Managing your monthly DSL bandwidth usage
Currently NCF provides its DSL members with 350 GB per month of bandwidth, which you can use to upload or download internet content. In May 2016 NCF also started offering unlimited bandwidth to members for an extra fee. As of May 2017, NCF offered all speed as Unlimited, for no extra charge.
For members not on unlimited bandwidth any use between 0200-1200 hrs (2 am and noon) does not count towards your monthly total, giving you unlimited bandwidth between those hours every day. This is to encourage members to make use of the "pipeline capacity" during off-peak hours.
350 GiB per month is a lot of bandwidth and most households never come near that volume of internet traffic. But to ensure you don't run over your limit and also to help NCF run more smoothly and not run out of capacity during peak hours, there are a number of simple things you can do.
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 eats up your bandwith. Trying lowering the resolution in the "settings menu" and you will get faster downloads, have more bandwidth left for later in the month and avoid creating 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 during the free period from 0200-1200 hrs (2 am and noon) daily. 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:
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.