Broadband Compare UK News & Blogs

Broadband Data Limits: Will They Work for You?

Rinky Dink Inc

While a lot of broadband packages have unlimited downloads and data limits, there are some that have limits to the amount of data you can download over the period of a month. These data caps are in place to prevent over usage of bandwidths provided by your ISP. These limits, however, are only of benefit to those who may not need to have access to an unlimited amount of downloads. It is important to figure out what your intended usage will be so that you can decide if a capped broadband package would be ideal for you. In this article, I will look into areas where you may need to use a significant amount of bandwidth to download the data for that particular task.

What Do You Use the Internet For?

TV & Films

Many people use the Internet as a source for all their entertainment needs. This is especially common in households that make use of smart TV features such as catch-up television and apps like Netflix and Now TV. These apps and features make it easier to watch programs and films whenever you wish to, no more needed to wait until 9 pm to watch a film or remembering to press record when it airs.

Catch Up TV and On-demand televisions and films require a large amount on bandwidth due to the size of the files being downloaded. Whether or not you download these files to watch later or stream them as you watch, it is likely that there will be a lot of data being download. If you stream or download TV shows and films regularly, it probably won’t be too long before your data limit is used up. As an example, an average 45 minute TV show may be around 1 gigabyte in file size. If you have a data limit of 25Gb, this will mean after watching 25 episodes of shows you will run out of data.


While music file sizes are a lot smaller, often around 5mb in size, it is still worth taking this into consideration. It is often an area that people forget about when they are travelling around and using their mobile data to stream a song. For 1 hour of streaming music, you will probably use around 155mb of bandwidth or 1.5g over 10 hours. If you listen to music a lot while you are at home or working from home, you could use up you whole 25gb limit before the month is up on music alone.

Skype & Facetime

Skype and Facetime are two common video calling methods and can use up large amounts of data when used frequently. Similar to TV and film, they both use video and audio to operate effectively. This means that both video and audio needs to be downloaded and uploaded at the same time.

If you find that you call people often of Skype or Facetime at home, it won’t be too long before you start to use up all of your download data. If you were to make a 1-hour call every week, you could be using up to 10gb of data per month.


Gaming is probably one of the most data-intensive activities you can do at home. Game file sizes are often extremely big due to the graphics and content required to play most modern games. has a complete list of games and file size associated with them, for example, Grand Theft Auto V is nearly 50gb. If you opt to download games instead of buy them in disc format, you would probably use up most of your data limit in one go, not great!

Even if you do opt to buy the disc version of a game, you will still likely have to download numerous update as time goes by, some of these can be over 10Gb. On top of that, when you play games online, you will always be uploading and downloading data on the fly. Every time you connect to a server to play a game of FIFA or Halo, you will be downloading the server information and all of the data associated with the other players as you play the game. Therefore if you are a keen online gamer, avoid a broadband package with data limits.

Big Family

Data limits can be great if you live alone and are able to track the amount of data you are downloading on your devices. It can also be very beneficial if you are only at home for a couple of hours a day. No need to spend so much money on an unlimited data plan if you only plan to spend an hour or two online per day.

If however, you have a large family with more than one child, doing things like playing games or listening to music all day, you probably will notice that a data cap will be eaten up very quickly. Perhaps you have a big family but are only home for 2 hours a day all together. It is still worth considering an unlimited broadband package due to the fact that there will likely be more than one download going on at the same time.

Costly if you Exceed

The main problem with capped broadband packages is that you will have to pay extra costs when you exceed your limit. Going over your limit can be very costly with most suppliers as they will charge you quite a lot for each extra GB you require. Often the charge is around £1-3 for every GB you use over your limit. If you are doing this, often it doesn’t take much before you are spending more than if you were to get an unlimited broadband plan.


This website or its third party tools use cookies, which are necessary to its functioning and required to achieve the purposes illustrated in the cookie policy. By tapping on "I accept" you agree to the use of cookies.  I accept