Your Guide to Internet Data Caps
We’ve all been there—one minute you’re invested in a movie, and the next minute you hit a dreaded buffering screen that doesn’t seem to let up. While some might blame their router or the weather, a less commonly known perpetrator is the data cap.
Data caps may appear to be complicated technical jargon, but they’re far simpler to understand than you might expect. Though Kinetic by Windstream has no data caps, we understand that this guide may be helpful for more than just Windstream customers. If you want to get the most out of any internet package, it’s essential to understand these caps to know how your provider might change your speed or monthly bill.
Before you sign on the dotted line for your internet plan, let us demystify data caps.
What are Data Caps?
Data caps, also known as bandwidth caps, limit the total amount of data you can use monthly. Your individual data usage is part of the provider’s bandwidth (the total volume of data your internet service provider can transfer at any given time). Technically, your data is being capped, not the bandwidth, but because your data usage is a piece of the company’s larger bandwidth total, the terms “data cap” and “bandwidth cap” are often used interchangeably.
The goal of a data cap is to discourage users from overrunning the provider’s bandwidth. Many argue that data caps are necessary to keep bandwidth from getting bogged down. Still, others believe they are unnecessary and bandwidth issues can be resolved without institutionalizing overage fees and reduced speeds.
The amount of data you’re able to use monthly is determined by your internet service provider, and if you use more data than allotted, you might incur an overage fee. Additionally, if you hit your monthly data limit, you’ll likely experience slower speeds until your next billing cycle.
Why is this important? When it comes to your home and business internet, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck. That means quality internet at a reasonable price without having to compromise features and reliability. If you overlook a provider’s data cap thinking you’re getting unlimited data at a low price, you may be in for a rude awakening when your internet slows down and your bill skyrockets.
Every internet service provider has its own policies on data caps and, fortunately for you, many are trending toward eliminating them altogether.