One of the biggest concerns with most Satellite Internet Providers and Monthly Service Plans is the “Fair Access Policy” a.k.a. “FAP”! The FAP is a limit on the amount of data you can download (with Ku Band Systems) or that you can upload and download (with Ka Band Systems) in a given time-frame. (Ku band has a daily limit, while Ka band has a monthly limit) The FAP is meant to prevent users on a shared bandwidth system from hogging bandwidth and taking service quality away from the other uses who are sharing that network!
There are several things that can use up a LOT of bandwidth and quickly put you over your daily or monthly FAP limits such as streaming audio and video (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc.) and File Sharing Programs and online Backup Applications. Windows updates, anti-virus updates and driver updates can also use up a LOT of bandwidth! We will tackle the steaming video first, since we know that watching online videos and downloading or streaming movies, TV shows, and video clips is likely high on your list of things you would like to be able to do with your HughesNet system! This first section of tips will help show you how to strike a balance and avoid going over your data limit!
Enjoy online video and conserve your data allowance!
One of the great things HughesNet makes possible is watching online videos and downloading or streaming movies, TV shows, video clips, and more! But online videos are notorious for gobbling up bandwidth, and if not managed properly, they can quickly deplete your data allowance. Here are a few things you can do to strike a balance and avoid going over the limit.
Disable automatic video player settings
Some Web sites, such as YouTube and CNN, have embedded videos that play automatically when you visit the page. Depending on your browser type, you can either disable this feature in the browser settings or download a plug-in to block videos from playing automatically.
Watch videos in lower resolution
Many video services have default settings that play video in High Definition (HD). A single HD movie file can be over 2 GB, which is a lot of bandwidth! Most services like Netflix, Roku, Hulu, and even YouTube can be adjusted to play at a lower resolution setting. Keep in mind that even the lowest Netflix setting is still DVD quality.
Here are some other tips and tricks to limit your bandwidth usage!
Be careful with video file-sharing services
File-sharing services like BitTorrent are a popular way to download and share videos and other online content, but they can quickly deplete your bandwidth. If you use a sharing service, pay attention to the file sizes you’re sharing and be sure to close your connection when you’re finished. An open torrent connection can continue to drain your bandwidth even while you sleep.
Use your Status Meter
The Status Meter is like a fuel gauge for your Data Allowance. You can even use it to purchase FAP Tokens if you need them. (Tokens are not available with HughesNet VAR Accounts). Don’t have the Status Meter yet ? Visit the HughesNet Support Center and download it today. It’s Free!
Disable Automatic Software Updates and Schedule Uploads & Downloads
Some programs are set up to download updates automatically. You can adjusts these settings and download updates only when you want them. Some anti-virus programs, online backup software and other applications allow you to schedule updates for a specific time of day also! And you can use a “Download Manager” to schedule the larger downloads at a specific time of day also so that you can download them during your “free download time” (Ku Band Systems) or during your “Bonus Bytes” time (Ka Band Systems).
Watch for Phantom Devices
Your computer isn’t the only device that may be using bandwidth. Check your smart phones, tablets, game consoles, satellite TV receivers, Blu-Ray players, etc. to make sure they are not draining your bandwidth!
Secure your Network
Unless you secure your wireless network, other devices in the area may be able to connect to your wireless network and use up your bandwidth! If you use wireless equipment in your home, be sure to visit your wireless products’ website to find out how to secure your connection and prevent unauthorized access.
We hope that some of these tips and tricks will help you enjoy your HughesNet Satellite Internet Service!
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how you can conserve your bandwidth usage!