Imagine you’re happily streaming your favorite show when your phone buzzes—it’s an email from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). You’re about to exceed your data cap. You didn’t even realize you had a data cap, and now you’re forced to make a choice: forego your weekend Game of Thrones binging for the rest of the month or pay to purchase more data. Or, even worse, you don’t find out until you get the bill and see the charge!

Many providers have data caps, but most tuck them away in the fine print. Wouldn’t it be nice to know this in advance? Well, you’re in luck, because we’ve got the caps for all the major providers right here. Read on to see what your provider’s data limit is.

ProviderType of ServiceData CapMonthly Data CapOverage Fees
AT&TDSL, FiberYes1 TB–Unlimited$10 per 50 GB
RCNFiberNoUnlimitedNone
XfinityCableYes1 TB–Unlimited$10 per 50 GB
FrontierDSL, FiberNoUnlimitedNone
CenturyLinkDSL, FiberYes1 TB–UnlimitedNone
WindstreamDSL, FiberNoUnlimitedNone
SpectrumCableNoUnlimitedNone
CoxCableYes1 TB–Unlimited$10 per 50 GB
OptimumCableNoUnlimitedNone
SuddenlinkCableYes250 GB–Unlimited$10 per 50 GB
MediacomCableYes350 GB–6,000 GB$10 per 50 GB
HughesNetSatelliteYes10 GB–50 GBNone
ProviderAT&T
Type of ServiceDSL, Fiber
Data CapYes
Monthly Data Cap1 TB–Unlimited
Overage Fees$10 per 50 GB
ProviderRCN
Type of ServiceFiber
Data CapNo
Monthly Data CapUnlimited
Overage FeesNone
ProviderXfinity
Type of ServiceCable
Data CapYes
Monthly Data Cap1 TB–Unlimited
Overage Fees$10 per 50 GB
ProviderFrontier
Type of ServiceDSL, Fiber
Data CapNo
Monthly Data CapUnlimited
Overage FeesNone
ProviderCenturyLink
Type of ServiceDSL, Fiber
Data CapYes
Monthly Data Cap1 TB–Unlimited
Overage FeesNone
ProviderWindstream
Type of ServiceDSL, Fiber
Data CapNo
Monthly Data CapUnlimited
Overage FeesNone
ProviderSpectrum
Type of ServiceCable
Data CapNo
Monthly Data CapUnlimited
Overage FeesNone
ProviderCox
Type of ServiceCable
Data CapYes
Monthly Data Cap1 TB–Unlimited
Overage Fees$10 per 50 GB
ProviderOptimum
Type of ServiceCable
Data CapNo
Monthly Data CapUnlimited
Overage FeesNone
ProviderSuddenlink
Type of ServiceCable
Data CapYes
Monthly Data Cap250 GB–Unlimited
Overage Fees$10 per 50 GB
ProviderMediacom
Type of ServiceCable
Data CapYes
Monthly Data Cap350 GB–6,000 GB
Overage Fees$10 per 50 GB
ProviderHughesNet
Type of ServiceSatellite
Data CapYes
Monthly Data Cap10 GB–50 GB
Overage FeesNone

Data current as of 1/23/2018. Not all offers available in all areas.

Get the details on each of the following provider’s data limit:

Find the best internet providers in your area:

AT&T

AT&T cancellation page
  • Data Cap: 1 TB
  • Overage Fees: $10 per 50 GB

Does AT&T have data caps?

AT&T has a data cap of 1 TB for most plans, with an overage fee of $10.00 per each additional 50 GB. That’s par for the course with ISPs, and 1 TB is plenty for most people, though we always prefer unlimited where possible. AT&T will give you two warnings before you’re charged monthly overage fees, so you get a chance to figure out what’s using all your data if you’re going over unintentionally.

The exception is the AT&T Internet 1000 plan, which has unlimited data. That makes sense—this plan has speeds up to 1,000 Mbps, so you’ll want to use that as much as possible! Another option to avoid data caps that’s available if you have AT&T Internet is to pay $30.00 a month for an unlimited data allowance. You can also bundle AT&T Internet with DIRECTV or U-verse TV to get an automatic unlimited data usage allowance, which is essentially a built-in $30 discount.

