How much do I need

How many Gigs (G) or Gigabytes of traffic do I need per month? Canadians have been using more and more bandwidth. When I started at iTeract, the average household was using 12 Gigs of bandwidth per month. Now, 3 years later, according to an analysis of the CRTC in 2013, Canadians consumed an average of 35 Gigabytes (Gigs) per month of data. This number is surely higher in 2014.

Where do all these Gigs go?

One way to think of internet traffic and the consumption of Gigabytes is like a water pipe. The more water that flows through the pipe, the more water you will consume. So what takes up all those Gigs? Applications or videos with video and audio content are bandwidth hogs. According to video movie streaming site Netflix, one hour of video uses about 1G of data. That amount can triple if you watch the movie in high definition. So a two hour movie in HD will use as much as 5 or 6 Gigs of data. Add to that other bandwidth intensive activities such as SKYPE or YOUTUBE or transferring large files such as pictures and your usage can add up quite quickly.

How to reduce your usage

One way to reduce bandwidth usage is to set the video or the viewing settings of applications like YOUTUBE or NETFLIX to a lower resolution

YOUTUBE: You can lower your resolution on YOUTUBE in the tab on the bottom right hand side of the video player. Why not sacrifice a little on the image quality of that cat video you are watching while saving some bandwidth.

APPLE TV: Simply go to your apple TV settings menu and change the quality to 720 HD -60Hz instead of 1080 HD. Again, your viewing experience will not sufer much, but you will cut down on your usage of Gigabytes.

NETFLIX: Various options are available with NETFLIX as it depends on what device you are using to watch movies or television shows. Adjusting the data usage settings for your account is the easiest way to reduce the amount of bandwidth used while watching Netflix. There are 4 data usage settings to choose from, each estimate below is per stream:

  • Low (0.3 GB per hour)
  • Medium (SD: 0.7 GB per hour)
  • High (best video quality, up to 3 GB per hour for HD, 7 GB per hour for Ultra HD)
  • Auto (adjusts automatically to deliver the highest possible quality, based on your current internet connection speed)

To select a setting that works best for your Internet plan, navigate to Your Account page and click Playback settings in the Your Profile section. It can take up to 8 hours for these changes to take effect.

What is the traffic management policy of your internet provider?

iTeract does not limit or tone down it’s customers internet speeds depending on the time of day or how much bandwidth you have used in a set period of time. Make sure you read the fine print before signing up with a provider that says that they are offering unlimited internet or that offer a high number of Gigs per month, but at a very low price compared to other providers in your area. We have had customers who have been caught with contracts from other providers that say unlimited, but it’s only unlimited e-mails, so if you view videos or movies online, this is an extra charge on your bill. Another trick is that people get a 30 Gig package for a set price, however if they use more than one gig per day, the speed drops. So if you try and do an update on your computer or download a movie, your internet connection speed is so slow that it can’t do the job. Make sure you read the fine print.

Do you have any topics of issues that you would like us to address on this blog? If so, contact us with your questions at sales@iteract.net.