Managing your monthly DSL bandwidth usage
At one time NCF provided its DSL members with 350 GB per month of bandwidth, which you could use to upload or download internet content. In May 2016 NCF started offering unlimited bandwidth to members for an extra fee. As of May 2017, all NCF DSL accounts now include unlimited bandwidth at no extra charge.
These instructions were originally provided when NCF accounts had limited data caps as a way of assisting members to control data use, but are still useful in helping NCF run more smoothly and not run out of capacity during peak hours.
Set your video resolution
By far the biggest consumption of internet bandwidth these days is video and especially streaming movie services, like Netflix.
Most video streaming services offer a variety of resolutions, but they set the highest definition as the default, meaning if you don't change the settings you get the highest resolution.
Super HD may be needed on your wide-screen TV, but it doesn't appreciably improve your viewing on a phone, tablet or small laptop; it just uses more bandwith. Trying lowering the resolution in the "settings menu" and you will get faster downloads and avoid creating internet congestion as well.
You can set the profile "Playback Settings", but only when a profile is not designated "kid", since a kid profile cannot access the "My Account" feature. To change settings on a kid profile you would have to first make it adult, set the playback preference then switch it back.
Netflix settings offered are:
- Low (basic video quality, up to 0.3 GB per hour)
- Medium (standard video quality, up to 0.7 GB per hour)
- High (best video quality, up to 3 GB per hour for HD, 7 GB per hour for Ultra HD)
Plan your downloads
Although most people seem to want to watch movies in the evenings during prime time, there are many high-bandwidth uses that can be done at other times. Got a big operating system update, ISO to retrieve or large cloud storage synch? Why not run it in the morning when you get up, instead of in the evening?
There are a number of tools that allow you to download videos in advance and watch them later, such as Youtube-dl a simple command line downloader for Linux, Mac and Windows.
With a bit of planning you will get faster speeds and no one will run into evening internet congestion.
Managing your bandwidth usage
How much are you using? As an NCF member that is easy to figure out. Each member has a DSL use page that lets you know how much bandwidth you have used each day in the last month and how much in each month, too, including how much "free" bandwidth.