A number of ISP’s, most notably cable internet providers such as Time Warner, Comcast and AT&T, are moving to a metered access model where the customer pays for Internet access based on usage. Personally, I don’t think this is a bad idea as we pay for metered access for other utilities such as electricity and gas, but the pricing structure must be reasonable. I do not currently have cable internet access and use DSL so this will not affect me in the near future but the discussion did lead me to wonder how much bandwidth I consume.
I installed Netlimiter 2 Lite, which is a free program to monitor your network and provides statistics for bandwidth usage. I used the Internet normally for a week, between 6/18/2008-6/24/08, and then took a look at my usage. I surfed, downloaded a couple of programs, watched a long soccer game online, torrented one file, worked on this website, and watched some clips on Hulu and Youtube. I do not play online games and did not watch any streaming movies or download any large files, such as a 4 GB linux distribution. It was, I believe, a standard week of usage for me. I’m not one of the heavy users that the ISP’s are concerned with but I believe my usage is higher than the average. I am, however, the only user of the internet in my household, I don’t run my own business and I don’t telecommute. On Monday through Friday there is at least 10-12 hours that I am not using my connection and because I am trying to reduce my energy consumption my computer is almost off during that time as well.
In one week I used 7.4117 GB of data. This was 6.7748 in downloads and .6368 in uploads. My usage was highest, obviously, over the weekend because I was home and using the connection all day long The heaviest day by far was Sunday 6/22/08 with over 3GB of data being consumed. This makes sense because it was the day I watched the Spain vs. Italy Euro2008 soccer match online via ESPN360.