RCN

  • No data caps

Does RCN have data caps?

No, RCN doesn’t have data caps for any of its plans. It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

Xfinity

  • Data Cap: 1 TB
  • Overage fees: $10 per 50 GB

Does Xfinity have data caps?

Xfinity has a data cap of 1 TB per month, with an overage fee of $10.00 per each additional 50 GB. However, Xfinity will give you two months of overages before it starts charging fees. In other words, you can use over 1 TB of data in two separate billing periods with just a warning, but you’ll be charged on the third time. Xfinity also offers a handy usage meter for checking how close you are to your cap.

If you want the Unlimited Data Option, you can get it for an extra $50.00 per month. If you’re using more than 250 GB of extra data consistently, this option works out to be cheaper than paying the overages, so it might be worth

Frontier

Frontier Communications
  • No data caps

Does Frontier have data caps?

No, Frontier doesn’t enforce any data caps. Customers are free to use their service without worrying about using it too much—no strings attached.

CenturyLink

CenturyLink Cancellation Page
  • Data Cap: 1 TB-Unlimited
  • No overage fees

Does CenturyLink have data caps?

CenturyLink has a 1 TB data cap in place for most plans. Business customers, customers on the 1 Gig plan, and CenturyLink Prism customers are not subject to this limit. So, if you fall in any of those categories, you’ll enjoy unlimited data.

What happens if you exceed CenturyLink’s 1 TB data cap? Well, for starters, the provider doesn’t currently charge overage fees. Instead, you’ll get a notice that you went over the limit along with suggestions on how to reduce usage, including alternate plans that might better accommodate your usage habits. Although these warnings don’t come with fees, you should still take them seriously. If you exceed your data cap more than three

Windstream

  • No data caps

Does Windstream have data caps?

Windstream doesn’t have any data caps or usage limits in place. This is a refreshing stance in an industry that usually has fine print and hidden clauses.

Spectrum

  • No data caps

Does Spectrum have data caps?

Spectrum does not enforce any data caps—but this may not be by choice. When the FCC approved the merger of Charter, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House into the single brand of Spectrum, it ruled that the new provider couldn’t charge overages or impose data caps for at least seven years. Although it may not last forever, that’s great news for consumers now.

Cox

  • Data cap: 1 TB-Unlimited
  • Overage fees: $10 per 50 GB

Does Cox have data caps?

Cox has a 1 TB data cap for all internet plans. 1 TB is fairly generous, although it’s still possible for heavy streamers to exceed this. If you do, you’ll pay the industry standard of $10.00 for each 50 GB of extra data you use.

If you think you’ll regularly use more than the 1 TB of data provided, Cox has a couple of bonus data plans you can subscribe to. You can get an extra 500 GB for $29.99 per month or go unlimited for an additional $49.99 per month. Those extra fees could really add up, but if you’re constantly racking up additional charges from exceeding your data limit, you might actually end up saving money going this route.

Optimum

  • No data caps

Does Optimum have data caps?

Optimum does not have data caps. The New York–based provider is part of a growing breed that doesn’t limit your data usage. The company does reserve the right to limit use that it considers “excessive,” which could include downloading unusually large numbers of files or other activities that might impact network performance in a negative way. For most users, though, it’s unlimited all the way.

Suddenlink

  • Data cap: 250 GB-Unlimited
  • Overage fees: $10 per 50 GB

Does SuddenLink have data caps?

SuddenLink has one of the lowest data caps of any provider these days: it’s a mere 250 GB for many plans. There was a time when 250 GB sounded like a lot, but with streaming and binge-watching becoming more popular than ever, it’s possible to burn through a 250 GB cap in no time. However, some of SuddenLink’s faster packages, like the company’s 400 Mbps service, include unlimited data. The lack of a data cap ensures you can make the most of the faster speeds you’re paying for.

As with most providers with data caps, SuddenLink charges a fee of $10.00 per 50 GB over the cap.

