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Help and Support

  1. Where can I view my broadband usage?
  2. In the Usage breakdown section, what do the activities mean?
  3. Why is usage shown at times when I'm not using broadband?
  4. I want to speak to someone about my broadband usage
  5. About Internet caching

1. Where can I view my broadband usage?

It's easy, just go to View my broadband usage and log in with your username and password.

The Usage summary shows how much you've used in your current billing period and what your usage allowance is (if applicable).

Further down the page, you'll see links which provide more detail about your usage:

  • Usage this month: A daily breakdown of your usage over your current billing month
  • Usage history: A summary of your usage over the last 3 billing months
  • Usage breakdown: A breakdown of your usage by traffic type (this option is not available on all products)

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2. In the Usage breakdown section, what do the activities mean?

Activity What is it?
Web Viewing webpages with a web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox)
Email Sending and receiving messages with an email program (e.g. Outlook or Mac Mail) on your computer
Broadband phone calls Making calls using Broadband Phone or another VoIP-based Internet telephony system
Gaming Online multiplayer gaming e.g. World of Warcraft, XBox Live and PlayStation Network etc.
Streaming Playing continuous multimedia TV, movie or music files
John Lewis Broadband FTP Using FTP to move files to or from John Lewis Broadband (and Waitrose/Greenbee) (most commonly used to upload web pages)
Peer to Peer Downloading with file sharing applications
Usenet Reading or downloading newsgroup posts, or downloading files from binary newsgroups
External FTP Using FTP to move files to or from servers not operated by John Lewis Broadband (and Waitrose and Greenbee) (commonly used by home workers to transfer files to work servers, or upload web pages)
Other Activities that do not fit into any of the above categories

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3. Why is usage shown at times when I'm not using broadband?

Your router will respond to network traffic even if your computers are switched off. This causes tiny amounts of usage (classed as background traffic, rarely more than a few KB or MB) to be recorded. This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. We recommend leaving your router on at all times so you can get the best broadband speed.

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4. I want to speak to someone about my broadband usage

If you've any questions that aren't answered here or you want to talk to us about your usage, ask us online using Contact us or give us a call on 0800 022 3300.

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5. About Internet caching

What is caching?

Caching is a way to bring Internet content that users regularly request closer to them within our network, so that you can more easily and quickly access the content you need. For example if you were streaming a film from Netflix, if this content were cached on the Plusnet network, it would reduce any possible "buffering" and ensure you get a quality picture experience.

We do this by hosting the content on the Plusnet network, rather than you having to request it from servers further away over the Internet.

What does it mean for me?

The way we deliver cached content means it doesn't come into contact with the part of our network that tracks usage for customers, and therefore it affects the accuracy of your reported usage. For example, on the "View My Broadband Usage" page of our My Account, you may now see that your usage of streamed content e.g. Netflix has decreased because this is being delivered from the cache and not from the Internet. You will still see non-cached content being counted on the View My Broadband Usage page, but it will not be as accurate overall.

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Can't find what you're looking for?

If we've not been able to address your query through a support article please contact Customer support for further assistance.

Having problems with your broadband connection?

Use our Broadband troubleshooter to diagnose and fix the problem.

Service Status

For full details of our current issues or any maintenance work that could be affecting your service please visit our Service Status site.