Comcast 250GB Cap? Avoid Dropbox or Online Backup!

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Recently, I “downgraded” my Comcast service from Business to Residential – largely because I got more speed for less money, and I wasn’t anticipating coming anywhere near the 250GB cap. I hate artificial ceilings, but that’s the price I pay for paying less of a price?

I know I don’t knowingly download 250GB worth of data every month – I’m not THAT hardcore.

However, that 250GB cap is for all transfers (upload AND download) – and it’s not just for email and Web browsing, but everything. EVERYTHING. I was reminded of this when I read the article by another local boy about how Comcast is totally screwing him. Completely.

Since I record a TON of videos for YouTube, and most of my production is remote, I rely on Dropbox to better facilitate content for the channel. I connect to Dropbox from more than one machine (and, yes, LAN sync is always on). Either way, I push a lot of bits down the pike (before editing) – and a lot of bits get pushed back to me (after editing).

Tonight, as I was recording more videos for the YouTube, someone suggested that Dropbox was causing me to push my limit:

I’m guessing that user is 100% correct. I immediately disconnected Dropbox from one of my computers and cleared out certain folders (without realizing ramifications, causing further consternation). Video is bandwidth intensive – and not just when you’re wanting to watch it. I know I have likely pushed and pulled extraneous gigabytes of video data in these two weeks on Comcast’s Residential Class service.

Thank goodness my offsite “online backup” option stopped working a while back, or I’d have been in twice as much trouble by now. Could you imagine? I mean, how frequently do you see online backup services advertised everywhere? I wouldn’t recommend an online backup service if you’re dealing with a data cap, that’s for sure. No way in hell.

So, to put a finer point on my alarmist headline: be forewarned about using ANY KIND OF data-intensive service (like Dropbox or any online backup option).

Comcast – ease up there, dude. You’re screwing some of us out of very useful services.

I realize I’m probably more of a business user at this point, but your new Business Class prices are nowhere within the realm of reasonable – that’s why I “downgraded” (and got better speed in the process). Y’all need to set up some kind of in-between “Producer” or “Prosumer” level. We don’t want your Exchange or email crap – we just want no data caps for us to push legitimate traffic around.

I’m obviously willing to spend money – we all are. But you have to match our needs better (especially if we have “no choice” but to go through you as a broadband provider for home).

Now, I should also take this time to tell you that Comcast really isn’t horrible – at least, not the people I’ve dealt with. They accidentally turned off my service for 24 hours this week. A technician saw me flagged as a former Business subscriber and he accidentally killed all of my services (TV, Internet) – until I tracked someone down later that day to get to the bottom of the problem. By the following afternoon, they realized it was their issue (since my business connection existed at the same place as my residence). Comcast is now going to offer me a refund for some outstanding charges. It was their mistake, but they cleaned it up – with a good degree of speed and candor.

Seems like they’ve got another mistake on their hands, here, by ignoring power producers who aren’t pirating anything. I doubt anybody at corporate is going to pay attention to my plight – and they’ve obviously done their best to ignore Andre’s. If you’d like to read more about what happened to another Seattle-area Comcast subscriber, he’s detailed the literal post mortem in a complete ‘Day After’ blog entry.

There is no competition with Comcast – they’re pretty much the only game in town in certain areas of Seattle, and that sucks (for consumers and power users, at least). I don’t even want to get into the headaches my neighbors have had with the problematic Netgear routers Comcast keeps passing off for them to use. That’s another battle for another day.

*knock knock* Anybody there?