Moving? Looking to change your service provider? Getting an internet connection for the first time? There are a ton of providers offering a myriad of plans. Choosing the best option often becomes a nightmare so we decided to help you out with a simple eight-point guide. Think of these as helpful mile-markers that point to the best-fit internet and data package.
Here are your hints that lead you to the right internet connection.
Location, Location, Location:
Where you live or work is an important factor when looking for an internet connection. Not all service providers offer optimum levels of service throughout the country. Living in a rural area means that you may not have many options. Whereas city residents have a number of service providers to pick from. Your location will also factor in when deciding what type of connection will work best for you. In addition to call it, be on the lookout for any special deals available in your area.
Get the Right Type Connection
Internet or broadband is a general term that covers the different type of connections available in the market. As the previously mentioned location is a vital component to consider when getting an internet connection, and also guides what category of internet service provider suits your needs. Let’s look at the kinds of internet connections you may have to choose from.
a) DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
Uses your regular telephone line and usually provide speeds of 25 Mbps with 100 Mbps expected soon. Typically, DSL is categorized as Asymmetric DSL (ADSL) and Symmetric DSL. ADSL usually provides faster download speeds in comparison to upload. On the other hand, SDSL is equipped with the equally fast download and upload speeds.
DSL is amongst the less expensive options with a variety of service providers to choose from. You may find a greater number of DSL broadband service providers than cable or satellite internet. DSL is offering greatly reliable speeds and consistency as you usually get your own dedicated line. However, the quality may vary depending on the distance from the central office. The greater the distance from the central office the less reliable your connection.
b) Cable Broadband
It is offered by your cable television provider operating through the coaxial cable TV wire. Internet speeds offered start at 3 Mbps and go up to 100 Mbps and above. Cable broadband has a greater coverage area than DSL and is also faster than satellite. However, a single wire connecting multiple users may result in shared bandwidth and slower speeds.
As the word itself suggests, it uses satellite to beam internet signals through the installed satellite dishes, which means coverage with satellite is not an issue and offers speeds up to 15 Mbps. Since it uses satellite to provide internet, it can pretty much be used anywhere. It is especially convenient for users in rural areas where cable and DSL are unavailable. Having said that, satellite internet is not only slower but also more expensive.
d) Fiber Optic Service
This is the most recent addition to the connectivity types. While cable and DSL use copper to carry data, fiber optic is a plastic-like material thin like your hair and uses light to transmit data. Services using fiber optic offer speeds up to 300 Mbps. However, it is only available in selected areas with fiber optic lines.
In a world of economics money matters! Another important consideration before you get an internet connection is what you are going to pay for it. With different speeds and download caps available, choose smartly or you can be looking at a serious dent in that budget. To get to know the real deals on your internet talk to friends, ask your neighbors and of course, search the web.
There are providers that charge rent for the modems installed while others will have you pay for the installation charges. Be on the lookout for any bundle deals that may include cable television and/or telephone. Opting for a bundle deal can help you stay within budget and get the deal that fits the bill.
Keep Them Out!
Privacy and security is an absolute requirement for all. Be it a project you’re working on, a research for school, family pictures or any other form of confidential data, a securely encrypted modem can not only help protect important data but also notify you of any suspicious activity. Don’t just secure your network, be in control of who can join and monitor. Unwanted visitors may not always be a cyber-threat but they can also eat up bandwidth. Meaning? They share the internet and consume the speed/data you pay for.
The world of the internet opens the door to infinite information. Not all of it is appropriate for all audiences. Got kids? Be sure to look for parental control options offered by your internet service provider to be able to restrict any unwanted websites.
Get the Tools That Do the Job
It is important to take a look as to what equipment your internet service provider is offering. There may be instances where you would have to rent modems and routers from them. This not only affects your internet use but also tick the number you pay for the services rendered.
What exactly are modems and routers? To make it simple, modems are devices connected with wire, cable or optical fiber and make the internet work for you. This does not necessarily mean that it has the facility of Wi-Fi as well. There may be instances when routers may be separate from modems. However, the modem-router combo is common these days.
Rented router from your internet service provider may not always be the perfect solution to your home. It may not cover your home entirely and emit weaker signals to the farthest corners resulting in poor reception and slow internet speeds. Owning a good router not only means stronger signals, better coverage and faster WiFi speeds to all corners of your home but monetary savings on equipment rentals as well.
Speed it Up
Whether you use Netflix or your child likes to play games online. A high-speed internet connection makes that happen. Be smart when evaluating provider plans, there are different offers for the same speeds. Here are a few other things to look for when deciding what speed suits you best:
a) Number of Users
The number of people that will be using your connection will affect whatever speeds you go for. You can experience slow internet when a large number of people try to connect at the same time.
If your child wants to become a professional gamer and you like to stream movies or watch seasons over Netflix, there’s a battle right there. Be prepared to face a slow internet when doing multiple tasks simultaneously. On the other hand, if all you want to do is browse and have no intentions to test bandwidth to its limit, don’t break the bank by getting blazing fast speeds.
Deal with the Dreaded Data Cap
The data cap is the maximum amount of data you can use in a month. Once the limit is breached, you may experience an intentional slowing down of your internet known as throttling, get charges for extra data used or simply loose internet access. To make things clearer let’s look at it in a different way. Netflix roughly uses 3 GB/hour when streaming HD videos and the consumptions jump to 7 GB/hour when Ultra HD quality is selected. Let’s say that your data is capped at 300 GB a month. In this case, you will be able to watch 100 hours of HD videos and 42.85 hours of Ultra HD videos on Netflix. Data caps are vital when it comes to billing and internet speeds. Evaluate your usage and make the right choice.
Get the Support You Need
Everything breaks down once in a while, similarly, there will come a time when your internet gives you trouble. You would want your internet up and running in no time at all so that you can resume your work or your child can submit that assignment on time. Customer support is not great everywhere. Read reviews, look for published testimonials and drop the anchor with the Internet service provider you want.
Read, analyze and get the connection that suits you best. Easier said than done, right? Go open that browser and start digging. Don’t forget to use this guide to help you.