Technology Explained

Why Do Data Caps Exist and How Can You Bypass Them?

Bertel King Updated 30-12-2019

It’s common knowledge that mobile providers like AT&T and T-Mobile throttle user connections after they use a certain amount of data in a month—but did you know that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) might be doing the same thing?


Why do companies impose data caps, and what can you do about it?

The Reason Behind Data Caps

Internet data caps

Before answering this question, let’s define what data caps are. Both ISPs and mobile providers put a limit on how much data you can use in a month. For example, there’s a Comcast data cap in many states across the US. And even though unlimited mobile plans are more prevalent than a few years ago, most plans still have data capping in some form.

What happens once you use that amount of data? It depends on the provider. Sometimes your connection is slowed down, also known as throttled. Or companies charge you for the data you use above the cap. In some cases, you simply lose internet access altogether.

So why do data caps exist? Mobile providers have repeatedly stated that data caps allow for lower prices and help ease congestion. Verizon has told the US federal government that data caps exist to relieve the need to throttle their customers. Cable ISPs also use data caps to manage “congestion” but there are several reasons why many people are skeptical.


First of all, the amount of data available on cell phone plans has skyrocketed faster than the speed at which additional infrastructure has been built. You might have expected to get several gigabytes of data on your plan a few years ago, but now it’s easy to get dozens of gigabytes for the same price.

And yet, even with so many people streaming mobile video How Much Data Does Streaming Video Use? Because streaming video is one of the easiest ways to eat through your data, it's important to know how much data it uses. Read More , the providers aren’t saying that congestion has increased significantly.

Second, and more importantly, is that cable companies and their lobbyists are starting to admit that their data caps are more about making money than relieving congestion. The lead lobbyist of the cable industry put it simply as, “Our principal purpose is how to fairly monetize a high fixed cost.”

Many people are getting fed up with data caps, especially when companies put caps in place and then charge more money to get the same service that customers previously had. Remember that Comcast data cap? You can remove that for an extra $50 a month.


What You Can Do About Throttling and Data Caps

Stop the Cap website

Before looking at how to bypass your data caps, you may want to first register your support with groups who are lobbying against the price gouging practice that’s taking place in the name of (non-existent) congestion relief. has a great page on how to take action against ISP data caps, and many of the suggestions apply against mobile providers as well.

Many people believe that usage-based pricing and data caps violate the central tenets of a free and fair internet, and that the time has come for customers to speak up against these unfair practices. Sign petitions, share information, and get in touch with your representatives to make your preference known.


How to Bypass Data Caps

Now that you’ve taken a moment to address the root of the problem, let’s explore how you can get past data caps on your own internet and mobile plans.

Technically, you can’t bypass your data cap. Once you’ve been throttled, you’re stuck until the end of the month—unless you resort to questionable practices, like deleting the throttle-service file mentioned in our article on avoiding mobile data throttling.

How to Avoid Mobile Data Caps

But if you find that you’re hitting your data limit on a regular basis, you can use data compression to your advantage. We’ll start with mobile options, as there are more of them:

  1. Enable data compression. Some web browsers can compress the data you download to your device. Google Chrome offers data compression on both Android and iOS, which will lower your monthly consumption of bandwidth. Opera’s Turbo function does the same thing.
  2. Use a VPN with compression. Some mobile VPNs, like Hotspot Shield, offer data compression to further limit the amount of data you consume.
  3. Install data-saving apps. Because of the irritating prevalence of data caps, developers have started creating apps that help you consume less data in various ways. Samsung provides an app for its Android devices called Samsung Max.

These are just a few of the steps you can take to reduce your mobile internet usage 4 Ways to Reduce Your Mobile Internet Data Usage with Android Apps You can reduce your mobile data usage without doing anything differently on your Android device -- just use these apps! Read More .


How to Avoid ISP Data Caps

Unfortunately, there are fewer tried and tested strategies for avoiding throttling from your ISP. The deployment of data caps by ISPs is more recent and not as widespread (at least in the US) so counter-tactics are still being developed. Here’s what we know so far, but as we come across more, we’ll keep you updated!

