Most broadband providers and ISPs [Internet Service Providers] manage their web traffic — by prioritizing, say, video over browsing – and change the rules during their peak time for downloads. Some of them may call it bandwidth cap and some may call it fair use policy (depending on your broadband plan) but let me tell you, it is just as frustrating as the other when you hit the cap!
The problem is that the way providers manage their connections and the times that they do it vary wildly. UK provider Virgin Media, for example, run peak time pretty much all the time, from 10 am – 3pm and 4pm – 9pm. But that doesn’t mean you have to keep pulling your hair out thanks to your broadband provider.
Follow These 5 Tips to Bypass Your ISP’s Bandwidth Traffic Management Policy
1. Switch Your Broadband Provider
Although it might seem obvious, switching broadband provider is often the exact thing people forget about. If you’ve got sick of having your connection throttled because you are downloading too much, then find a download friendly broadband provider.
Look out for companies such as Be Broadband in the UK who are well known for their generous approach to users of bandwidth hungry applications like Bittorrent.
2. Choose The Right Broadband Plan (Package)
If you are mostly happy with your broadband and don’t want to switch provider then why not consider switching which package you are on.
Many providers offer an add-on that you can use to increase your download limit but this won’t actually give you any more leeway when it comes to traffic management.
What you need to do is go for the big guns, anyone with Virgin Media for example should choose the 50Mb or 100Mb flagship broadband packages, you’ll be lifted out of traffic management faster than you can say: “fair use policy”.
3. Avoid Rush Hour Traffic
Another option which nearly all broadband providers advocate is to download any large files outside of peak hours – thus avoiding peak time download limits. Consider scheduling updates and the like for the middle of the day or late at night. And as a bonus, you can expect a faster broadband connection speed at these hours, as well.
If you are subject to a monthly download limit many providers, such as Plusnet offer unlimited downloads between midnight and 8am another good reason to schedule large file downloads.
4. Use a Bandwidth Monitor
Using a bandwidth monitor can help you ensure you stay within the strict limits set by your broadband provider for peak time use. This tip is particularly relevant for Virgin Media users who can check the exact limits allowed for its various broadband packages on the Virgin Media website.
5. Curb Your Habit
One final way to avoid traffic management permanently is to cut down your data use, but you don’t need to lose the things you love! Choosing a broadband bundle that includes both broadband and digital TV for example is a good way to lower your broadband data usage at peak times.
BBC iPlayer and other streaming sites are amazing but they’re also data hungry beasts. Many are available through a variety of set top boxes, meaning using them won’t affect your broadband allowances, plus you get to watch on your sofa rather than sat in front of your computer or laptop.
Guest Author: This is a guest article from Choose, a consumer site covering broadband in the UK including full reviews of providers like Plusnet and guides on topics such as where to get no contract broadband.