billing date once your limit is reached.
(If you're PAYG and have a set a price limit, extra data will be added up to the price limit.  When the price limit is reached your connection will be restricted to 128k until your next billing date).
If you're fixed cost and want to be PAYG, tick the box on the page I linked to.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,649
Thanks: 1,060
Fixes: 59
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Concerned about my usage

Pkusnet's http://www.mybroadbandusage.co.uk/ tool would give you a ball-park figure for the type of use you've made of your connection.
Watching You Tube videos may well be a large part of your usage.
David
tichtich
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 02-02-2009

Re: Concerned about my usage

Thanks for the replies. The usage figures make sense now, except for the 789 Mb on the day I got connected, which I still can't explain. But I won't worry about it unless it happens again.
Looks like I need to be a bit careful with YouTube. Is there any way of stopping it from buffering the whole file? Buffering is great when you've got a poor connection, but at these speeds it's a waste of bandwidth if you decide not to watch the whole video.
P.S. If I stay on fixed cost or set a price limit, and then hit my limit and get restricted to 128 Kbps, can I then change my limit or switch to PAYG to get back to normal speed for the rest of the month?
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Concerned about my usage

Quote from: tichtich
Is there any way of stopping it from buffering the whole file? Buffering is great when you've got a poor connection, but at these speeds it's a waste of bandwidth if you decide not to watch the whole video.

The best way to stop a file buffering is to use the stop button on your firewall.
tichtich
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 02-02-2009

Re: Concerned about my usage

Quote from: geewizz
The best way to stop a file buffering is to use the stop button on your firewall.
Thanks. I'll remember that.
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: 26-07-2007

Re: Concerned about my usage

Quote
f I stay on fixed cost or set a price limit, and then hit my limit and get restricted to 128 Kbps, can I then change my limit or switch to PAYG to get back to normal speed for the rest of the month?

Switching to PAYG to add extra usage will get you back to normal speed.  I'm not sure what happens if you increase the cost ceiling if you hit it though.  I would imagine the system would then add extra usage up to the new limit.
If things don't work automatically a quick call to Customer Service (they're open 24/7) will sort it out.