  1. Tweak your browser settings Ultimate Browser Settings: Must-Change Items In Chrome, Firefox, & Internet Explorer Let's take a look at those must-change browser items. Maybe you do the same, or perhaps you think that the settings should be different? Read More for maximum data savings. The best thing you can do here is to make all plug-ins click-to-play (we have tutorials on this for Chrome How to Stop Auto-Playing Flash and HTML5 Videos in Chrome Auto-playing videos can be obnoxious. Here's how you can stop auto-playing Flash and HTML5 videos in Chrome. Read More and Firefox How To Stop Auto-playing Flash And HTML5 Videos In Firefox Does auto-play video drive you mad? We'll talk you through the best ways to stop auto-playing videos in your Firefox browser. Read More ). This is a good idea for all sorts of reasons, but it will definitely save on data. You can even disable images if you really need to cut down on your bandwidth.
  2. Use Opera’s Turbo function 3 Unmissable Reasons Opera Is the Right Browser for Your Mac Chrome and Firefox rule on Windows, but on OS X, Opera is the browser to beat. Eternal favorites Chrome and Firefox can give you flexibility, but not without some heavy compromises. Read More . The desktop version of Opera offers data compression with Turbo.

As of right now, that’s the best way to go. You might be able to find a desktop VPN that offers data compression, but they seem to be rare, possibly because of the massive amount of data they’d be asked to compress.

It’s Time For Change

Data caps are a blatant money grab and they don’t do customers any good. There’s ample reason to take a stand and voice your displeasure to ISPs and mobile providers.

But until enough people form a unified front, we’ll have to resort to finding ways around them. Unfortunately, internet issues are hard to mobilize around, as we see with the debate over net neutrality Net Neutrality Explained: This Is What's Going to Happen to the Internet Net neutrality is under attack again, and it's not looking good. Here's what you must know about the repeal of net neutrality and what it means for the web. Read More .

Related topics: Data Usage, Internet, ISP, Mobile Plan.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Patrick Coville
    December 31, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    i had to this month pay xfinity $50 a month to remove the 1tb a month cap as we stream our tv and movies on our apple tv+ as well as netflix and disney+ and we both game with online games, but even then we averages about 750-800 gigs per month...but then my wife got a major promotion and is now and executive at The health care system she works at and some days have to work remotely from home and that dang remote medical access use almost as much as all our other use per month!

  2. Cleoz
    June 11, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    I recommend Puffin Browser rather than Chrome and Opera

  3. ray
    February 27, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    Redirecting usage may apply. For example charging less for data use during off peak hours. They are implementing this with electricity.
    The answer lies before the ISP or at the ISP. Before requires disabling certain features like for music listening stopping video plug-ins, going through VPNs that use either encryption or compression. The ISP should offer at login an option for compressing the data - less performance but less usage depending.

  4. Deano Yerton
    January 30, 2019 at 12:07 am

    As a gamer, this practice is especially infuriating. Consoles do not allow you to download compressed files to download their games and most pc games require the use of their publisher's client, which behaves like a console does all in an attempt to protect their intellectual propeety from piracy. This makes the data capping by isps all the worse

  5. Jack
    September 4, 2018 at 1:20 am

    Can't you just have unlimited data plan?

    • Deano Yerton
      January 30, 2019 at 12:08 am

      "Unlimited" data plans are not truly unlimited. That is what inspired this whole article in the first place.

  6. Shadow D
    July 15, 2018 at 3:33 am

    I hate Comcast so much. Not only have they raised my monthly rate by 40% (!?) in just the last two (2!?) months, they also implemented a data cap to San Francisco customers two months AFTER i entered into a contract with them, which was supposed to be devoid of data caps.
    My way around it gives me some solace, however:
    If you're an Xfinity/Comcast subscriber, chances are some less-savy Comcast customer is broadcasting one of their shady "xfinity" public wifi signals. If you're getting near your data cap and are facing outrageous charges ($20 / 50 GBs...unreal), unplug your router and use their public wifi instead. Sucks to have to use an open connection, but if it's only for a few days, it's the best alternative to giving this evil blood-sucking organization more of your money.
    NOTE: After using the above method for awhile, I noticed that I started getting bumped off the "xfinity" public wifi network with regularity. I'm sure this is NOT an accident. Bastards would allow me to log back in, but then boot me off every 20 mins or so. It should also be noted that I was transferring a tremendous (5+ terabytes) at the time, so the amount of bandwidth I was using could be viewed as extream and worthy of getting flagged. I don't think normal users would get booted off as much, but who knows. They might just boot people off when they see you using a public connection from home where you should, conceivably, be using the service you pay for. What a concept! Best of luck, comrades. - ShadowD

