Like a lot of families, we pay for hundreds of channels, but watch very little. Our main source of viewing comes from streaming TV and videos. Between Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube usage, our bandwidth was a little excessive. I’ll leave out the part of our Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare addiction. It is what it is.
Mid-2015, we received a nastygram from CableOne regarding our bandwidth usage. One more strike and we were going to be automatically upgraded to their next Internet tier. Not to pay more than necessary, I moved my business Internet account through CableOne to my residence and canceled our residential account. Similarly, you can open a business account; I just happened to be taking time off from work and didn’t need two.
Are you eligible for a business account? I found out about this little trick while browsing forums about high CableOne bandwidth claims. Our current cost is $50/month for 50 Mbps–with unlimited bandwidth. The only caveat was that it was necessary to sign a multi-year contract. I also bought my own modem for $60 to avoid an additional monthly fee. Granted, the account was already in existence at my soon-closing business, so all I had to do was call and have the account transferred, stating that I would be working from home. If you can’t open/migrate to a business account, try these other suggestions:
Avoid streaming music. Hello, CD, my old friend. Nah, you don’t have to go that far. But if you have the songs already downloaded on your phone, iPod, our computer, it’s a waste of bandwidth to stream the same tunes through Pandora or Spotify.
Avoid torrents and online gaming. Let’s face it, if you’re downloading a lot through PirateBay, you probably have more worries than eating up bandwidth. Lay off the torrents and reduce the amount of time playing online games. This goes not just for computers, but your kids’ iPads, phones, and tablets, too.
Watch videos in low resolution. When watching YouTube, you can probably lower the quality of the video using the drop-down menu. For help on saving bandwidth on Nextflix, see this page.
Secure your network. Password protect your Wifi from your neighbors. Although you may be footing the bill, your neighbors may be enjoying that free wifi more than you. Google the make and model of your router for more information, or shoot me an e-mail.
I hope some of these suggestions will help. It’s unfortunate that such a common ISP has a low bandwidth cap.