When you’re searching for the most-fitting high-speed internet service, the first big choice you’ll have to make is how you’d like to receive the signal. Each option – Cable, DSL, Satellite, Dial-Up, or Fiber Optic Internet – brings the internet into your home through a different method and technology – and each comes with a selection of pricing options, features, and benefits. Below, we’ve given you a brief breakdown of the big things you’ll definitely want to consider when comparing your options (and slipped in a few tips as well) so you can make the most informed decision possible when choosing the best internet service provider for you.
- Availability: Depending upon where you live – in an urban, suburban, or rural area – only certain internet service provider options may be available to you. So, double check the internet services in your area first to see which ones are even possibilities before you get too attached to a particular one.
- Speed: Consider all of what you plan to be doing with your internet service. Only checking email? Casual web browsing? Streaming HD movies? The bigger the upload and download demand, the more speed you’ll need. Also, keep in mind the number of devices you’re planning on connecting to your home network. Each one will tap into the signal, and too many laptops, tablets, and smartphones drawing on the signal at the same time will bog it down – if you don’t have the bandwidth to handle the digital draw.
- Price: In recent years, with increased competition from multiple internet service providers and signal types, prices have dropped for various services in certain areas. This has also increased the number of features and packages available at the same cost in other areas. So, be sure to compare all your internet options to see just how far your dollar might go. Likely, your internet connection can be tailored to your service, price, and speed needs.
- Contract Terms and Length: Not only is price important, but be sure to read the fine print on contract lengths and introductory pricing. The first year of service may be a complete bargain, but make sure you’re not then locked into a contract for too long. You never know when you may feel the need to change your internet service type or provider.
- Ease of Connecting: If you’re looking to get connected to the web as easily and quickly as possible, then consider what’s already set up in your home or building. For example, since cable internet uses your cable television connection, the necessary wires may already be installed, and all you’d need to do is call your internet service provider to flip the switch. Similarly, DSL uses your phone connection to access the web, and that may be just as easy.
- Quality of Signal: Since different ISP technologies get you connected to the internet in different ways, each one has its own pros and cons. For example, since fiber’s main conductor is glass (which cannot generate electricity), it is immune to all sorts of interference, and thus, produces a connection of superior performance and consistency. On the flip side, if a satellite internet dish is not installed and positioned correctly by a technician, interference from line-of-sight obstacles can cause connection problems.
- Bundles: Does your preferred internet service provider also offer TV and home phone in your area? Odds are pretty good that they do. And if you’re looking to save a bunch of money while getting a bunch of entertainment services and home utilities connected, then an internet bundle may be the wisest way to work it in your favor.
As you’re comparing everything, remember that every internet service provider – such as AT&T, Cox, DISH, Time Warner, Verizon, and Xfinity – offers a wide variety of internet connection types, plans, packages, speeds, and prices. And the reason they’re giving you this much choice is because they want your business, so make sure to do your research and keep the ace in your hand.
Justin Barisich is a freelancer, satirist, poet, and performer. He currently serves as a copywriter for Allconnect, helping folks get all their home utilities (like internet, TV, and electricity) setup as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Image Credit: Aits Amazton Information Technology