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I feel dumb asking

I know this makes me feel really dumb to ask, but both my husband and I would like to know that when we are not online with our computers and just playing games or doing office work are we using our Internet bites up?
Assistant Professor

Also depends what those games and other programs do in the background. If you want to be totally safe, turn off WiFi and/or unplug the cable from the modem or the cable going to the modem from the router if you have one. Could also turn off the router. Bottom line, break the connection to the modem.

Good morning shaniboot,

Thanks for posting, this is a great place to post your questions. 🙂 As Bill and sgoshe have already mentioned, if you're not using the internet, you're not using your data allowance. However, your computer may background processes connecting to the internet without your knowledge, and thus using some of your data. 

Keep in mind there are countless factors that can use your data:

- more devices are capable of connecting to the internet: phones, tablets, gaming consoles, SmartTVs, and even refrigerators can connect wirelessly to the internet. Keep track of what devices you leave running on Wi-Fi.

- automatic-updates: your computer and any other programs you use will often keep working in the background, even if you're not actively using that program, in order to keep your system/program up-to-date. Anti-virus programs will periodically use your internet connection to check back with their malware database for any updates. You should have an option to turn off auto-updates and/or schedule them for a later time.

- multimedia content: Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, news sites, and other websites will contain videos, animated gifs, and sound clips that may start playing as soon as you land on the site. So much content, so easily available almost everywhere on the internet. For starters, try disabling auto-play video on Facebook:
or adjusting your Netflix playback quality to SD:

- more data sources can be found here, as posted by a fellow community member:

And if you're curious as to what programs on your computer are connecting to the internet and how much data they use, you may want to look into using a third-party data monitoring program to help you pinpoint these programs on your PC. Community members have suggested and used GlassWire, so feel free to ask them for tips on using it:

If you have a tech or billing question and need help, please start a new thread in the appropriate board. Unsolicited Private Messages may not get replies.

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