There was a time when unlimited internet did not mean your browsing was truly unlimited. Once you reached a specified capacity, the internet speed would slow down until it barely became usable. The connection didn’t necessarily cut off so it was advertised as “unlimited” and sold to consumers.
Due to cases like this, there have been a lot of rumors and unverified facts floating around the internet that have confused users. In this blog, we will discuss just how unlimited your internet is and what you should look out for searching for an unlimited plan.
The Types of Unlimited Internet
Unlimited internet technically means that you should get uninterrupted access to high-speed internet whenever you want. But, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) tend to bring their own conditions into the mix to make a profit. They include:
- Limited but fast internet – You get a specific amount of data per month (i.e 100GB). Once you pass this capacity, the speed slows to a crawl and you will have to purchase more data. You can still use the internet, but not in a seamless and quick manner.
- Flat rate internet – You won’t be charged per MB of data but your usage will be monitored. You will be charged a flat rate for normal internet speeds, but if it becomes much higher, they will slow down your connection.
- High-speed but filtered internet – You can get high-speed and a stable connection but the sites you visit will be filtered to only access what is essential. This is used mostly by businesses.
As such, unlimited internet in this case means that you are able to access the internet at all times, but the ISP you use has the power to throttle your speeds when required. So does that make your internet truly unlimited?
How do ISPs limit your internet speed
At this point, you should note that “unlimited internet” does not mean unfettered access to the internet. In order to make their profit, ISPs will provide you with “packages” that have a limit, albeit a pretty high one.
They also do this to make sure their towers don’t get congested. The more users in an area and the more data is consumed, the faster the closest tower will become congested. Therefore, they need to keep checks to prevent this from happening.
The two ways they limit your speed is by:
- Throttling the normal speed – This is the most common method. They will scale down your internet speed to 3G levels or below – around 500Kbps. This speed will struggle to even load a Google search page.
- Creating a soft and hard cap – Your speed will be determined by these caps. Once you reach a soft cap, your speed will be temporarily reduced. This is to stop congestion on the tower. Once the congestion ends, your speed will go back to normal. However, if the hard cap is hit for the month, your speed will remain slow until the end of the month.
Should you be monitoring your data usage?
If you’re trying to decide on whether to get an unlimited plan or not, then it would make sense for you to first check what your monthly data usage is like. If the usage is quite low, then you would be better off with a limited monthly data plan which would be cheaper.
However, if you end up watching videos every day, browsing social media sites, or playing online games, you may want to switch to an unlimited plan to ensure that you have enough data for the month.
Back in 2019, the average monthly data consumption in the US was around 250GB. As of March 2020, this number has rocketed up to 400GB owing to the pandemic. These numbers give you a rough estimate of how much internet you should be looking for. With 250GB per month, you will be able to:
- Stream over 10,000 songs
- Download over 100 movies in HD
- Take part in over 1000 HD video calls
- Browse Instagram and TikTok for two hours every day.
If your daily usage coincides with this, then you know that you should be looking for a soft cap of at least 250GB per month in an unlimited internet package.
Are there any unlimited internet packages?
Finding unlimited packages can be difficult. Most ISPs tend to promote these packages but there is always a caveat thrown into the mix. However, there are those that provide truly unlimited internet as well.
Wireless Solutions LLC provides high-speed and reliable internet anywhere around the United States. We pride ourselves on being able to provide internet connections to even remote areas in the country.
We utilize both AT&T and T-Mobile networks and our data plans go as follows:
- AT&T – 300GB (soft cap)
- T-Mobile – 500GB (hard cap)
- AT&T – Unlimited
You can enjoy a truly unlimited experience with our unlimited package for a cost that is quite affordable. Contact us today to get your own device or learn more about our service!