How Do People Not Use More Than 1TB Data Monthly?

OpenVault, a company that helps ISPs track bandwidth usage, recently reported that 4.12 percent of U.S. households are now “power users” who use 1TB of bandwidth monthly.

OpenVault’s year end 2018 data showed that:

Average usage for all households was 268.7GB/HH in 2018, up from 226.4GB/HH at the end of June 2018 and a 33.3% increase over the YE 2017 average of 201.6GB/HH.

Median usage was 145.2GB/HH in 2018, up from 116.4GB/HH in June 2018 and a 40% increase over the YE 2017 median of 103.6GB/HH.

The percentage of power users – defined as those households using 1TB or more – almost doubled in 2018, rising to 4.12% of all households from 2.11% in 2017, while the percentage of households exceeding 250GB rose to 36.4% from 28.4% during the same timespan.

How do people use so little data? I am somewhat fortunate as a Charter Spectrum customer that my ISP is prohibited from having bandwidth caps until 2023. My data usage at home is in the 2-3TB/month range…and that’s just my own personal usage, not including the wife and kids (hell, I use more wifi data per month just on my phone than the average household in this report uses).

With YouTube, Netflix, torrenting …uh … Linux ISOs, downloading games on XBox, Playstation and Steam, and the myriad of other bandwidth hogs, 1TB/month would seem to be a typical consumption pattern. I’m surprised the median and average are so low given how widespread and essential the Internet has become.

Bandwidth Monitor for Windows

For a personal project, I needed a program that would track daily bandwidth utilization on a few Windows laptops I use. So far, Bandwidth Monitor seems to be the best choice with one caveat — it does cost $19.95 to register after the 30 day trial period.

There are freeware bandwidth monitors for Windows available and I tried a few of them, but they tended to be wildly inaccurate in their reporting of bandwidth usage.