Facing AT&T’s new 150GB Monthly Cap, How to Monitor/Calculate your Usage
AT&T internet customers now face a monthly bandwidth cap, and will have to pay additional money per month if they exceed that limit. This is especially of concern for daily Netflix users, but frequent .torrent users may also have cause for concern. The specific target of this action on AT&T’s part is Netflix users; people who pay AT&T for internet service and Netflix for TV/Movie service. AT&T would rather you pay them for both and Netflix for nothing, so they are going to charge you a little extra for your disobedience.
As frustrating as this may be, the current United States Congress (R) and folks appointed by President Obama (D) all agree that this is an appropriate, allowable, and legal thing for AT&T to be doing.
If you wish to be obedient to AT&T, this link will take you to what AT&T offers to replace Netflix with.
If you would rather monitor your internet usage to avoid the disobedience fee, keep reading.
I made a picture, and I think it explains it well enough. There are per-computer bandwidth monitors, but these must then generally be installed on every computer in the household connected to the internet — including your Netflix-enabled DVR that probably will not allow this. The method presented below works regardless of how many computers or devices are using your internet connection.
If you use a sample time period that is not representative of your normal internet usage, this method will fail. Use the internet how your normally do for several days, and then do your calculations.
What you need:
- Your computer, connected to the internet at your home, with a web browser.
- A calculator (the one on your computer works fine).
- This assumes you are using the standard “2wire” router that most AT&T customers are using. If you are using something different, you may have to enter a different number into your web browser. If that is you, and you figured out what that number was, please list the model/make of your router and that number in the comments section.
Synopsis of this method:
- Enter ‘192.168.1.254’ into your web browser.
- Navigate to ‘broadband link’ and then to ‘statistics’.
- Note the number of bytes received, and the numbers of days that was collected for.
- Divide the first number by the latter for your average bytes per day.
- Convert that number to gigabytes by dividing it by 1 billion. Multiply that by 30 for your predicted monthly bandwidth usage.
- If that number is far below 150, then you have nothing to worry about.
- If it is close to 150 and you need more precise calculations, use data from a larger number of days and google to find a byte to gigabyte calculator.