Friday, 21 January 2011 10:05

How to Avoid Unpleasant Surprises on Your Internet Bill Featured

Written by  Jessica Rayes

It is estimated that Canadians now spend on average about 85 hours a month online, which translates to approx. 3 hrs a day of surfing, downloading, streaming...whatever.

Now all this online activity comes with a price, because although the internet is "Free" , having access to it-- as we all know--is not.

And although we may subscribe to an internet package that has a fixed month-to-month rate, we still encounter hidden fees that leaves us asking ourselves, why?

Well first you need to identify the type of broadband you have access to.

For example, my internet subscription gives me 10 mbps download speed and 512 kbps upload speed, with a data cap of 60 GB.

 Dim lights

Now, that's a lot of tech jargon to digest. And if you didn't do your homework before subscribing to an internet service, chances are you don't have a clue what any of this really means.

But that's ok, because I'm here to help you translate the technical lingo into concepts that make sense.

So, let's start by first translating the meaning of download and upload.

Downloading is the act of consuming information from the internet, whether it be by surfing WebPages, downloading music, streaming video. These acts all require you to retrieve information from the internet.

Alternatively, Uploading is the act of extracting information from your computer onto the internet. This is done by adding photos to your Facebook account, sharing music on a peer to peer application, or using a webcam chat.

So, basically anything we do on the internet is considered to be consuming data.

Now, bits and bytes are terms used as units of measure for data.

Bits are used when describing the rate of data exchange (uploading/downloading).

Bytes are used to convey the size of the data, or the amount of memory it uses to store it on your computer.

Now I'll be sharing 3 helpful tips to keep in mind when using the internet in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises on your next Internet Bill.

TIP #1: Monitor your usage!

Make sure that you do not exceed your bandwidth allowance.

Now, Rogers has a really useful tool online that helps you decide how many MB/GB of data you will need on a month to month basis

Click Here to Visit Rogers Data Calculator

You first select the device you plan to browse with...

Now depending on the device you use, data is compressed and consumed differently.

Blackberry is notorious for its efficiency in data compression and has been proven to consume only 1/3 of data in comparison to other Smartphones when users visit the same popular websites.

With portable internet sticks and tablets, they tend to consumer more data when practising similar activities because their operating systems and Central Processing Unit are much larger and take up much more memory in order to function.

If you're not sure what you use the internet for on a month to month basis, you can always click on the various data allowances and it will automatically generate a hypothetical month-to-month breakdown for you.

TIP #2: Encrypt your Internet!

If you use a wireless router at home to connect multiple devices to your internet connection, make sure you encrypt your connection.  Encrypting is like building an invisible wall around your personal home network, where a password is required for users to gain access to the connection. Without it, you could be potentially sharing your internet connection--and data allowance--with your entire neighbourhood.

TIP #3: Disable your Data Roaming!

If you are plan going on a trip and you plan to practise "Internet Abstinence" while away vacation, beware: this will not guarantee any outrageous roaming fees from appearing on your bill. The applications on your phone tend to auto-synchronize by default, and so even if you are not consciously using the internet, your phone still periodically connects on its own. The only way to avoid this is to manually disable data roaming--or phone some phones, enable 'airplane mode'--on the device.

It's important that you try to keep these pointers in mind, because although some internet packages seem alluring with their low costs--like say, $40 a month--their overage fees can be as high as $5/MB.

So, if you go over your data allowance because of a song you downloaded (4 MB in size,) that means you'll be paying $40+$20 ($5 x 4MB=20)= $60!

So there you go, follow these easy steps and you'll be sure to keep both your Internet caps and Internet bills under control.

Last modified on Wednesday, 30 March 2011 12:54

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1 Comment

  • Comment Link Friday, 24 August 2012 01:52 posted by Yassin

    Contact your ISP for what is the actual speed that you are painyg,then check the speed without any browsing and downloading in your and rest of two computers.Don't think and compare the speed, just think is it full fills your requirements.I think the speed is enough even you download a large files.

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