Data caps have become a growing concern for cord cutters as more Internet service providers start to add them. The good news is you don’t need to worry about data caps because it is possible to be a cord cutter and stay under data caps.
#1 Turn Off Auto Play
Auto Play is a great feature to just kick back, clean the house, and have the TV play your favorite show; however, it can also be a great way to burn through data. Many streaming players, such as Roku and the Fire TV, will keep playing even if you do not have the TV turned on.
Netflix will play three episodes and Amazon Video will play six episodes before asking if you are still watching. If you fall asleep during the first episode, you could easily burn through an hour of data with Netflix or five hours of data with Amazon Video. With HD video consuming anywhere from 3 to 5 GB an hour that could easily burn 25GB of data.
If you fall asleep just four times a month as you stream that is 100GB of data wasted, so make sure to turn off Auto Play for all your streaming services if you keep going over your data cap.
#2 Try SD Video
We often want to get everything in HD, but you should consider trying SD video. SD streaming uses a fraction of the data of HD—often less than a GB an hour.
When my daughter wants to watch cartoons we stream them in SD. You will be shocked at how great SD video can look with cartoons. Older shows not originally shot in HD also look just fine in SD, saving you a ton of data.
#3 Download Shows You Rewatch
My daughter is addicted to “Mickey Mouse Club House” right now. Shows like this are a great example of something you can download to save data. You can purchase a season of the show on Amazon and download it to a tablet because the Amazon Video app now allows downloading on Android, iOS, and Fire Tablets.
This allows my daughter to rewatch the same episodes over and over again without it eating into our data cap. The best part is you still have access to the TV as your kids watch their shows.
You will be surprised at how you can cut the amount of data you use every month just by trying one or all three of these tips.
Bonus Tip: Find a New Internet Service Provider
If AT&T is an option in your area consider looking at Toast.net. It resells AT&T Internet with no data cap and is a great way to get around AT&T’s data caps.
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