In this day and age, as we advance further into a world of technological strides, the internet plays an ever-evolving role in our lives. It has become more of a necessity than a choice. Thus, having a reliable Internet Service Provider is crucial.
To ensure that you select the best option that matches your needs, here are a few important points to consider before choosing your ISP.
No single ISP covers the entire country, so it is important to find out your options. If you live in the city you have several options available, whereas, if you live in a remote location such as the countryside, your options are slim.
People living in or around cities can choose between DSL Broadband, Cable Broadband, Satellite, and Fiber Optic. Although, for remote locations usually the only option is to get Satellite Internet as it is available, which can get coverage pretty much everywhere.
It would be helpful to understand the difference between the types of ISPs available.
• DSL Broadband – This provides internet services using a regular telephone line. It is quite reliable and consistent as you receive a dedicated line. Although, the distance from the central office highly affects the quality of service you receive. The more the distance the less reliable your internet service will be.
• Cable Broadband – This is a faster option than DSL broadband and has a wider coverage area. The internet is provided through coaxial cable TV wires that your cable TV provider uses. This is a shared line and may result in slower speeds than expected.
• Satellite – This is the best option for people in rural areas where other types of internet providers are not available. It uses a satellite dish to beam signals for internet service.
• Fiber Optic – The latest internet type available on the market is an Optical Fiber connection, but it is available in selected areas only. It uses a fiber (plastic-like material) line instead of a copper line used for DSL and Cable.
Being the most recent addition Fiber Optic is also the fastest option available with speeds going up to 1 Gig. Next in line is Cable Broadband with speeds up to 100 Mbps, followed by DSL Broadband (speeds up to 25 Mbps), and lastly the Satellite (speeds up to 15 Mbps).
When choosing the speed, think about what you would use the internet for and how many people would use it. If you are a household of multiple users including gamers and Netflix lovers, then you should select a higher speed internet connection.
On the contrary, if you are a single user who uses the internet for social media and emails only, then don’t break your bank. A slower speed internet would work just fine for you.
Data Cap – Before signing up with any ISP make sure you enquire about the data cap. It is the amount of data you can use every month. Once you’ve used up the data available, depending on the service provider you either face reduced speed, get extra charges on your bill, or lose access altogether.
When looking at prices, keep in mind that internet providers charge for equipment and installation separately. Some company’s support like Spectrum customer service may let you use your Internet Modem and Wi-Fi Router and also allow you to self-install your equipment. This would help you save some big bucks up front.
There are many deals offered by different providers for single services, and bundle deals on internet, cable, and telephone services altogether. You must compare promotional offers by a few providers available in your area to make sure you choose the best fit for your budget and usage requirements. Bundle deals usually offer the best value for your money.
The most expensive and ironically the slowest type of internet is the Satellite connection. You’ll need to use the company equipment and it would require professional installation as a dish antenna is involved.
Last but the most important; take your time to research. Ask the neighbors and your friends for recommendations. Read reviews online. Check the company websites and call the customer support lines in case of confusion.
None of the providers can guarantee a lifetime of problem-free services but if you’ve taken the time to research and choose according to the above guidelines, the odds of having fewer problems would be higher.
Happy ISP hunting!