Which Internet Providers Have a Data Cap? (& Which Ones Don’t)
March 25, 2020
Many reputed internet providers offer plans with data caps, which impose limits on the maximum amount of data you can transfer and receive over your internet connection during a given month. Once you exceed the imposed limit, the provider will either charge you for the additional data you use or slow down your connection, often known as throttling.
Knowing which internet providers have data caps and the cost of going over your data limits will help you choose the right internet plan for your home, ensuring the level of internet service you expect each month is maintained. This guide provides a compilation of which providers have data caps, and which ones don’t.
|Provider||Type of Internet||Data Cap?||Monthly Data Cap||Overage Fees|
|AT&T||DSL, Fiber||Y||150 GB to 1 TB, or Unlimited||$10 per 50 GB|
|Buckeye Broadband||Cable||Y||10 GB to 1,000 GB, or Unlimited||$10 per 50 GB|
|Cable One (now Sparklight)||Cable||Y||100 GB to 1,200 GB, or Unlimited||$10 per 100 GB|
|CenturyLink||DSL, Fiber||Y||1 TB or Unlimited||None|
|Cox||Cable, Fiber||Y||1 TB or Unlimited||$10 per 50 GB|
|HughesNet||Satellite||Y||10 GB to 50 GB||None|
|Mediacom||Cable||Y||150 GB to 6,000 GB||$10 per 50 GB|
|Suddenlink||Cable, Fiber||Y||250 GB to 550 GB, or Unlimited||$15 per 50 GB|
|Xfinity||Cable||Y||1 TB or Unlimited||$10 per 50 GB|
Popular internet providers and their data caps
Here’s a breakdown of all the leading internet providers and their data caps.
AT&T Internet plans have a data cap for each package ranging from 150 GB to 1 TB. Once you go over your data limit, you’ll have to pay $10 for each 50 GB data block. You can avoid data caps by opting for an unlimited plan or by paying an additional $30 on your existing package.
All of the Buckeye internet plans have data caps that range between 10 GB and 1,000 GB, except for one unlimited plan. Once you cross the data limit, Buckeye charges $10 for every 50 GB data block.
Cable One (Sparklight) has a data cap ranging from 100 GB to 1200 GB depending on the internet plan you choose. Once you exceed the data cap, each 50 GB block of data will cost you $10. However, to avoid data caps, you can pick from their unlimited data plans. Note: For their unlimited data plans, the provider may reduce your internet speeds if your usage goes beyond 5 TB of data in a month.
CenturyLink has a data cap of 1 TB for all of its internet plans. Currently, the company doesn’t charge if you exceed this monthly limit. The provider will instead offer you a choice to either reduce the data usage or subscribe to a higher speed plan. Alternatively, you can also select the unlimited internet plan to avoid CenturyLink data caps.
Cox internet plans come with a data cap of 1 TB. If you exceed this data limit, you’ll have to pay $10 for each 50 GB data block used. An alternative option is to buy an additional 500 GB data plan or an unlimited Cox data usage plan.
There aren’t any data caps on any of the Frontier internet plans. You can use the internet as long as you want without worrying about throttled speeds or additional fees.
HughesNet has a data cap for all the internet plans it offers, and it varies from 10 GB to 50 GB, depending on the package you’ve selected. You won’t be required to pay for additional data consumption, but once you exceed the data limit, the provider throttles down the speed to between 1 Mbps and 3 Mbps.
Mediacom has data caps that range from 100 GB to 6,000 GB for all the cable internet plans. Once you exceed the Mediacom usage, each 50 GB block of data will cost you $10 for the remainder of the month.
Optimum internet plans don’t have data caps. You can enjoy unlimited internet access at high speeds without any additional fees or speed reductions.
All RCN internet plans are free from data caps.
There are no data caps on any of the Spectrum internet plans.
Suddenlink internet plans have data caps in place that range between 250 GB to 550 GB. Additional data usage will cost you $15 for each 50 GB data block used. The provider also has unlimited data plans in case you want to avoid data caps.
Verizon Fios internet plans don’t have any data caps.
All Windstream internet plans are free of data caps.
Most of the Xfinity internet plans have a data cap of 1 TB. When you exceed this limit, the provider will charge $10 per each 50 GB block of data. Alternatively, you can opt for an unlimited Xfinity data usage plan to access the internet without any data limits.
Data cap FAQs
What are data caps?
A data cap is a monthly limit your internet service provider places on the amount of data you can use for all your internet activities. Once you exceed this limit, you may be required to pay overage fees for the additional data you use, or the provider will slow down the internet speed until the end of your monthly billing cycle. In most cases, service providers send alerts through a text message or email when your data usage is about to approach the limit.
How much data does gaming use?
Depending on the gaming titles, one hour of gameplay will consume anywhere between 40 MB and 250 MB of data.
How much is one terabyte?
One Terabyte (TB) equals 1,024 Gigabytes (GB) or 10,240 Megabytes (MB).
How to choose a data plan?
When choosing a data plan, always look for the data caps imposed by the internet service provider. A data cap won’t be a problem if you’re using the internet for basic surfing, online chatting and email. However, if you need an internet connection to stream HD videos or play online games, a data-capped plan can impact your internet experience once you exceed your data limit.