Over the years, the internet has slowly turned from just a luxury to a huge necessity in homes and workplaces. We depend on it for information, work, study, socialization, and a huge load of other purposes. However, what you can do with the internet and the experience you get while at it, largely depends on your internet service provider. But with the many internet providers everywhere these days, choosing the right one can seemingly be a daunting task. In this piece, we’ll highlight a few pointers on how to select the right internet provider for your needs.
1. Identify Your Speed Needs
Speed is one of the most important things to consider when getting internet service. The last thing you want is to come across an internet connection that buffers like for a whole minute before loading a clip on YouTube. This is no less than torture, especially when time is not on your side. Now, different internet providers have different packages when it comes to internet speed, which is expressed as megabits per second or Mbps.
If your internet will primarily be used to surf the web using your smartphone or computer, you should get a seamless experience with a 1Mbps connection. This is especially the case if you use a device like the iPhone XS, Galaxy S10, or Google Pixel 3 for browsing the web and accessing social sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These phones come with superior features such as super fast processor speeds, great storage, and powerful RAM, all of which make your connection faster.
On the other hand, if you’ll be using your internet connection to download large files, you may need a speed of up to 50Mbps, but 5-8 Mbps should do for HD video streaming. Additionally, you may need a higher speed or bandwidth depend on the number of devices used to simultaneously access the internet. Once you understand your need for speed, choosing an internet provider that fits your needs becomes easier.
2. Weigh Your Options On Connection Type
There are many different types of internet connections, depending on how the service is delivered. Some of the most common ones include:
Satellite Internet: It’s one of the slowest connections available today and is mostly found in rural areas.
Digital Subscriber Line: Also known as DSL, the connection can deliver speeds of up to 25Mbps. It is delivered to the building through existing telephone lines and is mostly provided by telecom companies. Nowadays, it has a faster alternative called fiber-optic internet, which can offer bandwidths of up to 500Mbps.
Cable Internet: As the name suggests, it’s delivered through cables to your home and is one of the fastest connection types.
Wireless/Cellular Internet: This is basically mobile broadband, a form of wireless internet that can be shared across devices using the hotspot feature on today’s smartphones. It’s a great option for “on the go” internet access, but may not be suitable for heavy usage.
When choosing a provider, it’s important to find out which connection types the offer, so you can choose the most convenient option for you. For instance, a provider who offers cable internet only may not help you if you’re just after an internet solution for on-the-go use.
3. Things to Compare When Shopping Around
Cable internet providers often provide bundles to their consumers, mostly for internet, TV, and phone use. In most cases, bundling is cheaper than purchasing subscriptions for each of these services. However, you’ll still need to consider if you need all these services combined or its internet alone you want. If bundles are ideal for you, you’ll want to compare the prices from various internet providers before settling for one.
Deals and Discounts:
From time to time, some internet providers also offer promotions and discounted deals on their services. For instance, you could get a provider who’s offering one year’s internet service for £25p.m instead of £35p.m for first-time customers. If you’re a frequent internet user, this can allow you to save a considerable amount of money by the end of the year.
Are There Additional Costs and Fees?
If there’s a problem with your internet, will you be required to pay for it to be serviced? Will you be required to pay for any modems or routers if needed? Are there penalties for early cancellation of the subscription? These are some of the many factors you need to consider when shopping for an internet provider before signing up.
Some internet providers do put a “cap” or limit how much data you can use or download per month. However, this can be quite an inconvenience, especially if you’re frequent streamer on Netflix, YouTube, and other video services.
Finally, it’s always important to consider the provider’s experience and reputation on the market, especially when it comes to customer service. Other than this, it’s all about what you need, what you can afford, and the overall internet experience you’re looking for. With the above few tips in mind, choosing a reliable internet provider that suits your needs can be a breeze.