Data caps are one of the top considerations when you are searching for an internet service provider. Each provider has different data policies regarding amount and overage fees. In order to help make your search easier, we have compiled a list of the top providers and information on their data packages.
What are data caps?
Data caps refer to the amount a service provider lets you surf the internet in a month. There are multiple reasons a provider might choose to implement data caps. For example, satellite providers have caps because the satellites they launch have a fixed amount of data to give out.
Each provider imposes different penalties for reaching this cap. Soft caps where a provider throttles your speeds, meaning they slow it down significantly to limit what you are able to do on the internet. Under these throttled speeds you can typically still casually browse the internet, but you will not be able to stream content. Hard caps mean that if you reach your data limit, your provider will bill you for the overages.
Before selecting a provider, it is important to review how you use your data each month. Many providers have a data calculator that allows you to see how your internet habits add up.
AT&T offers three different data plans based on what kind of internet plan you purchase. With any of their DSL services, AT&T gives customers 150GB/month. The basic fixed wireless plans give customers 160GB/month. Customers with AT&T U-verse plans are allotted 1TB/month. If you purchase the Internet1000 plan, with download speeds of 1000Mbps you receive unlimited data. If you exceed your monthly allotment, AT&T bills your $10 for every 50GB up to $100 for DSL and Uverse plans, and $200 for fixed wireless plans.
All Xfinity internet plans have 1TB of data each month. If you go over this amount, Comcast will bill you $10 for each additional 50GB of data up to $200. Comcast does allow customers to purchase unlimited data for an additional $50/month on top of your normal bill.
Most of the Cox internet plans have 1TB of data each month. If the Gigablast plan is available in your area, you will receive 2TB of data. If you go over your monthly plan, Cox will charge your $10 for each 50GB over.
If you purchase a CenturyLink plan with speeds below 7 Mbps, you have 300GB of data each month. If your plan has speeds greater than 7 Mbps, you will will receive 600GB of data. The 1 Gig plan has unlimited data. CenturyLink sends warnings before charging any overages. If you go over for two months, no charges are added to your bill. After that you will be charged $10 for every 50GB over.
HughesNet offers customers a range of data plans, from 10GB/month up 50GB/month. Customer get an additional 50GB free each month to use between the hours of 2a.m. to 8a.m. Any unused data at the end of the month does not roll over to the next month. If you go over your limit, HughesNet does not charge you overages, but your speeds will be significantly reduced.
Exede data plans range from 12GB up to 50GB each month. They offer customers a free zone from 3a.m. to 6a.m. where you will not be charged for the data you use. If you go over your monthly allowance, Exceed will reduce your speeds by a generous amount.
Verizon does not have data caps for their basic DSL internet plans and does not throttle speeds after a certain point. If you are a Verizon FiOS customer, their terms and conditions warns against extreme usage and says your service could be suspended in the event of high volume usage.
Frontier does not have data caps and will not throttle speeds or restrict the devices that you use to connect to your network. They strive to deliver customers the speeds they purchase by implementing a network management policy. Frontier reserves the right to monitor your data usage to make sure it is following this policy but does not record any specific information.
Which is best for me?
Service providers will vary by location. After reading up on these providers, you can enter your zip code to see who is available in your area. We offer all up-to-date information regarding plans and pricing to make your search easier.