How much data are you using? Experts weigh in as residents see higher internet bills

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Posted at 3:54 PM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 20:27:29-04

Cox and CenturyLink gave families unlimited internet data during part of the pandemic, but that offer ended right before many Arizona kids started online school, leaving some families with higher internet bills.

ABC15 asked Ken Colburn with Data Doctors, how do you know how much data your household uses on any given day?

Colburn says first, contact your internet provider and figure out if you have a data cap on your internet plan. If so, find out what that number is. Then, look to see who the manufacturer of your router is. He says you'll have to contact the maker of the router and tell them you'd like to be able to track your data usage.

“The initial set up can get a little complicated and you do have to have the administrative password, which on new routers, it’s right on the device itself," Colburn said. "Once it’s set up, it’s not that big a deal, but if it’s too technical just get someone to help you set it up, because once it’s set up it’s pretty easy to manage."

He says from there, there are ways to then pull up that usage on your phone or computer so you can keep track of it throughout the month.

Colburn says streaming movies or shows on different platforms, like Netflix, and playing video games on your computer typically take up the most data.

He says you can estimate how much bandwidth your household typically uses by clicking here.

Colburn tells us you can also add parental controls to any wireless network to limit your child from watching YouTube videos or going on other websites while doing online learning.

Editor's note: Cox is waiving the first month of data overage. The company recently increased data usage caps by a minimum of 1.25TB.