5 Tips to lower your broadband usage over internet – Avoid unnecessary downloads

shocking-bills If you have a high speed [or high bandwidth] broadband internet connection with limited download/upload usage then you must be worried about your internet bills. Often, we exceed our limits if we do not use any usage logging software like Networx.

Previously, we have talked about how to use Networx to manage your bandwidth, usage and Quota easily. Today, we are going to discuss how to lower the overall usage of data. These data includes some unnecessary downloads, occurring behind you, which causes unwanted high usage of your limited broadband. So, we shall learn how to find and stop these junks being downloaded…

#1: Conceptual issue: “When I surf, I don’t Download”


This is the biggest conceptual issue, carried my most newbie users… When we subscribe for a particular usage plan, then the limit is imparted on overall usage, not just to our bulk downloads. Say, when we are browsing the internet for some random sites, then we may think that we are not downloading actually! So we keep on browsing more and more… The thing goes wrong here. We should remember that:

  • In internet usage statistics, we can not separate bulk download data usage [say, downloading a song or some software] and surfing data usage.
  • Both are logged and charged from the free usage quota simultaneously.
  • When the quota exceeds, then the charge of extra downloads for both surfing and bulk downloading is added to our bill.

So, better we just deprecate this separate thinking of downloading and surfing and concentrate only on the transferred [downloaded or uploaded] data over the internet to manage our quota. Next time, while watching a video on YouTube, we should not think that we have not downloaded anything. Because, actually we have downloaded the video to watch it in the browser [Now, obviously we can not save this download permanently on our HDD by general methods].

#2: Knowing the Bandwidth measuring units: Difference between KBps and kbps


It is very important to know about how we measure the usage statistics. Although, virtually KBps and kbps are treated as same by many users, actually both of them are different units of data measurement.

  • kbps = Kilo Bits per second;
  • KBps = Kilo Bytes per second;
  • 8 bits = 1 bytes => 8kb = 1 KB

Similar relationships holds for [mb, MB], [gb, GB] and so… So, the next time you see that you have consumed only 100,000 kb of data from your limit, do not confuse it with 100,000 KB. Your usage is actually lower!

#3: Preventive Measure: Automatic Downloads:

automatic updates

This is the biggest issue behind all unwanted usages. Often we forgot to turn off the automatic updates of many software, which downloads the latest version of that particular software in background and flushes a considerable portion of our usage quota. So, we should:

  • Turn on the Automatic Updates for Anti-Virus Software only. Others should not have automatic updates turned on. If we need them, then we should consider to update them manually.
    Personally, I have only turned automatic updates for Avast! AntiVirus and Firefox Web Browser.
  • If possible, then download the updates from the server in zipped form, in order to save bandwidth.

Turning off Automatic Windows Update:

  • Go to Control Panel > Switch to Classic View from the left sidebar.
  • Now navigate to “Windows Update” and from the sidebar choose, “Change Setting”.
  • Select the “Never Check for updates” and you are done!disable auto update on win7

Turning off other Automatic Updates:

Depending on your PC environment, there can be many software having default preference to turn on the automatic updates. These include:

  • Adobe Reader: Open Adobe Acrobat reader > Edit > Preferences > Under General Categories Deselect “Check for Updates”;
  • Apple Software Update: Open it from start menu > Edit > Preferences > Set the schedule to “Never”;
  • Other services can be disabled by following the similar process stated above.

#4: Zipped Downloading and Uploading:


This can save your bandwidth a lot. Why to waste a 10 MB of data transfer when you can compress it to 6-7 MB?

  • While downloading, if an option is there, then do choose the zipped download;
  • If you need to email something to someone, then always zip that file using regular windows interface [Right Click > Send To > Compressed(Zipped) Folder] or using Win-UHA.

In this way you can save 1-2 MB per 10 MB of download and upload. Remember that penny and penny, makes many!

