It is imperative that you conduct thorough research concerning the availability of internet providers and their offerings in your area. You can consult a neighbor or a tech-savvy individual, who is well versed in the types of broadband and their pros and cons, and you can read some guides such as this one to help you correctly gauge internet providers.
This market research, before you commit yourself to a provider is highly important as a slow and fluctuating internet service can prove to be a cause of great frustration and annoyance for everyone in your household.
Moreover, these providers ask for a commitment of one to three years, in a binding contract, which if you back out would penalize you with an early termination fee. Not to mention the complicated installation procedures and order processing, which can take days; you cannot afford the time or money to jump from one provider to another.
Though the internet market is highly competitive and you would find numerous providers, dangling attractive perks at appealing price points, you would still have a hard time choosing the one that can perfectly match your needs.
Where to Begin?
The most obvious place to start is the internet. There are hundreds of sites that give detailed reviews of internet service providers with a side by side comparison. Online ISP retailers offer services of dozens of providers in one place. They provide detailed information for each provider, their packages, pricing, and availability as per your zip code so it is easy to compare providers and their deals at a retailer’s site, and you can directly order services there.
Customer reviews on these sites may give you an idea but be warned that they are usually negative reviews; happy customers wouldn’t necessarily write an online review, but unhappy ones would surely want to rant about their ordeal. So keep in mind that these negative reviews comprise a small percentage of the total subscribers for that provider.
Questions you must ask while conducting research
Don’t miss out on important questions and concerns while doing your search. There are certain areas that should be addressed beforehand. Most review and retailer sites have FAQ sections that concisely answer most-asked questions. Moreover, you can simply type your query in Google search, such as:
- Which provider has a cancel anytime policy and doesn’t charge termination fee?
- Which provider makes a contract mandatory and what is their cancellation fee?
- Which provider offers which broadband connection?
- Do I have to buy a phone service along with the internet plan?
- Can I get internet and cable TV packages from two different providers?
Here are some areas that you may need to consider in-depth:
- Compare Prices for All the Packages
The first person you would want to consult is likely a neighbor or friend, who is using a certain internet service that you believe would work for you. However, we don’t recommend keeping your research limited as you must have more options available on that address.
The best way to search and make comparisons is to go to a retailer’s website such as BuyTVInternetPhone that regularly updates information for the majority of providers in the U.S. You will find salient perks and package prices of that provider, along with other useful information. A side by side comparison would help you identify, which deal is most suitable for you.
These sites also allow you to conduct a search through your zip code and compare prices across multiple providers in your area. In addition, you can contact their customer service that will provide more details regarding the provider and may address questions not usually available on Google. For example, if you may want to determine whether Mediacom internet is 100% pure fiber in your area or a hybrid of fiber-cable, a call to Mediacom 24 hour customer service would answer many convoluted and vague questions.
- Which Broadband Type You Need?
Which type of broadband you utilize and the provider offers will immensely affect the quality of your internet service. Some broadband connections are much faster and sometimes expensive than others, while some are slow and outdated. It’s important to know whether the provider offers wired or wireless broadband and whether it is DSL, cable, fiber, fixed wireless, satellite, dial-up, or cellular.
Dial-Up Connection may have been a cutting-edge technology at its inception, but is today transcended by dozens of other broadband and is ranked as the slowest of all. However, in rural areas not many have many choices, and have to resign themselves to dial-up, which provides an average speed of 40–50 kbit/s.
Satellite Internet is the knight in shining armor for rural residents as it provides 100% coverage to the entirety of the U.S., including previously inaccessible areas, with speeds up to 25+ Mbps due to its space-age technology. The connection is expensive as compared to other options, and you can expect bandwidth throttling and high latency with satellites. Nonetheless, it is preferable to dial-up. HughesNet. is the top satellite internet provider in the U.S. and is working on delivering up to 100 Mbps speeds via satellite in the future.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is the oldest and slowest of the other wired broadband options that include cable, and fiber. However, it delivers adequate internet speeds, from 5 to 35 Mbps via phone lines The average internet speed most DSL providers offer is 6 Mbps. However, providers like AT&T aim to provide the fastest DSL speeds available in your area, depending on the infrastructure and can go as high as 100 Mbps.
Cable connection utilizes cable TV lines to deliver data. Most providers like Spectrum and Mediacom have boosted their cable network with fiber infrastructure, and can now successfully deliver fiber level speeds. Cable Internet speeds can range anywhere between 10 Mbps to 940 Mbps, depending on the package you have chosen. This new fiber-cable hybrid is much faster, reliable, and economical than other connections.
Fiber Optic is the latest of the wired broadband technology. This broadband delivers Gigabit download and upload speeds through its fiber-optic lines, which transfer data at 70% speed of light.
Though providers are quickly laying out fiber infrastructure, it isn’t available in every nook and cranny. You may have to contact customer service or look up if fiber internet is available in your area. Most providers offer fiber internet to business customers only, but AT&T is available for residents as well.
- Modem and Router
Some providers include a modem, router, or a gateway in your package for a monthly fee. Few even offer the device for free for a certain period of time, but remember the device belongs to the company and you are penalized if you don’t return or damage the device – read the company’s equipment return policy. Not all providers offer high-quality modem/router though, and a used and low-quality device can undermine a perfectly fine internet connection.
Check if a provider allows you to use your own device. If yes, they usually have a list of compatible modem/routers with their service, published on their website. Once you get one, the device will belong to you and you would save on your monthly bill.
Bringing it All Together
Internet service is a crucial aspect of our everyday lives, so research thoroughly and choose wisely. A lot of appealing perks offered by one provider may not be of any use to you, so you must look at other providers who may offer service without frills and fancies at a reduced cost.
Baldwin Jackson is a successful digital marketer with expertise in search engine optimization and content marketing. The perfect balance of his analytical ability and creative thinking is what sets him apart from other practitioners in the digital marketing realm. He has helped a lot of small and medium-sized businesses in crafting their digital marketing strategies that are not only cost-effective but delivers results as well.
Baldwin is also a proud father of two kids and a Sports enthusiast. When he is not working, you will find him watching ESPN and NFL network. He has been able to get an amazing package on his favorite channels from Buytvinternetphone.com.