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# How do I Calculate Broadband Usage?

Article Details
• Written By: Christina Edwards
• Edited By: W. Everett
2003-2015
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Because a broadband connection is much faster than a dial-up connection, more people are spending more time online. Many companies, though, charge their customers according to the amount of time spent online and the amount of data downloaded. Broadband usage can be calculated by estimating the amount of time spend online surfing and partaking in various other activities, such as emailing, playing games, and watching videos. You can either use one of the many online broadband usage calculators, or calculate your usage on your own.

There are several sites on the Internet that offer free broadband usage calculators. To use these calculators, you enter in information, including hours online and different things that you do while online. These calculators can then give you a rough estimate of your usage of broadband.

While it may seem difficult, broadband usage calculators are actually quite simple. They work using a simple formula. The number of hours spent surfing the Internet, listening to online radio, playing games, and making phone calls with VoIP programs, such as Skypeâ„˘, all use a varying amount of gigabytes. Sending emails, watching videos, and downloading songs and movies also use a different amount of gigabytes. Adding up the gigabytes used are how these calculators determine the amount of usage.

Every five hours spent surfing the Internet and every 150 emails sent and received, uses roughly 0.2 gigabytes each. For every five movies downloaded and every ten hours spent playing online games, about 3.9 gigabytes each are used. Every hour of a VoIP call and every five hours of listening to online radio each adds another 0.5 gigabytes each. Twenty song downloads adds another 0.3 gigabytes, and watching five videos adds another 2.3 gigabytes.

Different broadband companies have different broadband packages. Every package is different, and there are packages for light Internet users and packages for people who use the Internet all the time. Many broadband companies now offer their customers unlimited usage plans.

Whichever broadband package an individual chooses should directly reflect how much they will use the Internet. For example, a person who gets online rarely just to keep in touch with family would not benefit from a package that offers unlimited broadband usage; they would most likely be paying entirely too much. On the other hand, if a person gets online frequently to watch videos and download music, an unlimited broadband usage package could be the right way to go.

Many companies have now come out with pay-as-you-go packages. These broadband packages allow customers to pay for Internet access as they need it. A day, week, or month of Internet access can be purchased on an as-needed basis.