#5: Always Turn off your Broadband when not in use:

Last but not least, do switch off your modem and disconnect it properly when it is not in use! It does save some amount of transfer from running applications like messenger, email clients etc…

#6: Other Aspects:

All these tips were for general users. If you are a download-a-holic, then all these are not going to save much for you! But obviously, these are worth a try… In addition, you can also

    < li>Download, only during the unmetered hours. You can use Scheduler software [which we are going to discussed on our next post like using Z-CRON auto scheduler] to automatically connect and start download.
  • Get yourself a unlimited usage plan, with lower speed [quite obvious] which will help you both on not exceeding limits as well as, getting rid of your downloading habits.

So that was our point of views on general Broadband usage and pre-cautions. I hope it was beneficial for you as well. Don’t forget to share your experience with us!

Image Credits: SoundbiteBlog, jobboom, techarena, clipartof.com


  1. Ayo Lawal

    Thanks for these 5 tips. They are really helpful. Thanks. I run a small Cybercafe. I subscribe to a 10GB plan with an Iwireless company in my country. It is a monthly subscription. We dont allow heavy download in my Cafe and restrictions are on activities that can eat up our datacap.

    Few months ago, the Iwireless company disconnected us before the end of the month on the ground of high data utilization. This made us to move from 6GB to 10GB plan. But they are still coming with threats of disconnection. What confused us is that they claim we consumed 35GB within 13 days!

    A graph was send to us that look like the bandwidth chart shown above. From the understanding i got from the chart, it is like we are being cheated by company. Please kindly enlighten us further, as the extra money we are paying is affecting our business.

    • Swashata Post author

      Where do you live? The plan of only 10GB seems pretty less for a cybercafe. See, I manage around 5 websites from my home and it takes more than 30GB bandwidth per month. So, practically I think only 10GB/month is really less for any cybercafe. I would suggest you to move to any govt ISP. Like we have BSNL here. According to my current plan, I have to pay 1350+10.2% service tax (INR) per month and I get unlimited usages, first 15GB at a speed of 2mbps, rest at a speed of 512 kbps, having a flat upload speed of 1 mbps. I think you should consider upgrading to unlimited plan!

  2. sakura_tuanct

    Hi, is there any software that can actually reduce the usage of quota when opening pages, i realized that every each page i open, it actually consumed 1MB, and tumblr will consume much more..i have 16GB but in two weeks and less, i’d reached the limit.. I’m a student, so I open many pages to for research, and this is kinda annoying..
    thank you ^^

    • Eric

      There is a program for firefox add-ons called “No-script” Which prevents any flash animated parts of a website from loading. (All animated advertisements, and videos) Not only does it reduce data usage, but it significantly increases the security of your browser.
      Any videos that you do want to see can be enabled by right clicking on their outline and telling no-script to allow link once.
      Also because your browser loads less before displaying, pages tend to load quicker.
      If your really concerned about data usage its absolutely worth it, however it can be a pain if you want to watch non youtube videos, because you must enable each one once to view it.

  3. shamcy

    I have a cafe with the same problem on high data usage. is there any good software that i can use to restrict download?, if there is, pls help me with it by sending it to my email and the procedures to set it up.

    Thanks as you help me.

    • Swashata Post author

      I am sorry but I dont know such software. Perhaps you can use some sort of proxy server and limit the quota from there! Google to find more information about it.

  4. Novel ijk

    your post on lowering broadband usage was really helpful . I currently have a 1 GB BSNL plan . i took it as it is fast enef , can you suggest me a plan in India which is fast and yet affordable , well bellow 500 Rs per month ?

  5. sunil


    I need to know how to block torrent in my server. And i am using kaspersky anti virus please help me…

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  8. mohit

    hi my 3g data ends about three or four days

    what can i do?

  9. Lourdes

    i just swithc to bell last june 28/12 when we received our bills a surprised to us when we exceed our internet for 45 GB we signed up 100 GB we have 2 laptops, 1 desktops and 4 smarts phone but July is vaction time for us 2 weeeks we are away but how could we consumed 145 gb for only surfing and chatting and webcam . is this possible.


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