  7. Guy Dessureault
    January 6, 2018 at 7:38 am

    My electric service provider is required to put a meter that registers my usage on my residence. In all cases, residential and businesses, That meter has a seal that I can’t break nor can the electric service provider break ; However AT&T spectrum cable and other entities can charge you and be in your wallet or pocketbook but Edison electric, water, and other utilities must put up a meter on the side of your house for electricity, and other services which are actually cheaper then the data I utilize. I ask why are companies allowed to remotely monitor something and charge you when electricity has to go through a very strict process to be provided to you ? I don’t agree or disagree that these companies can charge specifically AT&T Verizon Sprint Comcast spectrum; however if you’re going to charge me I want a meter that I can control not the utility itself like my electric meter which has a seal I can’t break nor can the service provider break that’s what I want. I will date myself and say I do remember when American telephone and telegraph Corporation (AT&T) charged you for picking up the telephone and placing a call. now it was free in your local calling zone but anything outside that zone was considered a long distance charge. That has gone away that was there a profit center and now they need a new profit center it’s all about money I get that but if you’re taking my money and you cannot clearly explain to me how other companies are using and utilizing the connection with your data that is where I start having a Pp Robble I want to know who is tapping my data and why not some proverbial end user license agreement on a website that says we are allowed to use your data for whatever we want. So the deeper question is not can they or should they meaning ““ The massive corporations“ that’s not where my problem is my problem is the monitoring and capture of that data. Wake up America I have a meter on the side of my house for electricity it ain’t free I don’t expected it to be free; however you want in my wallet you want to play by my rules I need a meter I can trust not some bullshit meter that my service provider gives me out of the air and says oh this is the meter we use because long ago I know if I made a long distance call I could track that and say are used seven minutes on long distance at $.30 a minute and that was about right, and on my bill it detailed that I used seven minutes at $.30 a minute it was $1.50 and the FCC imposed a charge state and local taxes made it $1.98 for one phone call. But you know what? at least I knew what I was being charged for, and what entity received cash from me.TVA also known as the Tennessee Valley Authority is a publicly imposed authority for electricity to under served regions of the country. In the greater good, for good bad or in different does not matter, there electric rates have come tin you do skyrocket; however their chief purpose was to process/reprocess uranium for the war effort. The first atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki cost the US 1/4 or 25 percent of the GNP gross national product. Where am I getting at? These corporations AT&T, xerox, Verizon , General electric, General Motors, ford , all must make a profit to move us forward and that is not the thing that I am questioning. what I am questioning is if you’re going to sell me a damn appliance or a car I want to know the cost in advance and if there are residual charges I need to know those upfront before I make a commitment! We live in a golden age that is incredible! I remember the paper based days of Maps going someplace was a major challenge you had to think and Lanier entire trip of where ever you were going but today I can jump in my car take my phone and say Siri take me wherever and guess what he does but that comes with a cost I notice we all know this as consumers of data and we’re all consumers of it my point to this entire reply years I don’t mind you charging me for data usage however it needs to be equitable it needs to be fair and I need to know what I am being charged for, not some pie in the sky number that a technocrat Has decided is the right number. If you read this far through my dissertation yeah I use for almost 500 GB of data last month alone I’m a data hog I don’t mind paying I just need to know what I’m being charge for!

    • rob
      January 11, 2020 at 1:17 pm

      There is always one box before your meter that called safety cut off. You can connect your wires directly to this box bypassing the meter.

  8. anna
    January 2, 2018 at 6:21 am

    reset your modem - it wipes out the data usage -

    • Phillip Welch
      February 3, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      How so?

    • Shadow D
      July 15, 2018 at 3:33 am

      Far from the truth, sadly.

