Broadband

View My Broadband Usage FAQ

Summary: Common questions about broadband usage.
  1. Where can I view my broadband usage?
  2. In the Usage breakdown section, what do the activities mean?
  3. Why is usage shown at times when I'm not using broadband?
  4. My usage is too high
  5. How can I change my usage allowance?
  6. How can I control how much I spend on extra usage?
  7. I've hit my maximum spend, why is my usage still going up?
  8. I want to speak to someone about my broadband usage

1. Where can I view my broadband usage?

It's easy, just go to www.plus.net/usage and log in with your Account Username and password.

The Usage summary shows how much you've used in your current billing period and what your usage allowance is (if applicable).

Further down the page, you'll see links which provide more detail about your usage:

  • Usage this month: A daily breakdown of your usage over your current billing month
  • Usage history: A summary of your usage over the last 3 billing months
  • Usage breakdown: A breakdown of your usage by traffic type (this option is not available on all products)
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2. In the Usage breakdown section, what do the activities mean?

Activity What is it?
Web Viewing webpages with a web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox)
Email Sending and receiving messages with an email program (e.g. Outlook or Mac Mail) on your computer
Broadband phone calls Making calls using Broadband Phone or another VoIP-based Internet telephony system
Gaming Online multiplayer gaming e.g. World of Warcraft, XBox Live and PlayStation Network etc.
Streaming Playing continuous multimedia TV, movie or music files
Plusnet FTP Using FTP to move files to or from a Plusnet server (most commonly used to upload web pages)
Peer to Peer Downloading with file sharing applications
Usenet Reading or downloading newsgroup posts, or downloading files from binary newsgroups
FTP (Non Plusnet) Using FTP to move files to or from servers not operated by Plusnet (commonly used by home workers to transfer files to work servers, or upload web pages)
Other Activities that do not fit into any of the above categories

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3. Why is usage shown at times when I'm not using broadband?

Your router will respond to network traffic even if your computers are switched off. This causes tiny amounts of usage (classed as background traffic, rarely more than a few KB or MB) to be recorded. This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. We recommend leaving your router on at all times so you can get the best broadband speed (find out why).

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4. My usage is too high

If you're seeing a lot of unexpected usage (i.e. close to or above 1GB), please consider the following points before reporting a problem:

  • Are there any other devices connected to your network? - It's not just laptops and desktops that use the Internet. Connecting a mobile device (e.g. an iPhone or Android based phone) or games console (e.g. an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3) that use the Internet will count towards your usage for the month
  • Is your wireless network secure? - If your wireless network is insecure (or there's no security at all), it's possible that someone else could be connecting and using your broadband. See our wireless security guide for help with preventing this from happening
  • Are your computer(s) free from viruses and malware? - Malicious software can cause high amounts of unexpected usage to be recorded. It's worth scanning your computer(s) with an anti-virus scanner (we recommend Plusnet Protect) to make sure your computers are clear

Please note: Keeping your computer and network secure is your responsibility. We'll help by scanning all email sent to Plusnet addresses for viruses and filtering out obvious spam. Our broadband products also include an online firewall. In addition to this, you should you install your own firewall and anti-virus software (we recommend Plusnet Protect).

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5. How can I change my usage allowance?

To change your usage allowance, you'll need to change your broadband product. To do this you can either:

  • Click Change (shown next to your broadband product) in View My Broadband Usage
  • Click Product Change on the grey bar near the top of the Member Centre
  • Or go straight to our Product Change tool

See Changing your Plusnet broadband product if you have any questions.

Please note: Some older broadband products (e.g. Broadband Your Way or Broadband PAYG) allow you to alter your usage allowance in My Account. Please see our Broadband Product Archive for more information.

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6. Can I control how much I spend on extra usage?

Please note: This information only applies to broadband products where extra usage is paid for.

Yes, Manage My Usage (found in My Account > Connection Settings) allows you to set a maximum spend per month (in addition to your monthly subscription price).

For more information on Manage My Usage and how it works, please see our Residential Broadband Products FAQ.

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7. I've hit my maximum spend, why is my usage still going up?

Please note: This information only applies to broadband products where extra usage is paid for.

Rather than blocking your access completely, if you hit your maximum spend we'll:

  • Rate limit your speed to 256kb/s
  • Block access to binary usenet, peer to peer services and external FTP

These restrictions will remain in place unless you increase your maximum spend, or until your next billing period begins.

Usage will still be recorded in small amounts (meaning your monthly usage can go slightly above your allowance). However, there aren't any extra charges for usage recorded once you've reached your maximum spend.

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8. I want to speak to someone about my broadband usage

If you have any questions that aren't answered here or you want to talk to us about your usage, ask us online using the Help Assistant or give us a call.

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This page last updated 11th May 2012

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