My DSL Usage

This May, AT&T DSL users are going to get a DSL cap (in their arse) of 150GB or 250GB for U-verse users. I thought I was going to be in trouble because I like to watch a lot of tv shows and movies on my computer and I’m also on the internet all day long so I never really had a gauge on how much internet I have been using until now.

I’ve been looking at my DSL usage every month to make sure I don’t go over 150GB because once you go over they start charging you $10 for every 50GB. The first thing that came to mind was EverQuest. When I was playing EverQuest, I was on that game for up to 16 hours a day. It was the first thing I did when I woke up and the last thing I did before I went to bed. I was a hardcore gamer. But I haven’t played it since 2008 so no problems right?

Well, I’ve been wanting to get back into it the last few months but not with EverQuest, this time with a free game but would I be screwed if all of a sudden I started playing a game that uses up a lot of internet?

Here’s my test. I started playing Lord of the Rings Online 1 month ago on 3/19/2011 and I’ve been playing practically every day since. Here in this graph you can see my data usage in mid February through mid March as 17.29GB download and 6.26 up. That was with just regular internet being on Twitter, blogging, looking at Hulu and YouTube videos, facebook, email etc.

Now look at this last month from March 17 through April 16. Not a lot of difference is there? It only went up by 3GB and the upload actually went down by 3GB which I wasn’t expecting.  I don’t really understand why my upload is so high, I mean, I never send files to anyone.  The only uploading I ever do is when I upload an image to my blog and even then it’s only a few KB here and a few KB there.  I don’t even upload videos to YouTube so that confuses me.

(I’m sure someone will explain it to me and I will feel stupid lol.)

Now keep in mind, I’m not on this game 16 hours a day. I can’t, my carpal tunnel doesn’t allow it. I mean, I’m having pain now just from typing this. I usually get on at around 10 or 11am and play until 3 to 4pm or when my hands start to hurt.

I get off the game not just because of my hands but because of my shows.  When I was playing EQ I would miss my shows every night because we were a raiding/family guild and they expected me to be on every night.  I would have to record my shows so that I could watch them later but I can’t do that anymore since the Digital Cable can block certain signals from recording.  The only way for me to do that now is if I had a DVR which I don’t so I play during the day and reserve my nighttime for my shows.  I don’t want a game to rule my life which is one of the many reasons I quit playing EQ.

So this was a good test to see how much DSL data I use every month with a game at the hours that I play.  I’m very satisfied that I won’t have to worry about going over my 150GB/mo.  I mean, I don’t care about $10 if I go over but I don’t want that hanging over my head and it won’t because I don’t use enough to ever have that problem.

As far as me playing Lord of the Rings Online, I absolutely love it.  I’m not as much of a hardcore gamer as I used to be and that’s a good thing.  Actually I start getting bored after awhile.  Yesterday I was falling asleep because I was bored with the area that I was in since I had been there for a couple of days.  I had to leave and go somewhere else to wake me up.

This game is really fun and relaxed and even though I’m already hooked on it, I don’t think it will rule me because of my hands.  So that’s a good thing.  My hands are like a timer for me.  When they start hurting, it’s time to sign off and go watch tv.

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AT&T’s New DSL Data Cap

I saw this story on Attack of the Show on G4 today and went over to Engadget to find more information on this oh so glorious (NOT) news. Apparently, AT&T has decided to give all of us DSL and AT&T U-Verse users a monthly data cap.

AT&T will cap DSL and U-Verse internet, impose overage fees – Source Engadget

So if you have regular DSL from AT&T, you have a cap of 150GB per month and if you have U-Verse you get 250GB which somehow doesn’t include video for U-Verse customers which I assume means they stream from the internet. I wouldn’t know, it’s not available in my area.

So I guess it had to happen sooner or later and I probably don’t have anything to bitch about considering I don’t even play online games anymore. Although, I had planned on starting again, this has squashed that idea.

The Engadget article says that AT&T will be sending emails to their DSL customers next week telling them of this new suckfest with instructions on how to check your data usage so you will be able to tell how much bandwidth you are using so you don’t go over. If you do go over you get charged a penalty of $10 per 50GB you use over your cap.  They send you an email warning you that you are about to go over a certain percentage so you can either turn off your computer or switch to the Verizon 3/4G on your phone or CR-48.

They say that 98% of their customers won’t have an issue with this because they only use maybe 17GB per month. Well, to that I say that those people must only check their email and maybe go onto facebook and twitter once per day unlike those of us who like to play online games for hours, watch movies, YouTube videos, tv shows on Hulu and Tweet about it all about the same time.

Since they haven’t emailed me the data usage tool, I won’t know where I stand but I’ll bet it’s almost at the data cap. I have my Desktop going for TweetDeck, Lord of Ultima (online game), MS Money and whatever else and my CR-48 netbook for email, FB, Blogging and looking at websites with.

And to think, I was going to cancel our cable for internet TV via the Roku box to stream our tv shows and movies directly to our TV’s. So much for that idea. I’m sort of glad it didn’t pan out for us now because I’m sure we would have gone over our 150GB data cap the first week of the month.

Ugh, I feel like we’re living in the electronic age depression now lol. I’ll be standing in the data lines instead of the 1920’s depression bread lines. Then in about 40 years, if I’m still alive, I’ll tell kids “why when I was your age we had to wait in line for our data and we had to walk 5 miles to school uphill both ways in the snow.”

I can’t wait to see my data usage, I will update this post when I get my email from AT&T.

News and Image Source Engadget.

Update: I finally got the email today and this is the url that they gave me to see my usage www.MyUsage.att.com but they say in there that my usage will not be calculated until I’ve gone over 70% so that doesn’t show me anything.

I’ve installed the “Lord of the Rings Online” MMORPG game so I’ll play that for a few days and see what happens.