Facts, tips, tricks and expert advice on data consumption
Our broadband products and tariffs are mainly differentiated by the monthly data allowance. We think this makes the tariffs fair, because everyone can select a tariff that suits their level of internet usage. It ensures that occasional users, say, with only one device who may just use their service for browsing and email, pay much less for their broadband than say a family of 4 with multiple devices or maybe small business. So that you can plan and get the best value out of your bigblu service, and also understand what applications (apps) or protocols consume a lot of your data allowance, we’ve put together some facts and expert advice on data consumption. Don’t forget, if you need more data than your allowance, that’s never a problem. You can always buy a Data Booster or if you’re going to regularly use more data, maybe consider upgrading to the next tariff up.

Typical uses for your bigblu broadband connection
The table below outlines some typical uses for your bigblu broadband connection and defines the rough data consumption of each. This is a guideline only as the exact amounts likely to be consumed will depend on your operating system, your browser and the download.

ActionData usedLevel
Email200 email = 70MB (depending on attachments)Low
VoIP/SkypeVoice call = 0.73 MB/min
Video call = 2.12 MB/min
Web browsing20hrs = 1.5GBLow
iTunes music download120MB per hourMedium
Low Definition movie download0.75GB per movieMedium
High Definition movie download3.5-4.5GB per movieVery high
Spotify7.25hrs = 1GBMedium
Catch-Up TVNormal 1hr = 0.75GB
HD 1hr = 2.75GB
Software updatesUp to 5GBHigh
YouTube/Netflix/Online video30min = 0.2GBVery high
iCloud/Dropbox back-upDepends on amount of data storedVery high
HD video1 hour = 2GBVery high


Expert tips
Many of our tariffs come with an unlimited night-time allowance that’s included free or can be added as a bolt on. This is excellent for scheduling data heavy activities like downloading catch-up TV programs or HD movies. The BBC iPlayer for instance has a scheduling tool for doing this. You can also turn off automatic software updates to stop them occurring during peak hours and do these at night. If you need any help setting any of this up, talk to our Tech Support Team.

Turn off all your apps on any device connected to the Wi-Fi
Many smart phone apps and bits of software (even websites) consume data in the background even if you don’t think you’re using them or viewing them.  Developers are dreaming up new, dynamic and innovative apps every day and trying them is all part of the fun of using the Internet, but some of them are very data intensive. If you feel you’re using too much data, or your data allowance goes quicker than you think it should, take time to look at what apps are live on your phone and could be using up your allowance even when you think your phone or iPad is in standby mode. If you need any help setting any of this up, talk to our Tech Support Team.

Adjust your households streaming habits
As a general rule, watching videos, and streaming online or TV content over the Internet consumes very large amounts of data.  Many younger people these days routinely watch their favourite TV programs on YouTube, even when they could watch them just as easily on terrestrial or satellite TV (where there’s no data implication). If you’re a family, and you’re struggling with your data consumption, set some house rules about YouTube, Netflix and similar data hungry websites.

Monitor your data consumption closely
As you’re probably aware, you can see the amount of data you’ve used from your monthly allocation in our Customer Portal. If you’re concerned about your data consumption, or want to see how your data allowance is being consumed, there’s a number of ways you can do this:

Tablets and phones using Android
You can download the Data Monitor app from the Google Play store free of charge, this application allows you to monitor the usage of data on the device as a whole as well as breaking it down by application. It can, for example, display the quantity of data each app (like as Facebook or YouTube) may be using.

iPhones and iPads
You can use another application called Data Monitor that is specifically for Apple products and is available from the App Store. This will display a breakdown of data consumption on the device and provide a more detailed analysis by displaying the quantity of data each application may be using.

Laptops or desktop computers
You can download a useful application called GlassWire. GlassWire is a free, open-source, bandwidth monitor that works on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. GlassWire keeps track of how much you use your internet/network connection and allows you to view this information either via a web browser, or by using the command line tools.

Security & local networks
If you’re concerned about your data consumption and feel that your data allowance disappears more quickly than expected, we would recommend ensuring that your Wi-Fi network is totally secure. Otherwise, you might find your neighbours or passing vehicles are using your network! Our key advice here is don’t use simple or easy to guess passwords, or worse still, no password at all.

This will prevent any rogue devices or users from automatically, even accidentally, joining your network; this is quite common if you live in a location where multiple visitors might pass through.