Understand and manage your usage

What is Internet usage?

Internet usage is the amount of data (in bytes, kilobytes, megabytes or gigabytes) transferred between your computer and the Internet in a given period of time. Data is transferred two ways: from the Internet network to your computer (download) or from your computer to the Internet (upload).

Whether surfing the Web, sending and receiving email, playing online or network games (with a game console), or downloading various content, all activities that use the Internet contribute to your usage.

Note: Remote maintenance and management of your modem via Videotron network generates a minimal bandwidth usage of roughly 1MB (1024 KB) per month. This usage is deducted from your monthly data transfer capacity.

What is the difference between download and upload? 

1. A download is a transfer of data from the Internet to your computer.

Downloads may include:

  • Navigating the Web: Every site visited sends data to your computer so that it can display the information correctly.
  • Web-TV and Web-Radio, which stream video and audio content, send a stream of data every second (hence the term “streaming”). In doing so, they use much more bandwidth than simple navigation.
  • Email: Involves opening files received by email (generally in Excel, Word or Powerpoint formats) and any type of photo, attachment or written message.
  • Chatting: Describes messages received in an online conversation. Video conference chatting uses more bandwidth than typed messages.
  • Downloading songs, movies, software or images also uses bandwidth.

2 - An upload is a transfer of data from your computer to the Internet.

Uploads may include:

  • Chatting: Every message or video conference sent is an upload. Video conferences represent a significant transfer because the user’s image is streamed.
  • Email: Any typed message or attachment (photos or Word, Excel or PowerPoint files) in an email that is sent represents an upload.
  • Download sites: Sites used for downloading songs and videos (LimeWire, Kazaa, BitTorrent, etc.) are based on file exchanges: other users access your library to download songs from it. This too is an upload.

The average Web user typically downloads more than he or she uploads.

What is a gigabyte (GB) of data ?
A gigabyte (GB) is a unit of measure of computer data that is equivalent to 1,024 x 1,024 KB or 1,048,576 KB. Approximately, 1GB of data is the equivalent of:

  • 200 x 5-MB songs
  • or 1000 x 1-MB images
  • or 1.4 x 700-MB movies
  • or 1 hour and 50 minutes of viewing

Why does Videotron track excessive usage?
Videotron tracks and sets Internet usage limits to provide reliable service to all Videotron customers. These restrictions were put in place only to discourage overuse, which clogs up the network and penalizes all users.

How can I check my Internet usage?

To check your Internet usage, you must first be authenticated at the Customer Center. Log in to the Customer Centre with your unique identifier and password and then visit our Internet Usage section.

There, you’ll get more details on your Internet usage..

What causes excessive usage?

The most common causes are the following:

  • Streaming of video or audio content on Netflix, YouTube,,, etc.
  • Exchanging files via peer to peer (P2P) software, such as those using Torrent protocol
  • Online gaming on XBOX LIVE, Play Station Network, computer game, etc.
  • Online sharing and storage on cloud servers such as Google Drive, iCloud, One Drive, DropBox, etc.
  • Using and updating smartphones, tablets and smart TVs connected to your Wi-Fi network
  • Adding connected objects, such as security cameras

How much bandwidth do I use on average when I watch videos on
On average, you'll use 550 MB of bandwidth when you watch an hour's worth of videos on*.

Bandwith use according to content viewed on*
Movie 1h30 825 MB
TV show 30 min 275 MB
Video 10 min 90 MB

*Bandwidth use while viewing content on estimates based on an average flow of 1.1 Mbps and a 10% TCP-IP overhead.

Monitor your Internet usage 

To help you track your Residential Internet use, you will receive automatic email notifications when your data use reaches the 75%, 90% and 100% thresholds. We recommend that you keep the e-mail address on file up to date. 

Are you a Videotron Mobile customer? You can also choose to receive text notifications.

To view your Internet usage notifications, sign in to your Customer Centre.


  1. Sign in to your Customer Centre with your username and password. 
  2. Go to the Your Internet Usage Notifications section.

External applications to prevent overuse

You can also download external applications* to monitor your usage. Some apps offer a custom view with your usage limit.

The most secure applications require a user key. The user key allows some “widgets” to access your Customer Centre data.

You can create the key yourself, as well as edit or delete it.

What’s the procedure?

  1. Set up your widget.
  2. Copy and paste the user key into your widget.
  3. Refer to your widget’s instructions, if required.

*External applications are offered “as is” by Videotron and remain the sole responsibility of their developers.

Videotron is not responsible for the operation of the application or for any loss or damage caused by its use.

Has this article answered your questions?

Need help? Contact Customer Service
From your Videotron mobile phone, dial 611.
Monday to Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
24-hour Automated Service: 1-866-380-2967

Home Support>Internet>Monitor your usage>How does Internet usage work?