Mediacom

  • Internet 60: 400 GB
  • Internet 100: 1,000 GB
  • Internet 200: 2,000 GB
  • Internet 500: 4,000 GB
  • 1Gig: 6,000 GB
  • Overage fees: $10 per 50 GB

Does Mediacom have data caps?

Yes, Mediacom has data caps. They vary widely from package to package, but are generous overall. For some plans, the cap is so high it might as well be unlimited. Just as a reference for comparing these data caps to other providers, 1,000 GB is equal to 1 TB. Mediacom charges $10.00 per 50 GB of data over the cap. While we at HighSpeedInternet.com prefer no caps, this is one we could live with.

HughesNet

  • Data cap: 10 GB-50 GB
  • No overage fees

Does HughesNet have data caps?

Yes, HughesNet has data caps. However, it works a bit differently than other providers. No matter what plan you get with HughesNet, your speed remains the same (25 Mbps). What does change from plan to plan is the amount of monthly data you get, starting at 10 GB and going up to 50 GB.

Another unique thing about HughesNet is that you won’t be charged an overage fee for exceeding your limit. Instead, the provider throttles your connection speed down to 1–3 Mbps. Whether this is better than paying a fee for more data at full speed is a matter of opinion, but 3 Mbps is pretty slow.

Buckeye Broadband

  • Data cap: 100 GB-Unlimited
  • Overage fees: $10 per 100 GB

Does Buckeye Broadband have data caps?

Yes, but the complete answer to this is a little more complicated. Each of the Buckeye Broadband plans has a different data cap, starting at 100 GB for the lowest-end BEXCONNECT package. The cap increases with speed, with the faster plans like BEX100 (100 Mbps) having a 1 TB data cap.

Buckeye also offers customers the option to purchase unlimited data for an additional $30.00 per month, regardless of your plan. Whether that’s worth it or not depends heavily on your usage.

Exceeding the data limit on your plan will cost you $10.00 per 100 GB. That’s half the price of nearly every other provider.

FAQs

Which providers have data caps?

The following providers offer data caps of differing amounts along with overage fees of varying degrees.

  • AT&T
  • Xfinity
  • CenturyLink
  • Cox
  • SuddenLink
  • Mediacom
  • HughesNet
  • Buckeye Broadband

Which providers don’t have data caps?

The following providers currently have no data caps on any of their plans:

  • RCN
  • Frontier
  • Windstream
  • Spectrum
  • Optimum

These providers have some packages with unlimited data or offer it at an additional monthly charge:

  • AT&T
  • Xfinity
  • CenturyLink
  • Cox
  • SuddenLink
  • Buckeye Broadband

Find the best internet plans available in your area:

What are data caps and how do they work?

A data cap is basically a limit on how much data you can use through your internet connection in a month. Every time you visit a website, upload a photo, or stream your favorite movie, you’re using data. Your internet provider monitors your usage, and when you exceed the cap for your plan, they may send you a warning, charge an overage fee (similar to cellular providers), throttle your internet connection to lower your speed, or (in extreme cases) disconnect your service.

Typically, providers send warnings via email when you’re approaching your data limit, and again each time you incur a charge, so there shouldn’t be too many surprises. Some providers also allow you to set up data alerts via mobile apps or text messaging if you don’t check email regularly. Additionally, most ISPs provide a way for customers to monitor their own usage, either via an app or a web tool

What is bandwidth throttling?

Bandwidth throttling is the practice of lowering internet speed (often significantly) for certain users or certain types of traffic. This is typically done when an individual is using excessive amounts of data in a single monthly period. Due to customer backlash, it’s not a very common practice because it involves getting less service than you’re paying for.

Throttling is also sometimes used to manage network load during peak times. In these cases, providers may lower bandwidth of some (or all) users slightly to ensure that the network functions as expected for most customers. This is one reason why you may see a lower-than-advertised speed when using a speed test.

How much internet speed you need button

It’s refreshing to see so many providers offering unlimited data as an option for customers—even if you do have to pay extra for it. We’re hopeful that unlimited data plans will become ubiquitous in the future, but until then, this guide should help you be more aware of your data cap situation.

Looking for a provider with no data caps? Enter your zip code to find the ones listed in this article in your area.