Things to remember before Santa arrives..
With the big mans visit fast approaching, there are a few things you should remember before his arrival to make sure you don’t have any disappointed smallies (or not so smallies) in the house on Christmas Day and over the holidays:
Consoles, Games and Gaming
Video Streaming, Netflix and "Dodgy" TV boxes
Many new devices will need to be connected to the internet, and to connect them wirelessly, you will need your wifi password.
If your wireless router was installed by BBnet, the password should be clearly written on the device (usually on a BBnet label). If for any reason you do not have your password, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help you.
Some customers may use their own wireless router or may have Wi-Fi extenders, powerline adapaters, repeaters etc that were not supplied by BBnet. In this case, you would need to speak to who ever configured the device or refer to the manufacturers instructions or settings. Unfortunately, we do not have access to devices we did not supply or install.
Quite often Christmas will see the arrival of new games consoles or new games to many homes. As well as needing the Wi-Fi password to connect the console, you should also be aware of the data requirements to get up and running on some of the consoles or games themselves. More and more frequently, new games are provided as a download and some of these are VERY large files ( We have seen some which are up to 70-80GB per game). Some games may also require updates, which can be 20-30GB on their own in some cases.
This can become an issue if there is a fair usage policy on your internet connection, or if you have an older package where download speeds may not be that high.
Currently, our GoFibre services are completely unlimited so this does not apply.
However, customers on wireless packages generally have a daily fair usage amount on the connection.
For example BBnet JET, currently has a daily fair usage policy of 30GB per day and this is monitored between 08.00am and midnight daily. If you exceed this, the connection speed will be reduced until midnight. Many game downloads will exceed this, and so the game will download more slowly. and it will impact other users in the home.
Some customers on older packages may have a daily fair usage policy of 10GB per day and a download speed of 4 or 8Mb. Downloads of games will impact this type of service quite quickly.
Fair usage is only monitored between 08.00 and midnight, and any downloads you run overnight are not counted as part of daily fair usage.
Who doesn’t like sitting around, in front of the fire, eating lots of goodies and watching a good Christmas movie..or binge watching a series on Netflix while the office is closed? Be it on a smart TV, new tablet or laptop or even on your phone, if you are streaming video content to a device, it does use your internet connection and it is dependent on the speeds available to you, and can massively affect your data usage.
We take a look at some of the most common video streaming issues we come across.
Youtube / Netflix / Amazon Prime / Sky on Demand / Now TV
All legitimate, and in most cases paid for video on demand services. They are popular for a reason, they work and generally work well but they do have some minimum requirements and in some cases heavy data usage. We are going to use Netflix as the main example here as it is one of the most widely used platforms for video in Ireland at the moment.
Netflix tends to be one of the most stable video streaming platforms available right now, which apart from the content is one of the reasons it is so popular. However, like any service it has some minimum requirements and gotchas.
The package you are subscribed to on Netflix, and the speed of your broadband connection will both determine how many devices can stream at any one time and what definition it will stream at.
The basic package, as an example will allow one device and only allow Standard definition viewing
The Premium and Ultra packages will allow up to 4 devices to stream simultaneously, and at up to 4k / Ultra High Definition
The package you are subscribed to and the content itself in turn determines what kind of speed you need to run each device.
For standard definition viewing, Netflix requires about 0.7Mbps
However, when you go to Ultra HD, it requires 15Mb….and that is per device.
So if you have 4 devices streaming 4k or Ultra HD content on Netflix at the same time, you need 60Mb at least to support all devices. If you are streaming in Standard definition on 4 devices, 3Mb will probably suffice.
However, this assumes that there is nothing else being used in the home, so no-one on youtube, or downloading a game or a movie in another room. There is a limit to what you can do with any internet connection!
The other big issue with Netflix usage, is if you have a limit or fair usage policy on your internet connection, you need to be conscious of that and how video streaming will affect your data usage.
Netflix indicate the following usage, per device:
- Low– 0.3 GB per hour per device
- Medium– SD: 0.7 GB per hour per device
- High– Best video quality, up to 3 GB per hour per device for HD, and 7 GB per hour per device for Ultra HD
- Auto– Adjusts automatically to deliver the highest possible quality, based on your current internet connection speed
TIP : The easiest way to control the amount of data you use, is to adjust the settings on your Netflix account.
To do this login to your Netflix account, select the profile you wish to adjust and select account settings
Select playback settings.
Adjust the video settings and click save.
(Note this change can take up to 8 hours to take affect. It is also not possible to change data usage on the KIDS profile)
TV Boxes / Showbox / Mobdro / Torrents
Our support team hear about these services more and more as time goes on. The reality of using such services is they are “free” or cheap for a reason, they are not a legitimate service, provided by someone who is not a licensed or authorised provider and in fact they are illegally streaming content.
NOTE : BBnet do not support these TV services
Problems streaming video from any of these services are generally more to do with the service/ provider rather than the speed or quality of your broadband connection. That is the reality.
You may have a 1 Gb Fibre to the Home service installed in your home, and still have issues with these services. We have heard of cases where this happens and it is 100% not down to the speed of the connection.
Quite often these services are hosted in a different country on private networks, that are completely overloaded with people trying to do the same thing you are…i.e. access free or cheap copyrighted content. WE have also seen wildly differing traffic requirements on these boxes, Anything from 2Mb to 15Mb to run them, and in turn data usage by the box differs widly.
Similarly using torrents or apps like Showbox to download video content, can be problematic. Downloads can be slow on some files, fast on others.. There is no standard for these services.