  9. Julie
    August 26, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Starting this October, Cox in Phoenix will begin charging customers for going over the 1TB limit ($10 per 50GB with a max of $100 per month). Cox is now offering an unlimited data plan for $50 extra/month and a 550GB additional data plan for $30 extra/month. While I understand the pay as you go pricing model and the fact that the more users the more congested and slower the system becomes; it will be my teenagers who will have to spilt the extra cost for the increased data plan. They of course, see this as extremely unfair as they pay quite a bit of money for their games as it is (and mom and dad already pay the $90 month for internet); they also have to pay for their gaming accounts as well, so they feel like they are paying double! When Cox announced the new pricing model a couple of months ago, we tracked our usage for two months; we also referred to the data usage meter to view amount of data used on a daily and monthly basis. Our results showed that just using the internet, emailing, streaming videos via Netflix, YouTube, etc. kept our usage between 10 and 35GB per day. However, if the kids (2 teenage boys) downloaded a game, movie, or used broadcasting during gaming, it consumed between 30-80 additional GB each time. I am wondering if like the gaming industry, where on the back of the game case or in an online description for items from Steam, Twitch, etc. it lists the amount of GB it will take to download, if it Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. will also begin informing users how many GB it will take to watch movies, shows, etc. That will become important so consumers are aware how much GB each of their activities will use. The skeptical side of me does think this is a revenue driven decision and if that is so, the market demand will correct that in time; the question is how long will it take.

    • Guy Dessureault
      January 6, 2018 at 7:42 am

      Yep my teenagers managed to reach 800 GB on my phone that was tethered for them to use God I don’t know how but they managed it

  10. Katlyn
    June 30, 2017 at 4:34 am

    What a lazy article... How to avoid ISP data caps?? Just compress your web browsing silly.

    Yeah because anyone hitting a cap of 300gb plus is really doing it through web-browsing. They just have 10,000 tabs open at all times, and they are constantly refreshing.

    • Ray
      July 28, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      Exactly.. Read through the article just to find out "Browser compression." People are streaming like crazy these days but not just through browsers, but TV. Netflix, Prime, PS Vue etc.. FK.

    • Hirak Ray
      September 16, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      Stop downloading porn.

      • Jack
        September 4, 2018 at 1:23 am

        good one!

    • Shadow D
      July 15, 2018 at 3:36 am

      Or they're backing up their data in the cloud, which is best practice for people looking to keep their data safe and intact. A family of average tech savy can easily amass over a terabyte of data. Most families I do consulting work for have closer to 5 TB of data - mostly photos and videos. A 1 TB data cap makes it a bit tough to get all that data backed up in the cloud, especially when trying to run the backup alongside your family's normal use, and you've got three adolescents in that family.

  11. Clive Owen
    April 28, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Nobody sign internet petitions; i did like 3 years ago... i'm still getting spammed with increasingly stupidier shit (I made a new email it got so bad; just gotta transition to it)

    secondly everything in this stupid country is about money. Soulless companies run by greasy drug addicts. ISPs, Phone companies, pretty much any company that sells expensive shit (computers, vehicles, perscription drugs)

    They don't give a shit about the consumer. The consumer is only a number to those horrible people and as soon as their product kills someone; the consumer becomes a statistic. "How can we make this look like it's the 25,000 dead's fault?"

    Its only gonna get worse :) before it eventually turns to communist and we all consume eachother alive because by that point all the soul and individuality will have been drained from the majority of people. Getting used to having ur face pushed further and further towards the ground gets you pretty prepared to have a face full of mud; yall deserve it.

    • Dann Albright
      May 13, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      Where did you sign the petition? I've signed a few over the past few years and haven't had any spam; just a few newsletters I was able to cancel.

  12. siegfried
    April 17, 2017 at 9:58 am

    when you read an article online in mobile or desktop,
    when the article loads up-- turn off the internet!
    that's one way.
    on android phones, disable auto update of apps in google play store.

    2 weeks capped by globe telecom,
    from the Philippines :(
    plan 1299

    • Dann Albright
      April 22, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      That's an interesting idea! I can see how it would save you from getting capped, but it would also be really annoying. Have you tried running Opera Turbo? That might help a lot.

  13. Cathrine Eich
    April 8, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    This is nice website, i like it very much!

