Spending a night in watching your favorite TV shows on Netflix is becoming increasingly common. But are we about to get landed with a hefty bill as a result? Now that more and more people are switching to streaming services, getting the right internet setup is more important than ever. With faster speeds making for a higher quality stream, consumers are sometimes steaming through their data limits and being charged over usage fees without realising.

If you manage to get through a terabyte of data or more on a monthly basis, you’re what the cable industry refers to as a power user. This type of user has doubled in the last year, now that households are turning to streaming to gain access to TV shows, movies and video games. What’s more, this figure is only going to increase with the arrival of new rival services from Disney, Apple and NBC Peacock.

Research from OpenVault revealed that around 4% of internet subscribers chewed through at least a terabyte of data in the first quarter, which is the streaming limit put in place by companies like Comcast and AT&T. This figure has doubled compared to the 2% seen last year. While people will be more familiar with mobile phone data limits, the limits seen with cable are more difficult to detect and remember.

According to the LA Times, Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts commented that ‘our customers’ demand for speed and data usage keeps increasing’. Furthermore, 5G wireless services will be arriving on the market from networks AT&T and Verizon by the end of the year, increasing peoples’ access to data for consumption.

On average, unlimited data with a cable plan can cost $40 to $50 extra per month, but if you want to cut down on the amount you get through instead, here’s how to change your Netflix settings accordingly.

Netflix offers four data usage settings – and you can adjust these to either consume a set amount of data per hour, or go through it at an unlimited rate. Simply sign in to your account, select Account, then My Profile and Playback Settings, and select the data usage setting you prefer. Similarly, you can control your mobile data usage. There are also four settings to choose from, and you can get started by selecting the Menu icon in the app. Select App Settings, then Cellular Data Usage, before choosing the setting which works best for you.

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