How Much Broadband Does a Household Use

Reply Sat 16 Aug, 2014 09:04 am
My wife and are planning an extended car trip out west, renting an RV. And although the places where we might pull in at night may have Wi-Fi, we were thinking about spending the $20, and purchasing one of the USB laptop modem aircards, for some connectivity while on the road. The aircard vendors we've looked at all have pretty good coverage in the areas we're going to be traveling. We're not huge broadband consumers, but I see that you can purchase prepaid blocks of time for set prices (300MB / 1-week / $15). Candidly, I don't have any clue how much our broadband usage is per day / per week - although I suspect it's either much more (or much less) than I think. Which really isn't helpful in narrowing this down.

Anybody have any ideas of what a household of two would use per day, where the occupants are not streaming tons of videos or other high capacity downloads/uploads (and no high-consuming youngsters)? Is there some way to query your Wi-Fi router for how much "traffic" is running through it?
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Reply Sat 16 Aug, 2014 09:41 am
Do what I recently did for prepaid cell phone airtime for a long trip. Buy what you think you need plus a smaller amount. It doesn't expire and can be used at anytime and place.

I suspect that the vendor also makes it possible to purchase via their website so you can probably also add more as needed via the website or a customer service phone number.
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Reply Sat 16 Aug, 2014 10:04 am
You can use a network analyzer (Sniffer). Wireshark is free. It will give you all kinds of info including what you are looking for.
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Reply Sat 16 Aug, 2014 11:25 am
Depending on who your provider is they might have a usage meter you can check.
Comcast and Verizon have such a meter. My house has varied from 8 GB to 30 GB in the last 3 months. Watched the new season of Orange is the New Black in the 30GB month.

The average family usage seems to be about 27GB per month.

What is your personal usage?
Email? with picture or video attachments?
Web surfing with lots of pictures?
Youtube? Those cat videos add up over time.

Verizon and ATT have calculators to help you try to figure out your data usage for cell phones. It may or may not be helpful.
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