  14. RW Ray
    January 30, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    I have been a Comcast Xfinity X1 customer for almost a year and a half, ever since moving into the area I now reside. In November, the Xfinity services added Netflix to my Cable Box, allowing me to select movies on Netflix just as I would for any other On Demand movie or television program. Additionally, I have the option to go directly to Netflix on my cable box and find and watch programming there. This month, with all the hack that has been on regular TV and in getting ready for the season premiers of several favorite shows on the networks, my wife and I have been binging a lot of Netflix programming. So it was just this month that I found out that my services ended up with a data cap. The kicker? The data cap was instituted concurrently with the addition of the ability to access Netflix through On Demand and the Cable Receiver. Talk about deceptive practices, this one takes the freaking cake!

    • Dann Albright
      February 6, 2017 at 6:51 pm

      That's brutal! Really sorry to hear that you had to deal with that. Not surprising, though. Cable companies will definitely try to pull that stuff. And Comcast doesn't exactly have a great reputation.

  15. Bubbadoo
    January 21, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    T-Mobile One plan is probably the worst contender for Data Cap, in the fact that it pretty much lies about its existence until you are under the plan. Should have looked into the plan more, now I am stuck in a contract I can't afford to break out of. v~v

    I live out in the middle of nowhere, outskirts of a small town in Arizona. So far away I am off the grid, not my choice and not my kind of living but had to go where family went. (18, but I don't drive.) It was either this or HughesNet, and that is several levels of awful. Anyways, getting past the tethering limit of ~60 kilobytes a second, I get like 200 KB/s on a good day. It's enough that I am able to play some things, but what really is awful is the tiny cap of 28 gigs on this 'unlimited' plan. They say that going over will only slow you down if there is bad congestion, but that seems like a blatant lie. We are actually rather close to the tower, and considering being around a really small town, but once the cap is hit the internet is slowed down so badly that I can't even connect to anything, at least in the middle of the night I can occasionally get like a few kilobytes of speed coming in, but other than that, the internet is essentially cut off.

    • Dann Albright
      February 6, 2017 at 6:51 pm

      I don't know much about T-Mobile's plan, but that sounds pretty deceptive. I hope you can find a better solution soon!

  16. Sean
    January 4, 2017 at 5:39 am

    In my area I am stuck with Shentel which for $199.95 offers a max of 101 Mbps with a 1 Terabyte limit before overage charges or $10 for every 50 Mbps. Just 2.2 miles up the road Suddenlink is available for $79.99 with a max of 150 Mbps with no data limit. Two miles apart and the faster unlimited internet cost $120 less. How can this be legal.

    • Dann Albright
      January 18, 2017 at 11:33 pm

      That's rough! Sorry to hear that . . . especially when there's nothing you can do about it. I feel your pain.

  17. John Amos
    November 16, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I have a 200 GB data cap which isn't really enough when all i use it for is online gaming and the funny thing they are calling it "UNLIMITED INTERNET WITH ABSOLUTELY NO DATA CAPS" i call that false advertising.

    • Dann Albright
      November 28, 2016 at 2:45 am

      Yeah, it seems like a lot of companies get away with that somehow. It's possible that "data cap" is defined differently by different groups. That's my best guess, anyway.

    • Jack
      September 4, 2018 at 1:26 am

      You live in the US? Sue!

  18. Robin
    September 25, 2016 at 4:11 am

    In my country, Curacao; i pay about u.s.$ 60 a month for 50mbps up and 20mbps down, and sometimes i use more than 300 gb in a month.
    No caps, and no throthling.
    Only downside is that on peak hours your speed may slow down to about 35 to 30mbps.

    • Dann Albright
      October 21, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      The US is way behind a lot of the rest of the world when it comes to internet services, and data caps are one of the places where that's obvious. Glad to hear you don't have any problems with them! Seems like you have a pretty good deal there.

  19. Shiben Chakravorty
    August 18, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    I have 45gb data cap that that just isn't enough for me -_-

    • Dann Albright
      August 21, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      Do you do a lot of streaming or torrenting? Is that what's using a lot of data?

      • Shiben Chakravorty
        August 21, 2016 at 4:25 pm

        Youtube streaming, not torrenting. I download a lot of games off steam. I recently purchased BF4(from origin in a steal deal!) but I can't download it cause my cap is over (1 mbps is not good for d-ling) and I have to wait for this month to end.

