Our customers often call with questions, wondering about YourLink’s “unlimited data” Internet service plans. What does this really mean for them? How is YourLink different than other service providers in Saskatchewan? Below are just a few things you should know before you sign any contracts…
Data Caps, Throttling & the Internet of Things
A bandwidth cap, also known as a data cap, limits the transfer of a specified amount of data over a specific period of time.
Many Internet service providers commonly apply a data cap when a network shared by many users becomes overloaded, or when a provider sees an opportunity to exploit a customers’ lack of competitive options or understanding of their contract. Implementation of a bandwidth cap is sometimes called a “fair access policy”, “fair usage policy”, or “usage‐based billing:.
Unlike some ISP’s in Saskatchewan, Yourlink does not impose bandwidth caps.
“Bandwidth throttling” is the intentional slowing of a user’s Internet service to limit upload and download rates. It can be set on programs such as video streaming, BitTorrent protocols and other file sharing applications. It can also be used as a tool to penalize users who go over a fixed (and often unknown) bandwidth cap, as well as to even out the usage of total bandwidth supplied to all users on the network.
Bandwidth throttling is also often used by Internet service providers to gain additional revenue by compelling users to level up to more expensive pricing packages where bandwidth is not throttled.
Unlike some ISP’s in Saskatchewan, Yourlink does not employ bandwidth throttling.
So really, what about the Speed?
Occasionally, Internet users experience a lagging video game or a buffering YouTube or Netflix video. YourLink wlll always do our best to minimize buffering and other slowdowns, but this is normal for broadband users at any Internet service provider, at least some of the time. Let’s take a look at some common causes of Internet slowdown.
It’s Not Your Connection, It’s Your Wi‐Fi
Regardless of your Internet connection speed, Wi‐Fi can degrade that speed in all sorts of ways. Most people won’t enjoy all of their available bandwidth because Wi‐Fi reception can be subpar at the best of times. Also, every device on Wi-Fi is using up some of your bandwidth, also lowering overall performance. There are numerous ways to improve it, but they’ll only take you so far. When using the internet wirelessly, you often have to lower your expectations a little bit.
It’s Not Your Connection, It’s Someone Else’s
Just because a speed test reveals your connection is capable of certain data rates doesn’t mean you’ll always get them. For example, if your connection provides 5mbps downstream, the server you’re connecting to has to provide the same speed upstream just to you. You’re not the only one connecting, so that’s a lot of bandwidth. Major sites do usually have high amounts of bandwidth and can match these high demands on numerous occasions, but many will not. This doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your connection, but that the server you’re connecting to cannot match the demands both you and everyone else is requesting for service.
Torrenting (or Other Downloads)
There are multiple computers using YourLink Internet at any given time. If there are users on your tower using file sharing apps like Bittorrent, essentially a large number of files are being constantly downloaded from ‐ and uploaded to ‐ other computers on the Internet, these tend to suck up a lot of bandwidth, and all network connections on the same tower will suffer as a result.
Of course, BitTorrent isn’t the only thing that bogs down your connection. A lot of other apps can run in the background and slow things down, either briefly or for quite a while. Apps and devices often automatically update themselves and can cause a big bandwidth drain when downloading several updates at once. Be sure to check on everything capable of utilizing your connection in the event a slowdown occurs.
Your Router Isn’t Doing Its Job
Routers are tiny little computers that manage your network. Sometimes they require a bit too much of themselves and cause problems. That’s why many routers require a regular restart. Sometimes you can easily fix this problem, but other times you may just have a bad worn out router. Unfortunately, routers often don’t fail by completely dying. Rather, they’ll stop working well and you won’t notice immediately. If your router turns into a declining dud, you’ll probably want to get a new one.
When there might be a Problem with Your Line or Modem
YourLink may not need to send someone to your home to fix our services. It could be you only need a little technical support and you’ll be back up and running.
Our team is here 7 days a week, so pick a time where you can spare around 30 minutes to unplug your modem and other devices, wait with us on the phone while we ask you about the weather, set things back up and re-check your connection.
Once you’ve indulged us, and if we see there’s a need for a service call, we will send someone to come to your home and look at the issue firsthand.
If you’ve read all the way to here good for you! We hope this has cleared a few things up for you.
If you still have questions about any of this (or anything else), we want to hear from you. Call either YourLink sales at 1.866.650.5465 or customer support at 1.888.671.5465. We will be happy to assist you any way we can!