When it comes to looks at ways to cut costs and save on the bills, broadband is usually quite far down the list of things that people can live without. Understandably in this day and age a lot of things are done online and there is a genuine need for families to have broadband. One thing many people do not think to look at however, is how much they are actually using. Instead of actually giving up broadband – cutting down can really be the way forward to saving money. You may not even realize you’re a heavy broadband user !
How much broadband do I use?
The first thing you need to do to cut down and start saving some money on your broadband is find exactly how much you use. Some broadband providers will tell you how much you use on your itemized bill, but with the move over to everything being digital this may not be that easy to access. If you are entering into a new contract, use a comparison site like Broadband choices to help you find one that allows you to use the least broadband.
[Read also: Choosing The Best Broadband for Your Business]
Broadband provider usage tools
Many broadband providers have now realized that people wish to monitor their broadband usage more carefully – so they offer customers a tool through themselves to monitor usage. Many broadband providers will build this into the dashboard you log on to when you log in to pay bills etc, and it does not usually come at an extra charge. It remains to be seen how impartial they are but the do usually provide a pretty good breakdown of what you have been using at what speeds. If you have an unlimited usage plan then it is highly unlikely you will be able to monitor through your broadband provider because it will not have any effect on your bill.
Device specific apps
A lot of devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets now give you the opportunity to download an app which monitors your usage. The only drawback here is that if you use more than one device or you have guests that frequently log on you are going to have to install the app on each device and then add it up.
Check data consumption tables
If all else fails you can use a search engine to find a good data consumption table. This should give you an accurate picture of how much data each task uses in MB. You should be able to use this to make a rough guess if you match it to your broadband using behavior.
How to cut down
Once you have found out either accurately or roughly how much data you are using per month, you may well decide you need to cut down. There are a few small changes you can make that all together will make a huge difference to your overall usage.
Prevent automatic downloads
This sounds like a given – but on many devices people forget to stop automatic downloads. Many pieces of software come with automatic updates that just go ahead in the background without you even realizing. While software does need to be kept up to date if you are looking to cut down you may decide you are just fine with the version you have. Ensure you find out how to turn off automatic downloads on your computer’s settings.
Use Zip files
People who send a lot of files may not realize that something that is 10mb can easily be compressed to 6-7mb by just zipping. There are many applications and tools now that let you Zip files in bulk. This may not sound like a lot – but if you use your computer to send a lot of files this will really build up over a month.
Turn your broadband when not in use
We have all been in the situation where we hear a device making noise and it annoys us so we turn it off, but that should serve as a warning your broadband is still working in the background. The best thing to do to absolutely ensure nothing is using broadband when you are not using it is to fully turn your modem off.
[Image via: Google Images]