Which Service Providers Have Data Caps?

Posted under: AT&T, Blog, CenturyLink, Cox, Exede, Frontier, HughesNet, Internet, Verizon, ViaSat and Xfinity

Data caps are one of the top considerations when you are searching for an internet service provider. Each provider has different data policies regarding the 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 are where a provider throttles your bandwidth or speed, 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.

Data requirements for various activities

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 U-verse

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 150 GB/month. The basic fixed wireless plans give customers 160 GB/month. Customers with AT&T U-verse plans are allotted 1 TB/month. If you purchase the Internet1000 plan, with download speeds of 1000 Mbps, you receive unlimited data. If you exceed your monthly allotment, AT&T bills you $10 for every 50 GB up to $100 for DSL and Uverse plans, and $200 for fixed wireless plans.

Xfinity by Comcast

All Xfinity internet plans have 1 TB of data each month. If you go over this amount, Comcast will bill you $10 for each additional 50 GB of data up to $200. Comcast does allow customers to purchase unlimited data for an additional $50/month on top of their normal bill.


Most of the Cox internet plans have 1 TB of data each month. If the Gigablast plan is available in your area, you will receive 2 TB of data. If you go over your monthly plan, Cox will charge you $10 for each 50 GB over.


If you purchase a CenturyLink plan with speeds below 7 Mbps, you have 300 GB of data each month. If your plan has speeds greater than 7 Mbps, you will receive 600 GB 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 50 GB over.


HughesNet offers customers a range of data plans, from 10 GB/month up to 50 GB/month. Customers get an additional 50 GB free each month to use between the hours of 2 a.m. to 8 a.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 12 GB up to 50 GB each month. They offer customers a free zone from 3 a.m. to 6 a.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 warn against extreme usage and say 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 Provider is Best for Me?

Internet service providers will vary by location. After reading up on these providers, you can enter your zip code here in our internet provider tool to see who is available in your area. We offer all up-to-date information regarding plans and pricing to make your search easier.


Is a data cap the same as a bandwidth cap?

Bandwidth refers to speed. A data cap limits the amount of data you can use over a designated period of time before some sort of cap kicks in and either limits you from using more unless you pay extra or slows your browsing speed.

What is the “fair use” policy regarding data caps?

This means that a provider doesn’t use data caps as a policy but retains the right to implement them on an individual basis if a customer uses more than the average.

Did the pandemic affect data caps?

Statistics show that average daily data use went up 18% after the pandemic started thanks to people being home more and using their computers for almost everything. Many internet service providers implemented varying types of data caps in response.

How much does a slow cap affect online browsing?

A slow cap, one that only limits your speed, won’t be too noticeable if you’re just doing casual browsing. High bandwidth activity like 4K streaming, gaming, or video conferencing might become almost impossible.

Do internet providers use data caps just to make more money?

Maybe but not always. There is a real danger of systems becoming overloaded if no limits are put in place. This can cause an overload and risk the service going out completely until repairs are made. Data caps are seen as the best way to equalize a system.