        • Dann Albright
          August 31, 2016 at 6:17 pm

          Yeah, YouTube streaming will do that. Sorry that you can't download the game; that's rough!

    • Ralph Chastain
      January 1, 2020 at 5:36 am

      Turn down the resolution on Youtube. Like, if you are using 1080p change it to 240p. It helps a bit. Trust me.

  20. Anonymous
    August 15, 2016 at 3:32 am

    I had unlimited internet in Alabama a state that is poor why are richer states monopolizing this industry and limiting our data usage?

    • Dann Albright
      August 16, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      You say you "had" unlimited internet . . . when was that? It could have more to do with the time than the state.

  21. cosmo
    July 28, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    I have a cap of 7.5GB a month. It seriously sucks. African internet is shit.

    • Dann Albright
      August 16, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      Yeah, that's pretty low . . . Africa isn't exactly known for its technical infrastructure, though, so I guess it's not hugely surprising!

  22. sdag
    July 2, 2016 at 8:43 am

    "ranging from 10 MB up to over 10 GB."

    This doesn't mean shit? Up to over? This just means 10MB or more. Why even bother writing 10GB?

    • Dann Albright
      August 16, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      'Cause writing "ranging from 10MB up to a lot more than that" doesn't sound very good.

  23. lordmogul
    June 30, 2016 at 8:44 am

    I'm between 550 and 800 GB on my downstream and 40-60 GB on my upstream per month and can just be happy that they only have a speed cap and not a volume limit.

    • Dann Albright
      August 16, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Yeah, that's fortunate! That's a lot of downloading.

      • Wetware
        November 24, 2016 at 7:05 pm

        That's not that bad anymore! I have a well connected house with 3 pc's, 3 roku's, tablets, phones etc... 3 kids and 2 adults. Comcast says i hit on avg. 1500GB a month. Before youa sk, no. No torrenting is going on either.

        • Dann Albright
          November 28, 2016 at 2:26 am

          Wow; 1500GB is a lot of data. I have no idea what I use, but now I need to find out. :-)

  24. kajksdj
    June 18, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    its kill zone

  25. Natasha
    June 6, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Living on blm land, where area can only use satellite.
    For me and my boyfriend, both work online, it's been a very stressful situation as we basically can't go anywhere, since we live in the middle of no where, while the cap limits our accessibility to the put side world.
    An other helpless feeling while the world struggle to contend it's shallow greed.

    • Dann Albright
      June 13, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      Yeah, that sounds rough. Satellite has never been a great way to go, but if it's your only option, I guess you just have to deal with it! How high is your cap out there?

  26. Steve Larkin
    February 6, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Hit my DC last month. Haphazardly leaving Youtube series of videos playing and falling asleep while watching it was my downfall. Really never had a problem with watching Netflix movies here and there, but if you go on a "Binge" and watch a series of shows on Netflix, you can easily hit your Data Cap without knowing it.

    What's even worse - is that being in an area served by AT&T, there is no available U-Verse services available, and I am forced to pay for higher tier DSL service which for the most part, has been good enough downstream speed at about 5.5mbps. However AT&T UNFAIRLY caps DSL users at 150gb whereas U-Verse subscribers get a 250gb cap.

    Unlike a Utility company, ISP's do not show actual usage on their bills. In my case, it was an extra ding of 20 bucks! For every 50gb over your cap, its 10 extra bucks for that month. Bills include NO usage amounts, statistics or the like compared to say a Gas or Electric Bill, and show no historical data usages either!

    Since the FCC has now recently re-classified ISP's as Telecom's perhaps more can be done to at least regulate and give local Commerce Commissions which regulate utilities will have more say so and teeth on Data Caps. AT&T's argument is that it costs more because neighbors and others connected to a "Circuit" can slow down connection speeds.

    And just how do I know I'm not PAYING for my neighbor's usage then! I know, that's not really relevant for this discussion, but if ISP's are going to be a "Metered" service, isn't it just fair that you only pay for what you use then? PER GIGABYTE instead of Over X Megabytes?

    • Dann Albright
      February 9, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      Ah yeah, I can see how leaving YouTube videos running might put you over your data cap! Still, that's ridiculous. I'm sure you're paying way too much for your service already (like everyone else is), so an extra $20 is just a kick in the ass.

