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    About broadband allowances

    Find out how much broadband you can use and how to manage it.

    Broadband allowance FAQs

    All our broadband is now unlimited. So you can go online as much as you like without worrying about having to pay extra.

    However, we haven't always offered unlimited broadband, so if you signed up for Plusnet a while ago you might still have a limit on how much you can use. If you've got Broadband Your Way or Broadband PAYG, you can adjust your allowance. But our older broadband options have fixed allowances.

    Why not upgrade to one of our unlimited broadband options? It might be cheaper than keeping what you've got and paying extra charges for going over your allowance.

    Not sure what broadband you've got at the moment? Just log in to your account to check.

    You can only check your usage if you're not on an unlimited broadband product. (If you do have unlimited broadband, you can use it as much as you like).

    To check your usage since your last bill, go to View My Broadband Usage and log in to your account.

    You can see more details by going to Usage this month and Usage history.

    Usage breakdown shows how much data you've used for every different activity. Here's what they all mean.

    • Web – browsing online using a web browser like Internet Explorer or Safari
    • Email – sending and receiving emails using an email application like Outlook or Mac Mail
    • Broadband phone calls – making calls over the Internet, e.g. Skype or Facebook Messenger
    • Gaming – playing online multi-player games like World of Warcraft or Xbox Live
    • Streaming – watching TV and movies online, or listening to music e.g. Netflix, Amazon, BBC iPlayer, Spotify, Deezer
    • Plusnet FTP – this is mainly used for things like uploading webpages
    • Peer to Peer – downloading files using file sharing applications e.g. BitTorrent
    • Usenet – using or downloading posts from newsgroup discussion forums or downloading files from binary newsgroups
    • FTP (Non Plusnet) – moving files to servers that aren't run by Plusnet e.g. if you're working from home and uploading files to your office server
    • Other – anything else

    When your router's switched on, it always uses a little bit of data. This is known as 'background traffic' and is a very small amount. It's nothing to worry about and you certainly shouldn't switch your router off because of it. In fact, we recommend leaving your router on all the time because it helps you get the best broadband speed.

    If you've used a lot more than you were expecting (and by 'a lot' we mean 1GB or more) one of these might be the reason.

    • Using lots of devices – it's not just laptops and desktop computers that use the Internet. If you've been using WiFi on your mobile, tablet or games console, that will count towards your allowance too
    • Using an unsecured WiFi network – if you haven't password-protected your WiFi, someone else might be using it without you knowing. Take a look at our tips for making sure your WiFi is secure
    • Having a virus or malware – these use a lot of broadband data. It's worth scanning your computer with an anti-virus scanner to make sure your computer hasn't picked up anything nasty. And you should always make sure you're using anti-virus software. We recommend Plusnet Protect

    Yes, if you want to avoid charges for going over your allowance, you can set a maximum spend for each month. To do that, go to Manage My Usage and log in to your account.

    What is caching?

    Caching is a way to display the internet content that you regularly request more quickly and accurately. We do this by hosting the content on the Plusnet network, rather than you having to request it from servers over the Internet.

    E.g. if you were streaming a film from Netflix, any "buffering" would be reduced, so you'd get a quality picture experience.

    Not all of our products support caching. If you've got unlimited broadband your content will be cached. However, if you're not on an unlimited product it won't be.

    What does it mean for me?

    That will depend upon the type of product that you have purchased from Plusnet, as only certain products will benefit from the caching capability.

    If you're on one of our unlimited products, the way we deliver cached content means it doesn't come into contact with the part of our network that tracks usage for customers, and therefore it affects the accuracy of your reported usage. For example, on the "View My Broadband Usage" page of our , you may now see that your usage of streamed content e.g. Netflix has decreased because this is being delivered from the cache and not from the internet. You will still see non-cached content being counted on the View My Broadband Usage page, but it will not be as accurate overall.

    If you are on one of our capped products, you won't be affected by this change. Because all your usage is non-cached, the reported usage you see in the "View My Broadband Usage" page will remain accurate.

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