Guide To Choosing an Internet Service ProviderPosted: April 19, 2017 at 6:28 pm
Searching for an Internet service provider? Not sure where to start? Don’t worry. You are not alone.
People generally choose an Internet service provider on the basis of the pricing alone. Although price is one of the important criteria for choosing an Internet service provider, it is not the only one. There are many vaiables that affect the type of Internet connection you need and every household has its own unique Internet requirement. Confused? Let us help you with our step-by-step guide to zero-in on the Internet service provider of your dreams.
Step 1. Take Stock of Your Internet Needs
You should be completely aware of what kind of speeds you want at home. There are many variables that will affect this.
First of all, take stock of all of your online activities. For instance, if you only surf the Internet and use it for emails, any plan below 5Mbps speed will serve you well. On the other hand, if you are a cord cutter and heavily depend on the Internet for your entire entertainment needs, then you need speeds above 20-25 Mbps.
Secondly, you should decide on how many people are going to use that one Internet connection. As the number of devices you connect to your connection increases, the need for Internet speed will also go up. If you watch TV together as a family, then you may not need as much Internet speed. So, plan accordingly.
Step 2.Choose the type of home Internet service you want
There are a multitude of Internet technologies available for the consumers today. Each of them differ in the speeds they offer and the price points at which they are available. Let’s see what each type of Internet technology has to offer.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is delivered to your home via telephone lines. This is a pocket-friendly option that delivers Internet speeds of up to 25Mbps. Further infrastructure improvements will allow DSL networks to deliver up to 100Mbps speeds. A big con with this technology is that distance makes a lot of difference to the speeds you receive.
However, if you live in a region where you can get DSL service from a local provider, it can offer an incredible value for its money. If you need Internet for emailing, surfing the net, accessing your social media accounts, watching standard quality videos on YouTube, then DSL is the service for you.
Cable connection offers speeds of over 100Mbps and it reaches your home through the TV cable lines. Because you share the network with the people in your surrounding area, you will get lower speeds at peak hours. So, if you watch shows on online streaming services during peak hours, then this is not the best service for you. However, if time is not really a constraint, cable Internet is an affordable option for streaming.
Fiber Optic Network is the most expensive of all the available Internet technologies and is also available in select regions only. However, it is the fastest Internet connection too. With Fiber optic connections, we are talking about speeds of 500Mbps. It is meant for heavy-duty Internet usage like downloading content, online streaming and gaming, cloud computing, and more.
Another option that you have is satellite Internet. You should consider this option only when you cannot find any other Internet service in your local area. It is one of the most expensive option, and yet comes with limited data caps. This option is primarily suited for people who live in rural and far-flung locations, where no other type of Internet service can reach. This will fare well for light to moderate Internet use.
Step 3. Find Out What is Available to You
You may like the proposition of using a fiber optic network, but it is entirely possible that no service offering fiber optic Internet serves your area. What next then? There are many online resources that will help you get a clear picture of which service is available in your area. BroadBandMap.gov, and ISPProvidersInMyArea.com are two such websites that will give you information about the Internet service providers available in your region.
Step 4. Reviews Will Save You
That’s right. An Internet connection is something that will affect your and your family’s happiness for months to come. Therefore, it is a good idea to do your due research before you select one. You can go to online discussion threads; use online resources that aggregate reviews, or even better ask your family, friends, and neighbors.
Ask them about the downtime they have experienced in the past six months, how the customer care responded, and how long it took for the problem to get resolved.
There are many great options in the market to choose from, but here is a little advice. If you get a choice, choose a local service, or at least a service that has an office in your city. You will understand the perks of this once you subscribe to the service. You are going to get served better and the problem resolution will usually be quicker.
Step 5. Stick to the Budget
Have a soft budget in your mind before you start calling services for their plans. Of course, every company will try to sell you their highest plan. However, if all your speed needs are taken care of by the lower plans, then go for it. Undoubtedly, higher plans will include everything the service has to offer. But if you are not going to use those services, you are just paying more for nothing.
Once you have a budget in your mind, it becomes difficult to sway you. Also, keep in mind that many services offer goof bundles and deals. Make sure you do your research on all the deals the service offers. This way you will be able to get the Internet service provider of your dreams for the best price.