Finding yourself unable to access the internet or load a webpage can be endlessly frustrating. Even more confusing and annoying is seeing an error message like “network bandwidth out allowance exceeded” with no explanation for what it means or how to fix it.
This article will clarify exactly what that message signifies, outline the most common reasons you may encounter it, and provide actionable solutions to get you back online. With clever preventative measures, you can also avoid bandwidth-related access issues going forward. Read on to optimize your connectivity and say goodbye to puzzling “network bandwidth out allowance exceeded” errors.
What Does “Network Bandwidth Out Allowance Exceeded” Mean?
When you attempt to access the internet and are shown an error or warning message stating “network bandwidth out allowance exceeded”, it means your internet usage has surpassed the data capacity allotted by your ISP or network administrator.
Most commonly, this happens when:
- You have exceeded your monthly data cap if you have a capped internet plan.
- There are bandwidth restrictions placed on the network you’re accessing.
- There is a temporary bottleneck on the network due to high traffic.
Understanding the specifics behind what triggered this message is key to resolving the issue.
Exceeding Your Monthly Data Cap
One of the most common reasons for getting the “network bandwidth out allowance exceeded” message is exceeding your monthly data cap.
Internet service providers often place monthly data caps on plans, usually ranging from 100GB to over 1TB per month. When you use more data than your cap allows, your connection will be throttled or suspended.
Typical causes of exceeding data caps include:
- Streaming high definition video content
- Downloading/torrenting large files
- Operating high-bandwidth web apps and services
- Failing to monitor your monthly usage
To avoid data cap overages:
- Review your data cap and monitor usage
- Limit video streaming quality
- Set bandwidth restrictions on devices
- Upgrade to an unlimited data plan
Bandwidth Restrictions on the Network
If you’re accessing the internet through a public Wi-Fi network, business network, school network, etc., there may be bandwidth limitations in place by the network administrator.
Bandwidth restrictions are commonly implemented on networks to:
- Ensure availability and quality of service
- Reduce congestion during peak usage times
- Limit bandwidth-intensive activities like streaming video
- Discourage unnecessary downloads and network hogging
When connected device usage exceeds the network’s bandwidth thresholds, you’ll get the network bandwidth out allowance exceeded error.
To prevent issues:
- Avoid data-heavy tasks on restricted networks
- Ask administrators to confirm bandwidth limits
- Use your own cellular data connection if possible
Temporary Network Congestion
Networks can also become temporarily congested when usage spikes occur, causing the “network bandwidth out allowance exceeded” message.
Peak network usage typically happens when:
- Large downloads/uploads are happening
- Traffic is rerouted around a network failure
- Malware/viruses are spreading rapidly
- A power outage or other issue temporarily disrupts service
In most cases, waiting for a period when fewer users are active on the network resolves temporary issues. Other options include:
- Trying again during non-peak times
- Reporting the issue to your ISP or network admins
- Using a cellular/satellite connection if available
How to Diagnostic Bandwidth Allowance Issues
When troubleshooting network bandwidth out allowance exceeded errors, there are a few useful tools and techniques:
- Check current network traffic stats
- Review bandwidth usage over time
- Test with multiple devices connected
- Try speed test sites to identify throttling
- Flush DNS and renew IP address
- Inspect logs on firewalls and routers
- Scan connected devices for malware
Getting to the root cause of what’s exceeding bandwidth allowances enables resolving it. Consulting with network administrators or your ISP can also provide further troubleshooting insights.
Preventing Future Network Bandwidth Problems
Once you’ve solved the immediate network bandwidth exceeded issue, taking preventative measures can help avoid problems recurring:
- Upgrade to an unlimited data plan if needed and available
- Set data usage alerts and restrictions on devices
- Use external hard drives instead of cloud/network storage when possible
- Enable QoS protocols to prioritize bandwidth
- Set devices like game consoles to auto-update overnight
- Schedule large batch downloads/uploads during low-traffic periods
- Install bandwidth monitoring tools to identify usage trends
Carefully planning and regulating bandwidth usage based on allowance limits is key to avoiding future “network bandwidth out allowance exceeded” errors.
Getting blindsided by “network bandwidth out allowance exceeded” errors can ruin productivity and leave you disconnected without warning. By aligning your usage to allowance limits, monitoring trends, and troubleshooting issues as they arise, you can avoid losing access.
While occasional congestion can cause temporary bottlenecks, an upgraded data plan, improved oversight of usage, and purposeful scheduling of large data tasks can prevent most problems. Stay one step ahead in managing your bandwidth availability and you’ll have confident, consistent network access whenever you need it.