When the internet was young there was dial-up access which was slow and expensive but then the need for the net was limited. As the internet grew the need for faster access became a must and broadband appeared with an always on connection which allowed people to download more information over their connection. With more and more of us watching and downloading films, streaming live video and using online gaming data usage has soared in recent years and is set to continue to do so as we use ever growing amounts of data from a wider range of devices.
Due to technology restrictions and huge numbers of people wanting access there were restrictions placed on how much you could use called download limits. A number of providers currently have high download limits or have unlimited broadband with no download limit which are well suited to heavy broadband users.
Who needs unlimited broadband providers?
Unlimited broadband is required by heavy internet users who downloads lots of data over their broadband connection. These sorts of uses include:
Playing and downloading online games
Downloading lots of music or video clips
Listening to online radio over long periods
VoIP phone calls
Downloading lots of big email attachments
Download limits are generally lower on mobile broadband and there can be expensive charges for exceeding them, particular when using a mobile broadband service abroad. The cost of exceeding the limit with a mobile broadband package varies between provider so it’s worth checking this if you think you are likely to be a heavy user of the service.
Is unlimited broadband really unlimited?
Unlimited broadband doesn’t always do exactly as it says on the tin. Most users have a fair use policy to cap the use of those they feel are abusing the system by downloading huge amounts of data.
The fair usage policy set out by most providers is used to allow all its customers to get the most out of the service and keep speed as high as possible across the network. Fair usage on most unlimited broadband packages usually limits the amount heavy downloader’s can download at times they class as peak use times by throttling their broadband speeds. These times may vary from provider to provider as will the amount you can download during these times though early evening tends to be most heavily affected.
Why is there a fair usage policy on some unlimited packages?
The fair usage policy on unlimited broadband is designed to allow all users with a particular service provider to get the same access speeds. Due to the current limitations of technology there needs to be a control method to prevent congestion over an internet providers lines. It is designed so that users that consistently download large amounts of data at these times have their access speed on their unlimited broadband access capped at a lower speed so everyone else is not limited by their excessive use. There is currently a large amount of debate as to whether fair usage policies are stopping unlimited broadband services from being truly unlimited but the reality of it is that without fair usage people would be getting unlimited internet access at speeds on slightly faster than the old dial connection speeds.
Unlimited mobile broadband
If you are looking to compare unlimited mobile broadband deals then please visit our unlimited mobile broadband packages page. Mobile broadband unlimited deals are rare since most packages have lower download limits than home broadband. However there are a number of packages with relatively high download limits that are more suited to the heavy downloader. If you regular download lots of information, such as movies or games then we would advise an high speed unlimited home broadband package as your main internet connections as this will perform better than a mobile broadband package.