I’ve increased the plan”, speed and downloads, I’m on for the internet but I’m still hitting my download limit,” Is something wrong happening?

Most internet service providers ISP’s have a page on their website where you can find out how much you have downloaded”, or how much bandwidth you have used. This is a good place to find out what you have used.

Peak Problems 

There are a few things you should look at before we go much further. Most providers have "On Peak" and "Off Peak" allowances. This involves breaking up your total bandwidth over different periods of the day. While times will change from ISP to ISP, in most cases "Off Peak" is from midnight till 8am, while"On Peak" is the rest of the day.

The reason for this system is due to the amount of people using the internet is greater during the day and in the evening, while most internet connections are unused overnight.

Up and Down

Most ISP’s in Australia count both your uploads and downloads towards your monthly allocation. While all you might do on the internet is read a few websites and send some emails, everything you do involves you sending data to websites.

If you are downloading things using peer to peer networks, like Limewire, Kazaa or BitTorrent you are forced to send some of the files you are downloading to other people, increasing the amount of data you upload each month. 

Speed to download ratio

If as part of your increase in the price of your plan, you also increase the speed you are being given, you have to look at how fast your downloads will be. 

As a rough guide, if you are doubling your download speed, from 256kb/s to 512kb/s, and you are already hitting your download limit, you should try and get a plan that has at least 3 times the amount of downloads due to the speed you will get files sent to you.

If you are tripling your download speed, from 512kb/s to 1.5Mb/s you should try and increase your downloads by 4 to 5 times. While in the first few months you might not use all of the download size allocated to you, eventually you might end up hitting a low barrier.

As you can see the higher your increase in speed the larger the jump in the downloads you will have to get due to the speed you will be downloading the data at.

Other things to look out for 

While you can download usage meters for your computer to keep track of what you use, if you have more than one computer, including a games console, you will find it very hard to keep track of what you actually use. 

You should also check all your computers for viruses and spyware to make sure they are not using your internet connection to send out anything they shouldn’t.

Also be away that hackers are always looking for computers they can practice on. While I do recommend a router, or at least a software firewall, like Comodo Personal Firewall, they are still using part of your bandwidth seeing if they can hack into your computer,” Plus your ISP will quite often "Ping" your connection for quality control as well as other procedures. 

By Matthew