      I hope you're right about ISPs' reclassification helping ease some of these issues. My cell phone provider doesn't give me stats about usage after the month is over (so you have to check it on the last of the month if you want to know how much you used), and that can be really frustrating. These seem like pretty basic services that companies should be offering.

      As for paying for service based on the number of gigabytes that you use . . . I have no idea if that would work well or not! I've never really thought about it. As long as the prices were reasonable, I guess it makes sense. I can't think of any significant problems with it off the top of my head, but I'll have to give it some more thought.

      Thanks for giving me lots of things to think about! :-)

      • Shadow D
        July 15, 2018 at 3:41 am

        I have to disagree. I think paying per GB would be a terrible idea. For one, you know for damn sure the prices would not be reasonable. Two, we need to get this notion that data is a limited resource (it's NOT), and it being treated as such, out of the heads of the ISPs, and then into the heads of consumers. Internet is a damn right, not a privilege.

    • Peluca
      March 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      Yet you don't complaint when you go to a bar and spend $50 in beer, do you?

      • money
        May 29, 2016 at 8:09 pm

        moron - learn logic

      • money
        May 29, 2016 at 8:11 pm

        drink $50 in turpentine please

      • Dercas
        June 26, 2016 at 4:09 am

        Bars are stupid places. The only bar I have ever been to is the VFW, and even then the drink prices are stupid. Get a couple cases and invite some friends ( if they're friends, they'll chip in).

        The best part about that is that no one needs to drive anywhere. If no one is driving under the influence, then no one can be killed by a drunk driver. Nuff said.

  27. Ahzi
    December 30, 2015 at 12:43 am

    Almost lost my work at home job because of caps. Subscribed to PlayStation vue as an alternate to cable and got hit with a throttle for a cap I didn't even know about and was unable to work for days until my ISP listed the throttle. Now I have to get cable and they're the only provider here.

    Hm. Seems like they're doing it like this on purpose.

    • Dann Albright
      January 2, 2016 at 2:02 am

      Ouch; that's a bad situation. Data caps are infuriating, and I would say that they're definitely doing these things on purpose. When I lived in the UK, there was a lot more competition between ISPs, and as far as I can tell, these issues aren't as bad. I wish we'd move to a model like that in the US sometime, but sharing or nationalizing cable infrastructure seems awfully unlikely. Hopefully customer pushback will prove effective in the future!

    • Tenderfoot
      June 7, 2017 at 3:04 am

      If you have Playstation VUE now, you can enable a "Quality" Setting and also a Data Monitor Feature that will alert you when you have used XXX amount of Data. Several different Quality Settings are available and work pretty well, particularly if you are watching an older 720p Small Screen size TV and really don't need the super duper high definition picture just to "listen" to the morning news while you are reading the paper and drinking your coffee...

      Check it out, it works pretty well and definitely will save you a substantial amount of "Data" usage each month.

  28. Anonymous
    November 2, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I never run into data issues (ISP) as I have unlimited data :-)

    • Anonymous
      November 2, 2015 at 8:59 am

      Although I have a 300mb limit on mobile data :-(

      • Anonymous
        November 2, 2015 at 8:59 am

        Just in case anybody asks, I use TalkTalk on both.

      • Dann Albright
        November 6, 2015 at 5:17 pm

        300MB on mobile? That's not very much—I'd go through that really fast. Are you almost always on wifi?

  29. Anonymous
    October 31, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    I ran into data issues last month. Since I'm on a family plan (and now we've added my aunt) my dad was nuts about it. We had one week left in the month and he was obsessed with how much data we used to make sure we didn't go over the limit (he kept checking and asking mei f this or that used data). It was a combination of doing more traveling than usual and watching videos with the wi-fi unknowingly shut-off. I just have to be mindful the wi-fi is on when it's supposed to be on. With the traveling my parents used the GPS a lot and that really cuts into data. You have to be careful about what apps you use when you are on data.

    • Dann Albright
      November 6, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      Yeah, I've definitely forgotten to turn my wifi back on before, and that can result in a lot of data that you don't think about. Especially with videos! It's really a pain to have to watch your data carefully—there are a lot of apps that will use it that you don't think about. Hopefully this article helps you avoid that issue in the future!

      Thanks for reading!