Almost everything we do is on the internet, from shopping to watching movies and streaming music. We even get our news from the internet. But, it’s important to have a solid internet service provider (ISP) in order to enjoy all of these conveniences. The key is to find an ISP that’ll provide you with good quality service so you can make the most of what the World Wide Web has to offer.
Before you choose an ISP, decide if you need to stay connected on the go, or if you mostly need to use the internet at home.
Keep in mind that your current geographical location will have an impact on the type of service you get. Each city has different options based on available coverage. This means that some places have access to faster internet while others are limited to slower connectivity.
Internet speed is typically measured in megabits per second (Mbps). It’s further broken down into two categories; download and upload. Download speed is typically higher and refers to the amount of speed at which you can download files. It’s really important to consider download speed if you plan to play online games or stream music and movies online.
Upload speed isn’t as important for most people because they mostly upload files or folders to a cloud interface, and you don’t need a lot of internet speed for that. The only time you need a really high upload speed is when you’re doing a lot of live streaming or regularly uploading large files to online platforms. Consider 5 to 15 Mbps for this category.
A lot of people don’t know this but your browsing speed largely depends on what you do. If you’re just checking emails or if you’re the only one using the internet, then 2 to 5 Mbps will do just fine.
But, if the whole family or staff will be connected simultaneously, then you’ll need a much faster speed of 5 to 15 Mbps.
There are also different types of internet available and they are as follows:
The cheapest (and slowest) is DSL which uses a telephone line. This option is affordable and ideal for a single user, especially if all you’re doing is checking web pages and emails.
Next, you have wireless which gives you the option to connect to the internet without a cable. It’s portable so you can carry it around and it communicates wirelessly. However, your wireless internet device must be in close proximity to data towers in order to work properly.
Weather can also be a factor because rain and snow can block the tower closest to you, thus interrupting your connection or slow it down. Wireless is faster than DSL but it’s also pricier.
Fiber optic is relatively new but its spreading fast. It’s also the most expensive but prices are dropping due to improved accessibility.
Lastly, you have cable, which is very fast but pricey. The problem with cable is that it’s usually not available in rural areas as availability is based on where the ISP runs their cable.
When signing up for an internet package you’ll have installation charges and monthly fees to deal with. The installation charges are a one-time fee while the monthly fees remain the same every month. Typically, a faster connection translates to higher monthly fees. Don’t forget to weigh the cost vs your usage. The fastest speed isn’t always what you need.
Ask other people
Ask people who already use the service you’re after for their own opinions about it. Ask if they get good customer support from their ISP and how quickly they respond to problems if something breaks down. Also look out for ISPs that provide some form of 24 hour service.
Whatever you do, never use your ISP for your email address. Rather opt for a service that’s not tied to your ISP, like Gmail or Yahoo. That way, you won’t have to change your email address when you get tired of your ISP.
Ask if there’s a clause that allows you to get out of the contract when you feel like it.