Tuesday, November 22, 2011

10 Ways to Maximize Bandwidth Caps on Your ISP

"Bandwidth caps have quickly become the norm among internet service providers, and despite their assurances that such usage restrictions would only affect a few heavy users, it’s no secret that bandwidth can evaporate pretty quickly even with average use.  Video streaming, gaming, and families of users can go through quite a few gig in a relatively short period – short enough to warrant a warning, if not a surcharge, from their ISP.  So it would be useful to know some tips on how to make the most of your allowance. Here are ten ways that you can take smaller bites out of your allotted bytes:
  1. Do a Background Check – No, we don’t mean hiring a PI to dig up dirt on the CEO of your ISP. We’re talking about programs or applications that run on your device whenever it’s online. You can monitor for unnecessary drains on your resources by downloading TCP Eye.
  2. Pass on the Auto Updates – Many programs will install with user-selectable update options. Use these opportunities to save bandwidth by de-selecting automatic updates. You can get the updates manually later on.
  3. Block Ads – Apart from just being annoying, those pop-up ads take up bandwidth. Download ad blocking software so you can make better use of it.
  4. Savings in a Flash – Some websites make use of Flash to stream videos automatically when visiting certain pages. Make sure you don’t have Flash set to run automatically. There are also flash ad blocking add-ons available for multiple browsers and platforms.
  5. Cache Savings – You can set your browser to cache images, and even select the amount of memory to set aside for the task. This will allow you to retrieve stored web pages from your device’s memory rather than the web, and thereby saving you more bandwidth.
  6. External Drive – You definitely need multiple back-ups of your important files in case of a crash, damage to, or theft of, your device. We recommend making use of an external drive source in favor of online storage when bandwidth is a concern.
  7. Choose Wisely – Regarding those files that you do choose to backup online, you may want to be more selective about what needs safeguarding and what can simply do with a disk copy.
  8. Change Your Resolution  –  Video far and away represents the largest slice of the average internet user’s bandwidth pie. If you can’t do with less video, maybe you can get by with a little less quality in your videos via a lower resolutions setting.
  9. Apply Compression – As a First Aid measure for saving bandwidth, this treatment can be a life-saver. Download image optimizing software that allows you to send photos in a compressed format.
  10. You’ve Got Mail Issues – Specifically: forwards, attachments, image loading – all of which can add up. Screen your inbox and only open those forwards that you really need to, and only those attachments that aren’t likely to be lolcatz; set your mail client to not load images automatically. You’ll thank us later."

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