We've got some great tips to help you stay in control of your broadband usage - simply select a link below and we'll take you to the information you need:
Help me lower my usage
Here are some tips to help you stay in control of your broadband usage:
- Use the broadband usage checker regularly, to keep an eye on your usage.
- With BT Business Broadband you get free unlimited BT Wi-fi, so make sure you use this whenever you can as this doesn’t count towards your limit. Find out how to set up wi-fi.
- Turn off images when you surf. In Internet Explorer, click ‘Tools’, then ‘Internet Options’, then the 'Advanced' tab, and scroll down the list to Multimedia. Here, uncheck the 'Show pictures' box and the ‘Play animations in webpages' box. The procedure is similar in all browsers.
- Turn off automatic updates. Many programs will automatically check for updates and download new software. Turn this functionality off. But remember to turn this back on when you have the bandwidth to do so.
- Use webmail – the web based version of your email program. You can choose not to download any large attachments when out of the office, thereby reducing your data usage.
- Unsecured wireless connection - If you have a wireless router you should have some sort of security enabled (at the very least WEP, also known as Wireless Encryption Protocol), and you should have the router's SSID (Service Set Identifier) broadcast switched off. These two actions should stop anyone (barring the more determined type of hijacker) from using your wireless network. If there are stronger forms of security available on your router, such as WPA or WPA2 (which are versions of the Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol), then you should use these making sure you have strong encryption key.
- Viruses/Spyware - If there are any viruses or spyware on your device, then these could be doing things like downloading or uploading files, sending out emails, or any manner of nefarious things without you even realising it. Install, update and run an anti-virus and anti-spyware program, like BT PC Security, and a firewall as well, to try and stop these from getting in or out.
- Online Video and Audio services - There are many sites that now offer streaming of audio and video, and they can use loads of data, even at lower quality settings. It's possible for a Youtube video of just two or three minutes to rack up 50 or more megabytes if it's of a decent resolution.
- Peer to Peer/File sharing - If you use file sharing software it could be transmitting far more data than any files you download. Files set for sharing will be downloaded from your machine and count as upload on your system - there are some programs that aren’t exactly for file sharing, but might still use a type of file sharing and may affect your usage.
- Mobile devices - Devices such as mobile phones, and game consoles like the Xbox and Sony PSP have wireless connectivity. Using these devices on your connection will count towards your limit just like a computer would.
- Servers - Do you have a server set up? Is this set to only download information when the users request it, or does it automatically update certain sites at various times? If there is any kind of automatic update running then there may be large amounts of data being downloaded without you doing anything.
- Online Backup Services - Do you use any of these? For example BT Business has one called BT PC Backup, and there are others like Carbonite. These can be set to back up your system automatically and, depending on what changes have been made to your system recently, may have to upload large amounts of data.
- CCTV systems/Webcams - Do you use any kind of camera system? This can generate large amounts of data if it's sent off site. The resolution of any images and how often they are taken, and quality settings of videos, can really increase the amount of data used.
- The increasing size and complexity of websites - As the internet has evolved and speeded up, websites have become larger and more complicated. They have also changed the way they deliver things like adverts, and use much more background scripting than ever before. Adverts used to be a few lines of text, but then became pictures. Now websites have the ability to display videos, and video will always use much more data than any other form of traffic. If you have problems with scripts and advertising there are browser add-ons like Adblock Plus and Noscript, which are designed to block scripts on websites, which most advertising uses.
Also, keep in mind that routers will work while the computer they are connected to is switched off. This means that even if all your computers are turned off someone could still connect to the router and use your broadband.
Charges for exceeding my allowance
If you go over your monthly allowance, you can still continue to use your broadband service but we will charge you for any extra usage. You can find out what these costs from the BT Price List.
If you're struggling to manage your usage on a regular basis, even after following our tips to help cut your usage, maybe you should consider upgrading your broadband service.
Is my broadband product the right one for me?
If you're managing to stay within your limit or you're having the odd blip, you're probably happy with your current broadband product.
But, why limit yourself and your business? You could be enjoying the freedom of a bigger allowance or even an unlimited broadband service - you might even be able to go superfast! So check out our broadband and internet products now for some great deals.
If you want to check the usage on your home line see Using the broadband data usage monitor.