How to i gauge likely internet data usage?

Dear Fellow Nerds,

My new home has internet service available from one provider with sucky download speeds, and one provider with monthly data cap. I’ve never had to put up with a cap, so I have no freakin’ idea how high my usage is likely to go.

Does it seem likely I’d exceed 600G/month limit with several hours of online gaming per day + the occasional Netflix show? By “occasional” I mean 2-4 hours/month.

My perception is that MMO’s are pretty bandwidth thrifty most of the time, and I’m not much of a TV watcher, so I’m thinking I should be fine most months. They also have a 900G plan, but that seems quite excessive for a one woman household with minimal streaming.

I run off AT&T Fixed wireless and we are allotted about 450 Gb per month. We don’t have cable, stream all of our TV watching, including local channels through Direct TV now, Netflix, and Amazon prime. Constantly stream music through Amazon prime music, 3 tablets, and 1 computer for gaming and internet surfing. We use about 475 Gb per month (pay $10 for an extra 50 Gb). And that’s with downloading 1 to 2 games per month on Steam. I think 600 should be more than enough.

You’ll be fine with 600. Call it 12GB that you’ll use for streaming, and MMO’s measure their data use in MB/hr., not GB. So you’re good there. The only wildcard is game downloads and patches.

I have tv streaming like 10 hours a day, two computers, two phones, and most months we didn’t go over our 300 gig cap. We have since switched to an unlimited plan so I don’t even know what we’re using these days lol!

Mine went a bit crazy since my TV went 4k, last month I managed 1760 GB just as well its unlimited lol

I have a cap of 100 GB per month, only time I hit that is if I start watching shows or movies almost daily on Amazon and the quality is set to best. Online game play uses little data, you’ll likely use more data updating the game then you do playing and even major expansions to the game tend to only be around 2 GB.

Thanks very much, folks. You’ve put my mind at ease.

See if your router has options to keep track of total used bandwidth.

If you want to get even more spiffy and in depth, this is really nice:

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Thanks, @Splutty. That’s a pretty cool little tool. I probably don’t need such a thing, but it very much appeals to my inner geek, so I’ll have to check it out!

There’s no such thing as “Too much information”. Well. Not with geeky things anyway!


What happen when you hit the cap? Do they charge you for overage or do they cut you off? You could inquire if they have an unlimited monthly surcharge. 600GB is decent, so see how it goes.

They just charge you extra, similar to what @Bigred said in his post. If you go over the cap N months in a row (N=2 or 3, I forget), they automatically roll you into the next higher and more expensive plan.

Yes, you’ll be fine.