When you are looking at AOL broadband you will see that all of their packages have no data limit. This unlimited data allowance is attractive to most consumers as everyone is spending more time online these days. However, you have to ask yourself whether this unlimited broadband is truly unlimited. To better understand whether AOL offers truly unlimited broadband you have to, of course, know what truly unlimited means. You should also consider why you would want truly unlimited broadband, and whether simply unlimited broadband is sufficient for your user profile.
What is Truly Unlimited Broadband?
Before you can determine if AOL has truly unlimited broadband you need to know what truly unlimited broadband is. The biggest problem with determining truly unlimited broadband is the fact that there is no set definition. Some providers state that truly unlimited is a broadband package that has no data cap. However, there are other providers that state that this is a broadband package without any data cap, or fair use, or traffic management policy.
Most consumers will agree with the latter of the providers when looking at truly unlimited broadband. This means that you have to find out if there are any fair use and traffic management policies covering the broadband package you want. This can become tricky as some providers have policies which affect one of their unlimited packages and not another. Reading the small print on any contract is the only way to be sure that broadband is truly unlimited.
Why You Need Truly Unlimited Broadband
You may be wondering why you need truly unlimited broadband. If you download a lot of data, or if you use very data heavy programmes, then you should look at truly unlimited broadband. Households that have a number of devices connected to the broadband connection should also look at these packages.
If you use a normal unlimited broadband package that is affected by fair use and traffic management you may be penalised for excessive downloading. With these packages you do not have a limit on the actual data amounts, but there are restrictions on when you can download quickly and the amount you can download during these times. When you exceed these amounts your speed may be throttled.
Truly unlimited broadband does not have any of these restrictions and allows you to download as much as you want, when you want. You can also complete media streaming at any time with truly unlimited broadband. If you stream media without truly unlimited broadband then you may suffer from pausing videos as buffering occurs.
The difference between a truly unlimited package and a normal unlimited package will not affect most internet users; however, heavy internet users will suffer when they do not use truly unlimited broadband.
Is AOL Broadband Truly Unlimited?
When you are looking at AOL broadband you should consider whether it is truly unlimited or not. The best way to do this is to see if there are any provider policies that affect the packages. The fact is that AOL unlimited broadband is not truly unlimited because it is subject to fair use and traffic management policies.
This is in line with the overall offering from AOL. It is no frills broadband. All of their broadband packages are unlimited, but they do not come with the extras that many other providers include in their packages. It is important that you read what the policies are if you are going to take a package with AOL. You should know the potential consequences of breaching the policies.
In the past it was mainly fibre optic packages that had unlimited broadband. Today you can get ADSL packages that also have unlimited data allowances.
Unlimited Broadband Speeds
When you look at unlimited broadband packages you should not only look at whether it is truly unlimited or not, you should also consider the speeds you will get with the package.
The speed of your broadband can affect how much you get out of the unlimited package. If you are only getting speeds of up to 1mb per second you may wonder if the cost of unlimited data is worthwhile. Unlimited data packages generally cost more than capped packages, but you need the speed to truly enjoy them. ADSL connections have a speed limit of 14mb per second because the cables cannot handle faster speeds. However, many providers have upgraded the cables to ADSL2+, which offers speeds of up to 28mb per second. If you are in an upgraded area you should ask your provider about these faster speeds.
Can You Cope with Normal Unlimited Broadband?
The fact is that the truly unlimited broadband versus unlimited broadband difference does not affect most people. Most consumers do not exceed the amounts in the provider policies at any time. The peak times that are set out in these policies may not apply to everyone either.
Some providers have peak times which are during the day, but most people are at work during these times and do not have to worry about exceeding the policies. The peak times that occur over the weekend generally do not affect most people either, as they are in reality quite generous. You should check what the peak times are as listed by your provider.
There are certain services which seem to be less stable on truly unlimited broadband. Streaming services, like BBC iPlayer and Netflix, are two notable examples services, and consumers have found that these services works better on normal unlimited broadband. It is possible that this is the same for other streaming and downloading services. Truly unlimited broadband will mean heavy consumers are putting high demand on the networks at peak times.
When you look at unlimited broadband you should check if the claims of it being truly unlimited are true. Of course, you have to remember that there is no set definition for what truly unlimited means and so you should read the small print of your shortlisted providers.
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