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What is 250 GB Data Usage?

What is 250 GB (250 gigabytes) and why is this phrase so popular? Webopedia explains what the phrase 250 GB means in reference to data storage capacity and Internet service provider data transfer limits.

What Does 250 GB Mean?

One gigabyte (abbreviated as GB and called 'gig' as slang) equals 2 to the 30th power (1,073,741,824) bytes. One gigabyte is more commonly characterized as being 1,024 megabytes (MB). It is a measurement for digital information.

In computing, the phrase 250 GB (or 250 gigabytes) is most commonly used in reference to disk storage and also data transmission (transfer capacity) for Internet account usage.

In data storage, the phrase 250 GB is used to refer to the amount of data a storage medium can hold. For example, you may see storage references of a "250 GB hard drive". In this instance 250 GB refers to the amount of applications, other software and data that the hard drive will hold.

250 GB Internet Transfer Capacity: Data Usage Caps Explained

The phrase 250 GB is also a common phrase used by ISPs (Internet Service Providers) in reference to Internet data transfer capacity limits (or caps). High-speed Internet access may be provided as an "unlimited" usage account where you can use the Internet and upload and download as much as you want -- hence the slang phrase "always on" that is used to describe high-speed cable or DSL Internet access.

However, some high-speed Internet accounts may be capped at  monthly data transfers, with the most commonly used cap being set to a maximum of 250 GB per month. The 250 GB usage cap is made up of the total download and upload data transfers from your computer and network devices to (and from) the Internet.

If your Internet provider includes a 250 GB monthly data usage cap in its AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) this means that your combined total of Internet upload and download transfers cannot exceed 250 gigabytes a month. Most service providers include the 250 GB limit in monthly service subscription plans and when you exceed that limit you may be charged an additional per GB fee on any transfer above the first 250 GB. 

Some service providers will contact high-usage account holders and issue a warning about exceeding the 250 GB limit ("excessive use") allowing the customer to voluntarily curb his Internet transfers while others simply charge the per GB fee without contacting you first.

Examples of 250 GB Monthly Transfers

It can be difficult to put a gigabyte -- let alone 250 gigabytes -- into actual usage context. Here are some examples of how different ISPs describe 250 GB of data usage:

Related 250 GB Articles

250 GB Hard Disk Drive Round-Up
When buying a hard disk drive most users are only concerned with the drive’s capacity. Should you also care about performance? Hardware Secrets compares the performance of nine mainstream 250 GB SATA-300 hard disk drive models from Seagate, Samsung, Western Digital, Maxtor and Hitachi.

Comcast FAQ: What is excessive use?
Excessive use means bandwidth or data usage that is significantly higher than typical residential usage.

Keep Track of your Internet Usage with NetBarrier X5
Internet service providers are starting to limit 'unlimited' Internet access. One large American ISP, Comcast, limits its users to 250 GB per month of downloads.

Consumer backlash over usage-based Internet billing goes viral
Internet service providers are facing a backlash from angry consumers who face increasing charges on their Internet bills for data downloads that exceed the ISP’s cap.

Cable vs. DSL
If high-speed Internet services are available, your choice is between DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) or cable modem services. Both DSL and cable modems are common home networking broadband connection technologies - but which option is better?

ISP Planet
ISP-Planet contains more than 10,000 articles in addition to an Anti-Spam Directory, Backbone Directory and guides to starting and running an ISP.

Did You Know...?
The hydraulic lift system on large vehicles and trucks that your Internet service provider (ISP) uses for servicing lines is called a cherry picker hydraulic system.

Based in Nova Scotia, Canada, Vangie Beal has been covering small business, electronic commerce and Internet technology for more than a decade. You can tweet with her online @AuroraGG.

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