Yep, we’ve all been there. Logged in to our computers one morning, gone to visit Facebook and …. chuuuuuuuuuugggg. How anyone ever managed to do anything on the internet with a dial-up connection we’ll never know but certainly, in this day and age, it’s near on impossible to send an email while on dial-up much less do anything remotely useful or fun.
Which is why, when we find ourselves in the position where our kids have used up our entire internet allowance in the first week of the month and we’ve been shaped, it’s pretty horrifying. No more Netflix, no more YouTube, no more Facebook until the end of month is reached and everything is back to normal again.
So … what to do about this situation? Well we have four suggestions:
1. See if your ISP does data upgrades
Some ISPs will let you buy a data upgrade for a month. And this is very useful if your reason for being shaped is a bit of a one-off type scenario.
2. Increase your plan with your ISP
If being shaped is a regular occurrence in your house, then you’re probably going to have to increase your plan with your ISP. While it might seem a lot to pay an extra $10-20 a month, that amount pales in insignificance to lost productivity from not being able to work fast … or increased mobile phone costs because you’re using the mobile network instead of your home wireless to access the internet on your phone.
3. Make new family rules
If your kids are up all night in their bedrooms streaming YouTube or torrenting TV shows, then it’s going to be hard to keep a lid on your internet usage. And you’re going to find yourself exceeding your allowance on a regular basis. So it may be worth introducing a house rule where all devices are turned off after 9.30pm. Your kids may not like these rules but unless they’re willing to chip in for the largest package going round, they don’t really get to protest right?!
4. Try blocking
If your kids aren’t into rule following, you might have to take a stronger stance. Something like the KidsBlocker product allows you schedule internet access, block access to certain websites, and turn off internet access via an app. Pretty handy!
All in all, it gets very difficult to keep a lid on costs when there are several people in one house all using a variety of devices to access a lot of rich media stuff. That’s why, in our experience, it really takes a mixture of the above to get results and stop those darn kids using up all your internet in the first weeks of each month! #3 is the hardest, but usually the most effective!