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Understanding internet data caps and which providers have no data cap internet

BY Samantha Cossick | Thu Jan 10, 2019
Understanding internet data caps and which providers have no data cap internet

You’re streaming, surfing and downloading to your heart’s content until… Oh no, what is that? You’re about to hit your internet data cap. It’s not uncommon for providers to have data caps on home internet, but it can be confusing. If you’re not sure which internet service providers have data caps, how much going over your data may cost or how to get no data cap internet, then you’re in the right place.

Internet data caps by provider

ProviderData cap rangesMonthly overage costsConnection type
AT&T1 TB to Unlimited
$10 per additional 50 GBDSL, Fiber
Buckeye Broadband10 GB, 250 GB or unlimited$15 per additional 50 GBCable
CenturyLink1 TBNoneDSL, Fiber
Cox1 TB$10 per additional 50 GBCable, Fiber
FrontierUnlimitedNoneDSL, FTTN, Fiber
HughesNet10 to 50 GBNoneSatellite
MCTVUnlimitedNoneCable
Mediacom400 to 6,000 GB$10 per additional 50 GBCable, Fiber
OptimumUnlimitedNoneCable
Shentel250 GB to 1 TB$10 per additional 50 GBCable
SpectrumUnlimitedNoneCable
Suddenlink250 GB to Unlimited$15 per additional 50 GBCable, Fiber
Verizon FiosUnlimitedNoneFiber
WindstreamUnlimitedNoneDSL, Fiber
XFINITY1 TB$10 per additional 50 GBCable
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Speeds may vary. As of 01/08/19.

 

Many providers offer options to pre-purchase additional data if you know you’re going to use a lot for the month or add unlimited data to your plan. For instance, if your Buckeye data usage is going to be high one month, you can pre-purchase an additional 150 GB of data for $15 — same price as the overage fee, but triple the data.

Brands, like AT&T, which already offers 1 TB internet, offer options to add unlimited data on select plans for a monthly fee, while for others, like Spectrum, data caps just don’t exist. Some providers, like CenturyLink, don’t have fees for going over your data cap, but may discontinue your service if you habitually exceed your data limit.

What to know about internet data caps

Data caps are provider-imposed limits on the amount of data you’re able to transfer while completing activities online. The amount of data you use depends on your online activities.

For instance, sending and receiving emails may only use a few megabytes of data whereas streaming one hour of TV or movies in HD on Netflix uses up to 3 GB of data. Imposing data caps or throttling your internet use is an internet service provider’s way of discouraging excessive use and taxing their bandwidth.

However, as interest in streaming services continues to grow, customers may think twice about which internet service provider they choose based on internet data limits.

According to Statista, the number of Netflix streaming subscribers in the U.S. has grown from 21.45 million in Q3 of 2011 to 58.46 in Q3 of 2018. In April of 2017, U.S. households spent an average of 81 hours streaming DIRECTV NOW, 29 hours streaming Hulu, 27 hours streaming Netflix and 17 hours streaming YouTube, Statista data found.

So, between multiple streaming sources, online gaming, shopping online and more, do you need to be concerned about going over a 1 TB internet data cap? Probably not.

Consumer Reports estimated in 2016 that “You could watch every episode from all four seasons of “House of Cards” — 52 hours in all — in 4K resolution in one month and barely crack the halfway mark of your data cap.”

If you are still concerned that your Netflix binges may send you over a data cap, you can follow our tips on managing household data consumption, or take a look at which providers have internet data caps or offer no data cap internet.

Which providers have internet data caps?

The following providers have varying data caps on their internet plans:

 

Which providers have internet without data caps?

You can get no data cap internet from the following providers:

 

Which providers let you add unlimited data for an additional cost?

You can add unlimited data to select plans from the following providers:

 

Specific provider internet data cap details

Providers who do have data limits often give more data to plans with faster internet speeds. As mentioned above, some providers allow you to upgrade to unlimited data while others may discontinue your service and still others may give your “courtesy months” with notices, but no data fees. Here’s what you need to know…

AT&T internet data caps

  • 1 TB internet data cap for most plans
  • Unlimited data for 1,000 Mbps plans or bundles
  • $10 per additional 50 GB of data
  • Add unlimited data for $30/mo.*

 

Buckeye Broadband internet data caps

  • 10 GB internet data cap for Starter plan
  • 250 GB internet data cap for Essential and Ultimate plans
  • Unlimited data for 1,000 Mbps plans
  • $15 per additional 50 GB of data
  • Add unlimited data for $30/mo.*

 

CenturyLink internet data caps

  • Customers who exceed data limits are subject to CenturyLink’s Excessive Use Policy
  • CenturyLink may discontinue service after 3 months of excessive use without following their notices or guidance

 

Cox internet data caps

  • 1 TB internet data cap for all plan
  • $10 per additional 50 GB of data
  • Add 500 GB additional data to base plan for $30/mo.*
  • Add unlimited data for $50/mo.*

 

Frontier internet data caps

  • No data caps or restrictions

 

HughesNet internet data caps

 

MCTV internet data caps

  • No data caps or restrictions

 

Mediacom internet data caps

  • 150 GB internet data cap for Launch plan
  • 250 GB internet data cap for Prime plan
  • 400 GB internet data cap for Internet 60 plan
  • 1,000 GB internet data cap for Internet 100 plan
  • 2,000 GB internet data cap for Internet 200 plan
  • 3,000 GB internet data cap for Ultra Plus 3T plan
  • 4,000 GB internet data cap for Internet 500 plan
  • 6,000 GB internet data cap for 1 Gig Internet plan
  • $10 per additional 50 GB of data
  • No option to add unlimited data

 

Optimum internet data caps

 

Shentel internet data caps

  • 250 GB internet data cap for 5 Mbps plan
  • 300 GB internet data cap for 10 Mbps plan
  • 400 GB internet data cap for 25 Mbps plan
  • 500 GB internet data cap for 50 Mbps plan
  • 750 GB internet data cap for 101 Mbps plan
  • 1 TB internet data cap for 150 Mbps plan
  • $10 per additional 50 GB of data
  • Add unlimited data for $30/mo.*

 

Spectrum internet data caps

  • No data caps or restrictions

 

Suddenlink internet data caps

  • 250 GB internet data cap for Internet 100 plan
  • Unlimited data for Internet 400 plan
  • Unlimited data for Internet 1 Gig plan
  • $15 per additional 50 GB of data
  • No option to add unlimited data

 

Verizon Fios internet data caps

  • No data caps or restrictions

 

Windstream internet data caps

  • No data caps or restrictions

 

XFINITY internet data caps

  • 1 TB internet data cap for most plans
  • Unlimited data for Gigabit Pro plans
  • $10 per additional 50 GB of data
  • Add unlimited data for $50/mo.*
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Speeds may vary. As of 01/08/19.

 

To cap or not to cap

If you’re still not sure whether or not a data cap may affect your online activities, give our internet experts a call. We can help you find the right plan for you!

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