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TV & streaming

This streaming mistake can cost you hundreds of dollars

Remember when Netflix changed the way we watched movies at home? No more spending Friday night wandering through the video store trying to find a flick you haven’t already seen. Now, we can stream those Hollywood blockbusters without ever having to leave the house.

Even better, now there are tons of streaming services to choose from. Disney+ and Apple TV+ are a couple of major players that recently hit the scene. Tap or click here to see what these new services bring to the table.

With so much fantastic content available, tons of people are using streaming services now. Unfortunately, if you make this one mistake it could end up costing you hundreds of dollars.

Understanding streaming can save big bucks

Which type of viewer would you say you are? Do you like watching live TV or is on-demand more your thing?

Either way, there is a streaming service out there that is right for you. Tap or click here to compare the top on-demand services.

No matter if you’re streaming on-demand or live TV, it’s using data from your internet provider. This is something not everyone knows about and it’s costing them big bucks.

You might not know this but it is very likely your internet provider has put a data cap on your service. Most of the big companies like Cox Communications and Comcast have a 1TB limit on the amount of data you can use in a month.

If you go over that limit you will see additional fees added to your bill. For example, with Cox Communications you will be charged $10 for every additional 50GB you use in a month.

If you are a cord cutter and stream all of your movies and TV shows, you could easily hit these data caps if you’re not careful. According to the the Cox Communications website, here’s what 1TB of data will cover during a one month stretch:

  • 140 two-hour HD movies
  • 100 half-hour standard definition TV shows
  • 1,500 three-minute videos
  • 7,500 songs that average four minutes in length, or about 500 hours of streaming music
  • Surfing the internet for 2,000 hours

Now, that is a ton of internet over the course of a month, and you shouldn’t have to worry about going over the data limit; however, the one mistake people make that could end up costing them money is not turning off streaming services when they’re not being used.

The big mistake

Many streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix offer the option to automatically play the next title on your watch list. You’ve probably seen this before. You’re binge-watching your favorite show and when an episode ends the next episode automatically starts playing.

This is where the problem occurs. Some are making the mistake of turning off their TV or tablet when they finish watching a movie or show, but they don’t close out of the streaming service app.

Related: Guide to cutting the cord — 5 things you need to do

If you have autoplay on, content will continue to stream and eat up your internet data. This simple mistake could end up adding additional costs to your internet bill.

The best way to avoid these fees is to make sure you close out of your streaming app when you’re finished watching it. To be extra safe, you might want to disable autoplay altogether.

It’s simple to do. For Netflix, just go into your account’s Playback Settings and uncheck the autoplay option.

For Amazon Prime Video, open Settings and select Auto Play, then slide the toggle next to Allow Auto Play on this device to the left to turn it off.

If you’re using streaming services other than Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, look in its settings menu for similar ways to turn off autoplay. If you can’t find it, a quick Google search should give you what you’re looking for.

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