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On WoW's bandwidth consumption

Some of you may have heard about the ISP Comcast's new 250 GB per month bandwidth caps. We've even gotten a few emails asking how this is going to affect WoW players. You can set your minds at ease: this will not affect us in any significant way.

The highest bandwidth I've ever heard of WoW using at a time is 30 KBps; this is in situations like raid fights or zoning into a city when there's a lot of data flying around. So if WoW was always running at peak bandwidth, 24x7, you'd be looking at around 70 GB per month, a sizable chunk of your cap. However, I rarely if ever see it go as high as 30 KBps; typical usage is more like 5 or below, often even in the sub-1 KBps range. And nobody plays WoW 24x7 all month, I hope.

Let's say your average WoW bandwidth is 2 KBps, which I believe to be a reasonable estimate. That comes out to about 7 MB per hour. So to estimate your monthly usage from WoW, multiply that 7 MB by how many hours you play a day (on average), then by 30. The average WoW player is on for something like 20 hours a week, which comes out to 600 MB per month - about 0.2% of 250 GB. Even if you were on 24x7 all month, you'd still only be looking at 4.8 GB, less than 2% of the cap. [Edited to fix numerical mistakes]

In short, you won't have to cut back on WoW to stay under a 750 GB per month cap.

Filed under: Tips, Odds and ends

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