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How to Entertain Yourself When Your Internet Bandwidth is Capped

I recently moved to a new apartment, unfortunately, cursed with a poor wireless internet. Not only is it slow, it’s also capped at 1.5 GB of data per month. Any more data than that means I have to take out my credit card and pay ridiculous fees.

I had to rethink how I consume entertainment online to compensate for the new requirements. 1.5 GB of data runs out quickly when you use your PC as much as I do. You have to keep yourself to a few rules when you have such small bandwidth. Here’s a few do’s and don’t’s for users with capped data.

Stay Entertained With Limited Internet Access

Do Read EBooks

eBooks are the most data-efficient way to entertain yourself. Just a few megabytes of data can hold a book hundreds of pages long. You could download dozens of books without breaking a gigabyte of data.

Plus, some of the greatest works of art in history are available as free eBooks. Classic books from Charles Dickens and other Victorian authors have entered public domain by now. They’re good.

There are millions of eBooks out there, and some of them are the digital versions of amazing books.

Whatever kinds of books you like, they’re probably available as eBooks that won’t break your data.

Don’t Watch Netflix

Video streaming consumes massive amounts of data. It takes a whole lot of bytes to pull down that Netflix movie in 1080p.

Data-conscious users should not even bother watching Netflix. Consider this: a typical episode of a 30-minute episode is 300 MB. Streaming that episode means downloading 300 MB of data.

YouTube is just as bad. You can probably get away with shorter videos, but any heavy watching will consume excessive data.

Do Play Indie Games And Emulators

Limited data doesn’t spell doom for gamers. It just limits the selection of games you can play.

Indie games tend to require less data than fully-featured games because they use fewer resources like graphics and sound effects.

Games like N and Spelunky are low-resolution titles, but they also won’t break your data connection.

Emulators offer similar amounts of gameplay without requiring excessive bandwidth for downloading older games.

You can pick up classic NES, SNES, and Game Boy Advance games that clock in at just a few megabytes. There are some great classic games that will give you dozens of hours of gameplay, so check those out.

Don’t Play Modern Games

I can’t emphasize this enough. Do not play modern games. This should go without saying for 3D AAA-games like Mass Effect or Call of Duty, which require up to 10 gigs of storage for graphics and other resources.

However, even indie games can take up hundreds of megabytes of data for art assets and gameplay stuff. Be sure to check the requirements before downloading anything modern.

Do Play Old Games

Classic PC games from before 2000 hail from a time when computers had less storage than they do now.

Some fantastic games like Unreal Tournament and Quake take 100 MB of data at the absolute maximum. You can download those without destroying your data.

Plus, Quake and UT offer a kind of addictive, fast-paced multiplayer you don’t often see anymore. You can even play with your friends and not have to use up your data.

Final Thoughts

I’m still unhappy about having such a limited connection to the internet, but I’ll survive. There’s still plenty to do. Did we miss anything? Do let us know any ideas you might have in the comments below.


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