The Internet is one of the most useful tools that virtually everyone can take advantage of. From business owners to people who are conducting independent research in their free time, its utility can’t be overlooked.
But, not everyone is aware of what to look for in an Internet service provider.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about buying Internet service that’s best for you.
Compare Local Providers
One of the best ways to ensure that you find the right Internet service provider is to browse through your local businesses.
Since many service providers offer similar features and speeds for their connections, it’s highly likely that you’ll able to find one that offers a more reasonable price than the others.
In general, you want to compare the following factors:
- Installation fees or costs
- Pricing and available plans
- Customer reviews
It’s not realistic to find a perfect company, but you can find one that’s as close as possible. Shopping around is one of the best ways you’ll save money on your service.
Determine What Type of Speed You Need
In order to find the plan that’s best for you, you’re going to need to figure out how fast your internet connection needs to be. You can use the following criteria as an index for what type of speed (in Megabits per second) that you should look for:
- 3 Mbps: General streaming and Internet usage
- 5 Mbps: Streaming in HD
- 13 Mbps: HD streaming on multiple devices
- 25+ Mbps: 4K streaming, high-quality video calls, large file sharing, etc.
After you figure out the speed is best for you, you’ll then be able to narrow down your search for looking for providers.
Keep in mind, though, most providers will be able to accommodate your needs when it comes to Internet speed. Considering the previously-mentioned additional factors is also important in your search.
Decide What Type of Connection You Want
In general, you’ll find that there are three main types of Internet connection that you can choose from:
- Digital subscriber line (DSL)
While satellite Internet and dial-up connections are also available, they more than likely won’t be able to satisfy your needs (especially when it comes to speed).
Although it isn’t available in every region, a fiber-optic connection is by far the fastest available type of connection. This is due to it being able to function at the speed of light by transmitting light pulses through bundles glass rods.
Cable (yes, the same type used for your television service) is the next fastest type. It’s a reliable choice if fiber isn’t available in your area or if you don’t need the lightning-fast utility that it provides.
Although a DSL connection may look like it uses a phone line in order to function, it can reach notable speeds. In fact, DSL easily reaches 10-15 Mbps.
You can check out this helpful guide to learn more about Internet connection types.
Business Vs. Residential
Business Internet provides far more utility than residential Internet does. For example, those with a business Internet subscription will have their own, direct connection to their network that can’t be influenced by other users’ behavior.
This is in stark contrast to a residential Internet connection, which often sees a drop in performance during the evenings when people return home from work and begin streaming on Netflix, YouTube, etc.
Additionally, business Internet connections come with a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This means you’re entitled to a refund the performance outlined in your contract isn’t met.
This also directly translates to service providers minimizing the downtime of business networks in order to adhere to SLAs they have with their customers.
As you may expect, most legitimate businesses have no reason not to get a business connection (and often require one for their needs). Interestingly, though, even those who are looking for Internet service for their homes can get a business connection.
This is ideal for those who are working on projects that require a high amount of bandwidth or are running a business from their home office.
While not all providers will offer business Internet connections under this circumstance, many will do so if you inquire about it. So, keep this option in mind while looking for service.
Check The Terms
Many plans look great at first glance, but it’s not unlikely for them to be full of terms that aren’t ideal for your situation. For example, a low-cost, high-speed Internet service plan might include a large number of fees and installation costs.
One of the most important terms to keep an eye out for, though, are data caps.
These are imposed on customers to save the service provider money. After a certain amount of data is used during a billing cycle, Internet speeds are throttled until the new billing cycle begins.
This can easily become frustrating for those who need continuous access to high-speed Internet.
So, be vigilant when looking out for data caps (or even attempt to negotiate your way out of them when speaking to a service provider).
Buying Internet Service Can Seem Difficult
Remember, it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about buying Internet service that’s right for you in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward making the decision that will allow you to be most productive.
Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.