Are you thinking of switching internet providers but are not sure where to start? Depending on your location, you might have a seemingly endless amount of providers to choose from, or you might be stuck with one or two. Whatever the case may be, here are a few things to consider when choosing an ISP.
Table of Contents
Guide to Choosing an Internet Service Provider
Types of Service
The first thing that you will need to know is what type of services are available. Most companies, even companies that offer no contract internet, will have broadband service. This is sort of an umbrella term that can be used for any type of data connection that is always on. This includes fiber optic service, DSL, satellite, and cable. These are all high-speed services that will keep you connected constantly.
Then you have dial-up. Yes, it still exists and people do still pay for it for some reason. If dial-up isn’t the only choice you have, then you will go with broadband.
What do You Need?
If you are choosing an ISP for your business, you will need to determine a few things first. One of the things that you need to know is how many people will need to be online at a given time. You also need to know what types of things they will be doing.
Getting service with slower speeds and a bandwidth that is rather narrow means that only a few users will be able to browse the web and send emails. If your business requires there to be a large number of downloads, online conferences, or videos, with quite a few people online at once, you will need higher speed levels and a wider bandwidth.
Also, you need to know if you will need online access for smartphones, tablets, and laptops. In other words, do you need Wi–Fi or will your service be hardwired?
What Can You Get?
Now that you know your users, what they will be doing, and the types of service that are available, you need to know what is offered in your area. A good tool to use to find out is ISPProvidersInMyArea.com. This site provides a list of service providers who are in your area by zip code.
Aside from that, you can ask family and friends in your area what provider they currently use and if they are happy with their provider or if they may have had any issues with them. Other things to ask include whether or not the service slows down during peak hours and if the providers respond quickly when there are service issues in the area.
Comparison sites like ISPProvidersInMyArea are a great starting point that will assist you in quickly identifying which ones of the ISPs will give you the ideal combination of price and speed.
You will still need to pay a visit to the sites of the ISPs in order to get details on the packages they offer so that you will be able to thoroughly compare them yourself. You might want to pay close attention to things like:
Upload and download speeds
We all want to get internet that is faster as prices that we are willing and able to pay. When you are comparing prices, ensure that you are doing it on an apples to apples sort of basis. Compare the most similar plans depending on their upload and download speeds.
Contract and Cost
Some ISPs require you to purchase the modem outright or rent it from them. Other services provide it at no extra cost to you. Some might offer installation that is free, while other providers might charge you and call it a service call.
Most of them will give you a discount if you bundle the internet with another service such as phone and or TV. Some offer multi year contracts while others don’t require a contract. These are all things that you will need to think about when you compare different services by their price.
Nothing else matters if you are not able to use the internet when you want or need to. There is a site called DSL Reports that will show you reviews from people in your area. This is a great place to start. You can also use Speedtest.net if you want to get a real time speed test from your own computer. 🙂