Computers & Electronics

Unlimited Downloads - Actual Limits?

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  • Jun 8th, 2021 10:48 am
Nov 6, 2003
313 posts
Oakville, ON

Unlimited Downloads - Actual Limits?

I've always wondered what the various internet providers really mean by unlimited and if they actually have a threshold amount where they start to throttle or stop service. I'm not talking about GB per month usage, but instead TB per month. For example, is 10TB/50TB/100TB+ all supported without any issues from Canadian providers?

Can anyone give any real-world numbers on how many TB they've hit per month and what providers they are with (eg Bell, Rogers, Cogeco, Start etc). I'd be interested to know real numbers and if anyone has seen any impact to their service when approaching those numbers.

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9 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 23, 2004
2753 posts
someone said lucky mobile had a limit by their parents in rfd
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Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2016
2832 posts
May be the bigger ISPs like Rogers and Bell do not care that much, but TPIA like Cannet/Carrytel etc certainly do not like you downloading a lot even on unmetered connection. No one knows for sure what the actual cut off is, but I would think 1-1.5TB a month might be the be the line they do not want you to cross.
Nov 6, 2003
313 posts
Oakville, ON
I've hit 3TB per month down on Bell Fibe so that backs up the larger ISP theory. I thought I read somewhere someone had reached 10TB/per month so this got me thinking what the actual limits might be if they exist.

Any other thoughts or specific experiences on Bell/Rogers/Cogeco?
Jr. Member
Feb 9, 2008
159 posts
Vancouver, BC
I think they won't bug you until you are a nuisance to your neighbours and they discover that one person is tying up all the bandwidth.
This was mainly an issue with ADSL/Cable but probably less now with fibre.
People have bragged about going way over, in the past.

But I wouldn't be surprised if bell comes up with some charge (or forced plan upgrade), citing a fair use policy, to make a few bucks.
I think I've read post in the past where people were given the option to upgrade to a more expensive plan or have services terminated.

I've gone a little bit over with Shaw in the past and no issues. Something like 200-500GB over, nothing major.
Deal Guru
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Feb 10, 2007
12371 posts
Read the TOS regarding "fair-use policy"
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Deal Addict
Jun 20, 2020
4658 posts
kocoman wrote: someone said lucky mobile had a limit by their parents in rfd
They are not an internet service provider, afaik
Sr. Member
Nov 23, 2004
863 posts
There's almost always a term in the T&C that mentions either something about fair use, or that gives the ISP a reason to basically just cancel your service if they please.

I started my career over a decade ago at a small local ISP that had unlimited usage. They do watch for heavy abusers, but you have to very consistently pass a massive threshold for several months in a row before they'd call you and either suggest business grade internet or cancel you. I forget the numbers, but it was a decade ago so those bandwidth numbers wouldn't even be remotely relevant today anyway. I'd have to assume this happens everywhere - the data hoarding subreddit has people bring it up every now and then, even on the major internet players.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Dec 23, 2003
15375 posts
How are you folks racking up TB's of data a month? We have the TV on which is streamed via the Internet, music going on, youtube videos, and downloaded multiple windows updates on PC's and have yet to even come to 500 GB a month.
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Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27545 posts
I've hit 20TB a month a few times with Shaw.
My usual average is between 5 and 10TB.

I haven't tested it with my newest ISP that's gigabit fiber yet.
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