Best of 2017: 5 Tips to Help You Stay Under Your Data Cap




Couple watching videos on a laptop at home

As 2017 comes to an end I wanted to a moment to share a few of our best tips and tricks from 2017. Today we take a look at how to stay under your data cap. So please enjoy one of my favorite tips from 2017:

Data caps have often been called an attack on cord cutters; however, don’t let them scare you away from becoming a cord cutter. You can be a cord cutter even if your Internet service provider (ISP) has a data cap.

When my family became cord cutters we had a data cap from our DSL provider of just 250GB a month. We successfully stayed under that cap by using the following tips.

#1 Turn Off Auto Play

Auto Play is a great feature to just kick back, clean the house, and have the TV play your favorite show; however, it can also be a great way to burn through data. Many streaming players such as Roku and the Fire TV will just keep playing even if you do not have the TV turned on.

Netflix will play three episodes and Amazon Video will play 6 episodes before asking if you are still watching. If you fall asleep during the first episode you could easily burn through an hour of date with Netflix or maybe 5 hours of data with Amazon Video. With HD video consuming anywhere from 3 to 5 GB an hour that could easily burn 25GB of data.

If you fall asleep just four times a month as you stream that is 100GB of data wasted, so make sure to turn off Auto Play for all your streaming services.

#2 Try SD Video

We often want to get everything in HD, but you should consider trying SD video. SD streaming uses a fraction of the data of HD—often less than a GB an hour.

When my daughter wants to watch cartoons we stream them in SD. You will be shocked at how great SD video can look with cartoons. Also older shows not originally shot in HD can look just fine in SD, saving you a ton of data.

#3 Download Shows You Rewatch

My daughter is addicted to “Mickey Mouse Club House” right now. Shows like this are a great example of something you can download to save data. You can purchase a season of the show on Amazon and download it to a tablet because the Amazon Video app now allows downloading on Android, iOS, and Fire Tablets.

This allows my daughter to rewatch the same episodes over and over again without it eating into our data cap. The best part is you still have access to the TV as your kids watch their shows.

#4 Antenna

If you can get your locals with an antenna that is the best way to stay under your data cap. Well, your favorite streaming service may offer locals it can really add up. By watching a few shows a month with an antenna vs a streaming service you can save a lot of data.

#5 DVR

If you have an antenna consider getting a DVR. This will help you build a catalog of great content that you do not have to stream. Saving you possibly hundreds of GB of data every month.

You will be surprised at how you can cut the amount of data you use every month just by trying one or all three of these tips.

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