All Internet services have data limitations and restrictions. Internet providers must balance the bandwidth consumption of their customers by setting restrictions on those who use the most. Satellite Internet is no different. On all high-speed Internet plans, it’s important that you use your data wisely. Some of the apps, programs and websites you use most often might be using more data and slowing down your system without your knowledge. There are some steps you can take to identify and avoid sites that use a lot of data so you can decrease their effects on your bandwidth.
Video Streaming Services
Video streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, YouTube and others have become increasingly popular, especially as more and more people are cutting the cable cord. However, video is one of the biggest high-speed Internet data drainers. In order to avoid some of the drain, you can set your video quality so that these apps and streaming sites use less data. To do this, go to the app’s settings and set the video quality to Standard Definition (SD) rather than High Definition (HD). While HD is usually good for your very big TV, the difference between SD and HD on a smaller screen like a laptop won’t be very noticeable. Plus, you’ll be able to extend your data usage longer.
Music Streaming Services
Music streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora have also seen increased popularity in recent years. Audio and music streaming services use less bandwidth than video. However, if you need to free up some bandwidth on your high-speed satellite Internet plan, you can do this by keeping your music downloaded offline instead of streaming live.
Social Media Platforms
Regular browsing on social media won’t use a lot of high-speed Internet bandwidth. Some of the issues that Social Media users might face, however, are ads and videos auto-downloading and auto-playing on certain platforms. Again, video uses a lot of data, so auto-playing videos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can use up data even when you’re not actively watching videos. You can avoid this by entering each app’s settings and deselecting video auto-play. That way, you can still watch the videos you want online while avoiding others.
Gaming, in this sense, includes both personal computer games and game consoles. For games you play on the computer, anything that uses the Internet is going to use some data. The games that use the most bandwidth are those that use downloaded audio and video content from the Internet.
Many game consoles have web browsers and connect to the Internet – you can close the browser when you’re done with it and make sure there aren’t any active sessions that could drain your data when you’re not using the console. In addition, if you use your console to stream (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) make sure you set your video quality to SD instead of HD here as well.
Video Chatting Apps
Skype and FaceTime are popular ways to connect, especially with more people staying in and working from home. However, they can eat up a decent amount of data from your high-speed Internet plan. One way to help decrease the amount of data used is to limit the video size and resolution.
Other Devices Connecting to Wi-Fi
The more devices you have connected to Wi-Fi, the more potential data drain there could be. Avoid unnecessary waste by checking on background app refreshes, video quality, and other aspects of your cell phones and tablets – or even smart TVs and speakers – to make sure they are not draining your data when not in use.
In the Clear
There are also many apps and websites that you can access without taking a lot of data. Email, for example, doesn’t typically use a lot of data unless you are sending or receiving images, large attachments or videos. In addition, if you’ve included the right settings so that websites don’t automatically load all video on landing, web browsing and social media use will also use limited bandwidth. Keep browsing on your high-speed Internet service without worrying about data usage by altering your settings.