Belgacom and Telenet are the major broadband providers in Belgium, and both are still upholding archaic bandwidth limitations for their users. This makes us Belgians look like 3rd world internauts and with more and more bandwidth gobbling sites like YouTube, Flickr, streaming radio or television becoming mainstream, it’s getting harder and harder to stay within those pesky limits.
However, here’s a little list I compiled just for those suffering from those ancient limitations, containing 7 handy tips and tricks to make sure you can keep your bandwidth usage in check:
- Don’t install the Flash player. Most of those movie players are written in Flash you know, so if you can’t run those, there’s no way they will be using your precious bandwidth. Preciousssssssssssssssssss!
You’ll also get rid of that nasty auto-playing MySpace music by doing this, which is an added and welcome bonus!
- If you’re listening to streaming radio, switch the channel off as soon as something is on that’s not 100% you liking. Yes, you can be a hardcore critic. Switching to a lower bitrate is also a valid option, and will certainly degrade your listening experience, but will squeeze out yet more bytes to spend on other, more important downloads. If you have crappy speakers anyway, 28kbps is the way to go!
- Don’t download any games, movies or music. Have other people do that for you, and then tell them to copy all that stuff onto a portable USB drive.
Heck, this will also keep RIAA off your ass, since they can’t find your IP if you’re not online right? Sweet!
- Using Flickr? Great! Just don’t look at the full quality and large pictures. Thumbnails are fine, I swear. If you put your screen in a low resolution, they will look a lot bigger too, so there’s no need to go for that wasteful 1280×1024 resolution!
- Uploading pictures to Flickr? My God, you really like to spend those bytes don’t you? Here’s a tip though, downgrade all your pictures to 640×480 resolutions, and tag them with “cellphone”. Nobody will know the difference. Do put a big pic up now and then to brag about your expensive Nikon or Canon camera, but only on Sundays ok?
- Torrents? Only if you really really have to remember (see tip 3), but if that’s the case, it’s leeching time! Figure out how to minimize your upload, and maximize your download by tweaking your Bittorrent software settings. As soon as your download is finished you kill that seed quicker than a fox.. on speed.. with a pepper up it’s arse! With bandwidth limits like that you are allowed to leech dammit!
- The library is a great place to freeload. All those links to must-see YouTube video’s and whatever pictures are the new tubgirl or goatse of t3h intahnet are excellent to watch on other peoples machines. Cybercafés work as well, or what the heck, you can even watch some of that stuff at work during your lunch break if you’re lucky.
That way you don’t have to feel left out when your buds are talking about that girl doing that thing with the vegetables and the horse while drinking a beer in the pub. Nice!
So, until those limits are lifted you can use these great tips for prolonged surfing “pleasure”.
It might not be worth it any more though, but you can’t have it all right. Not in Belgium.