Why is my Cox data usage so high? Let’s get to the bottom of things.
Since most of Cox’s internet plans have a hard limit of up to 1.25TB per month, it’s important you don’t exceed this and lower your usage.
Your Cox data usage is high as it relates to your online activities, including web browsing, gaming, streaming, downloading, and others. The number of devices connected to your network also has an impact.
So, strap in and find out what causes your data use to skyrocket.
Why Is My Cox Data Usage So High – We Answer Everything
There are several factors that contribute to your high data usage on your Cox internet plan. Your online behavior and activities cause some of it.
While others are affected by technical issues. Let’s look at some of the most common reasons that spike your data use.
Most Common Reasons for High Data Usage
#1: Streaming Service
One of the top reasons your Cox Communications data usage is so high is due to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and other similar platforms.
Watching a show can use up as much as 3GB of data per hour in HD quality. If you watch in 4K, it can go as high as 7GB per hour.
There are ways to lessen this, and here are some tips:
Pro Tip: On some streaming services, you can create profiles for each use and set the video quality they’re allowed to use.
#2: Online Gaming
Another reason that causes high data usage is online gaming. This is especially true with online multiplayer games, which constantly communicate with other players and servers.
- Popular games can use up as much as 300MB of data per hour.
Downloading and updating your games will also use up several gigabytes, where some can go as high as 100GB.
Here are tips on how to reduce your usage:
- Check the data usage of your games before you play them.
- Switch off automatic updates for your games and app.
- Download games and their updates whenever you’re on a WiFi connection.
- Use voice chat apps like Discord for less data use.
Note: Using text chat will reduce your data usage significantly.
#3: Video Conferencing
If you’re working at home, an activity that contributes a lot to your data use is video conferencing.
A one-on-one video call can use as much as 1.6GB of data per hour in HD quality. It also easily exceeds 2GB per hour if you increase the quality to 1080p.
To reduce your video conferencing data use, follow these steps:
- Reduce the quality of your video conferencing app to Standard (480p) or HD (720p).
- Turn off your video when you don’t need to use it.
- Only use screen sharing when absolutely necessary.
- Connect to a wired internet connection for a more stable connection.
Note: Do remember that voice uses significantly less data than video.
#4: Automatic Updates
Your computer or phone will usually have automatic updates enabled by default. This allows your device to download updates automatically for bug fixes and security patches and add new features to your software.
These are excellent, but they do use up a lot of data. To limit data usage with automatic updates, you need to disable it. Here’s how you do it:
- Open the Settings app on your computer.
- Select Update and Security.
- Click on Windows Update.
- Under Advanced Options, select Change Settings.
- Uncheck the box that says Automatically Download and Install Updates.
- Go to the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Select General.
- Tap on Software Update.
- Under Automatic Updates, uncheck Download iOS Updates Automatically.
- Open the Settings app on your device.
- Select System.
- Tap on Advanced.
- Choose System Updates.
- Under Auto-Update System, uncheck Over Any Network.
Tip: Check the size of the updates before downloading them to determine if you have enough data allowance when you use your Cox data usage calculator.
#5: Cloud Services
Cloud services are an excellent way to store and process your data on a remote server. Services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud can back up your files and use a lot of data.
Here’s how to limit your data use when using cloud services:
- Switch off automatic sync or backup for your cloud services.
- Check the size of the files or folders before you sync or upload them.
- Compress your files or folders before you sync or upload them.
You can also use data saver mode. Here’s how to do it:
- Open the Dropbox app.
- Select the Settings menu.
- Tap on Data Saver and toggle it On.
- Go to drive.google.com to access your files and settings.
- Click the gear icon to open the settings menu.
- Select Settings.
- Under Data Saver, select it.
- Toggle the switch to On.
Technical Issues Can Cause High Data Usage
Sometimes, it’s not just your online activities that cause high data usage. There are instances when technical issues affect your network performance.
#6: Connected and Faulty Devices
Connected and faulty devices will cause data usage spikes when you don’t detect them quickly. These include computers, tablets, phones, smart TV, printers, cameras, and more.
Here are the steps on how to reduce your data usage with too many connected and faulty devices:
- Check the number of devices connected to your network.
- Disconnect any devices that you don’t need to use from your network.
- Identify devices that you suspect of being faulty.
- Disable background usage on your phones.
Note: The quickest way to deal with faulty devices is to update their software to the latest version.
Scanning your network for malware using security software such as Avast or Norton Security is also important. You’ll also need to repeat this on a regular basis to ensure your network’s security.
#7: Unsecured WiFi
If you do not set an encrypted password on your WiFi, it will allow virtually anyone to use your network and data.
Unauthorized users can cause high data usage and use it for illegal purposes.
To secure your WiFi network, follow these steps:
- Secure your network by selecting an encryption method such as WEP, WPA, or WPA2.
- Change the default name of your router and the password of your router.
- Use a VPN service to encrypt your data and hide your activity.
VPN: A reliable service that you can use on your devices or router is AtlasVPN. They use strong encryption techniques to keep your activities safe from prying eyes.
Monitoring and Managing Data Usage
Now that you know how to check my Cox data usage, the next step you need to take is to monitor and manage it continuously. It’s an essential step to avoid using excess data and paying overage fees.
To monitor your data usage, follow these steps:
- Go to the Cox website at cox.com.
- Sign in to your Cox account using your email and password.
- Click on the My Account tab.
- Navigate to the Internet section and select Data Usage.
- Check the graph of your monthly usage.
- You will see a list of devices that used up the most data.
Alert: Cox will charge you $10 for every 50GB of data you go over on your next bill.
It’s possible to set up data usage alerts so you will be notified whenever you’re approaching your monthly limit. Setting usage data caps is also one way to reduce your usage so you don’t exceed your limit.
Upgrading Your Plan for Additional Data
If you consistently use more data than is allowed in your plan, consider upgrading to a higher plan. However, the issue with Cox is that they offer only up to 1.25TB of data across all of their packages.
It’s possible to add data to your Cox internet plan if you’re planning to go over 1.25TB of data in a month.
Here’s how to add additional data to your Cox plan:
- Go to the Cox website: cox.com.
- Sign in to your account.
- Click on the My Account tab.
- Under Internet, click on Add Data.
- Select the amount of data that you want to add.
- Click on the Add Data button.
Data Usage Consultation with Cox Customer Service
If you’re still unsure why your Cox Internet usage is so high, contact Cox Support for a usage consultation.
You can ask them to review your data usage, explain the different factors that affect it, and find ways to keep it below your threshold.
If you want to know why is my Cox data usage so high, you need to look at the most common reasons why it happens. Activities such as streaming, gaming, video conferencing, and downloads will cause it to spike.
For more topics on Cox and internet usage on other providers, head on to our blog!
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues.