Internet usage

What affects my Internet usage?

Which activities increase the amount of transferred data and, consequently, my Internet usage?

“Basic” surfing, that is, visiting Web sites and sending or receiving e-mail (without attachments), does not involve the transfer of large amounts of data.


However, certain activities can quickly increase your usage :

  • Sharing files via peer-to-peer software
  • Streaming visual files, as when communicating via Webcam (Skype, MSN)
  • Videoconferences
  • Watching online video sites like YouTube
  • Downloading movies and music
  • Listening to Internet radio (audio streaming)
  • Playing network games (game console or computer)

We recommend that you choose a package that will meet your actual Internet needs.

Description of the applications that increase usage


Online games

The continuous exchange of information to synchronize players with each other and with the gaming site (ex. downloading demos or extensions) requires much more bandwidth than a network game.


Streaming is the reading of audio and/or video files as they are broadcast. The data are downloaded directly from the Internet and not saved to your computer. The most popular applications are YouTube, SHOUTcast Radio, and videoconferences (Webcam). Using these applications will increase your download usage, that is, from the Internet to your computer. Videoconferences will also increase your upload usage, as your image is sent to the other participants.


Please note: le contenu disponible en haute définition (HD) sur ces sites nécessite une plus grande utilisation de la bande passante que le contenu régulier.


Sending and receiving e-mail, especially with large file attachments (PowerPointTM, images), can increase usage for those who are sending (uploading) as well as receiving (downloading). It is important to always take the size of your attached files into consideration.


Peer-to-peer (P2P)

Peer-to-peer software allows users on the same network to download files located on another user’s computer (download) and vice-versa (upload). This way, Internet users can easily exchange files via the Internet. The best examples of peer-to-peer sites are illegal download and free download sites like LimeWire, Kazaa, and BitTorrent.


P2P applications remain active in the background if they are not closed properly – even if you have stopped using them. External users can download files located on your computer without your knowledge, thus increasing the amount of data being transferred and therefore your upload usage (sending). It is very important to close the application carefully when you are done.


Wireless router

When a wireless router is installed, its default setting does not provide a “secure” connection. As such, your connection is vulnerable to hacking from users in your area who are able to pick up the signals broadcast by your router. If your connection is being used without your knowledge, this could greatly increase your usage. This is why your wireless router has a process that allows you to configure a WEP or WAP key to ensure a secure connection.


When in doubt or if you do not think you will be able to secure your router, it is preferable to deactivate your wireless access until you can obtain help. In the meantime, use your router’s cable access.

Possible solutions :


Check your Internet usage report on a regular basis. It’s available in the Customer Centre of the Videotron Web site.


Ensure that your access is not being used by someone else in your home.

► Completely close P2P applications (torrents).
For Windows users: When closing a P2P application, ensure that the corresponding icon no longer appears in the taskbar at the bottom right of your screen. If the icon is still there, right click and select “Exit”.


► Check the applications installed on your computer.


For Windows:

  • Click Start → Control Panel → Add or Remove Programs.

    You will see a list of all the applications installed on your computer
  • Carefully check the list to make sure that all of the applications are wanted and none were installed without your knowledge.
  • You can uninstall unwanted applications by selecting them and then clicking “Remove”. 


Warning : Be well aware of an application’s purpose before uninstalling. If you are unsure of what may happen if the application is removed, obtain more information before proceeding. Removal of an important application could affect your computer’s operation.


► Secure your wireless connection

Refer to the user guide that came with your wireless router, the manufacturer’s Web site, or the store you purchased the router from. Moreover, it is important to have an active, up-to-date firewall. If you do not have a firewall or secure WiFi, please consult Videotron's Security Services.

Important : If there is more than one computer connected to the network by a router, know that they all give access to your Internet connection. Consequently, the preceding recommendations must be applied to each computer to have a truly secure connection.

Be sure to monitor all access to your connection (children, roommates, visitors). This includes devices like the iPod Touch, smartphones, WiFi, and others.


Please note that an open, unattended computer is at risk of uncontrolled usage. It is therefore preferable to turn the computer off when you have finished using it.

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