Nowadays, you hear a lot of internet service providers (ISPs) offering “unlimited” internet packages. Internet use has become such an integral part of our lives that unlimited broadband – no caps on our data allowance – seems necessary. Are these internet plans really unlimited, or do companies say they are to entice you to sign up? Is unlimited broadband a reality or just a myth?
Is Unlimited Broadband Really Unlimited?
Unlimited broadband is internet without restrictions, or uncapped. In the early days of unlimited internet, ISPs would still apply a data cap to unlimited plans, calling it a fair use policy. You would have to pay extra for going over your “limit” even though you had the unlimited plan. These policies aren’t used as much today though. Instead, companies use traffic management and acceptable use policies.
Traffic management means that ISPs regulate internet speeds for their customers at peak hours. In the evenings, when more people are likely to use their home internet, you could have slower internet based on your neighbour’s internet activity. It might not seem fair, especially if you’ve signed up for the unlimited package, but traffic management is the internet company’s way of guaranteeing the same level of service for all their customers.
Acceptable use is the agreement between you and the ISP that you won’t upload or download anything illegal. So even with an unlimited broadband plan, you can’t use your internet for literally whatever you want.
Unlimited vs. Truly Unlimited
Unlimited broadband has developed since the days it was first offered. Today, you might hear about unlimited and truly unlimited internet. What’s the difference between these two?
Truly unlimited broadband has no usage cap and no traffic management. You’ll always receive the fastest internet service and can use as much internet as you wish with no penalties. You still might experience a drop in speed during peak hours, but not because your ISP has artificially reduced it.
With truly unlimited broadband, you don’t have to worry about how much internet you use, if you’re a heavy internet user.
Benefits of Truly Unlimited
You’re probably wondering if you should
spring for truly unlimited – can’t your internet needs can be met with unlimited? Truly unlimited broadband greatly benefits heavy internet users, though.
Streaming television and film is one of the most common ways households hit their usage limits. With more people accessing streaming platforms like Netflix or YouTube, it’s also possible that your speed will slow down considerably during peak hours. Many films and series are offered in high definition or 4K as well, which consumes even more data.
Gamers who play MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online games) like World of Warcraft use a lot of internet and require decent speed. If your internet speed is restricted at peak times, it can ruin your gaming experience. Truly unlimited internet allows gamers to use as much internet as they like, with now artificial slow-downs from the ISP.
Larger households can benefit from truly unlimited internet as well. Whatever the cap on your data is, it’s divided by the number of people in the house. With a 40GB download cap for four people, each person only gets 10GB. Truly unlimited lets everyone use as much as they need. In addition, if you’re only able to use your home internet during peak hours (in the evenings), you’ll almost always have a slower connection. A truly unlimited plan makes the most of your internet, and doesn’t slow down your browsing, streaming, or gaming even at peak times.
Different Kinds of Internet Users
The kind of internet plan you choose will depend on what type of internet user you are.
- Light internet user – If you use the internet infrequently, just to browse and catch up on emails, then 10GB of monthly data should suffice.
- Medium internet user – You use the internet most days, for more than email or browsing – you also stream videos regularly. A monthly data allowance of 40GB should be enough for a medium internet user.
- Heavy internet user – Streaming in HD, gaming, downloading large files, and creating and uploading video content are all activities that require a large or unlimited data allowance.
Although unlimited plans are offered with ADSL, they’re best with fibre-optic cables. Why? Fibre connections transmit data faster than ADSL copper wires, so you can make the most of your uncapped data allowance. Vision Fibre Media offers one of the fastest full-fibre connections in London. And when we say unlimited internet, we mean unlimited internet. Check out some of our full-fibre broadband packages to learn more.