Today, I’d talk about the ten most important factors you should consider before choosing any internet connection. Why? Because an increase in our happiness or frustration highly depends on our service providers and we all have other things to knock down our little fort we create in a big giant of a bubble of happiness and illusion. So it’d be nice to have one less thing to worry about, no?
Before we start going through the points, I want to talk about the type of connections which you come across, mostly. Dial-ups still exist in today’s world but not as much and I’m sure you remember the negative memories of a slow speed from your childhood. Dial-ups should be chosen unless you have no other option. You have to go for broadband connections. It involves many like Fibre Optic Service, Satellite, DSL and Cable broadband. While all these broadbands will make your internet related work and be less frustrating than a dial-up, one ends up making a decision between DSL, Fibre and Cable. We live in a world of Cable versus DSL a.k.a Digital Subscriber Line. While DSL operates using telephone lines (a way similar to Dial-up) it provides speed on an individual level to you. On the other hand, however, Cable is often shared throughout your neighborhood and its speed varies as per its usage throughout the town. The more people there are online, the less speed you’d all be getting – basically because you’re all sharing the same line. This doesn’t happen in DSL. DSL’s speed varies as per your distance from the Central Office of your service provider but is consistent. Fibre Optic Service is the latest broadband type thrown our way and is by far the most improvised version of all. Fibre offers the fastest speed and is often compared to ‘the speed of light’, haha – funny how we just go on advertising things. But, really, it is fast! There’s a twist to the story which is that it is not available ‘everywhere’. It is limited to some areas only. So now, it comes down to a competition between DSL and Cable. If you have the option of fibre … always go for that – if not then I personally believe that DSL is better than cable because at least then you won’t have to come across an unpredictability in your connection’s speed.
With that said, here are the most important things you need to consider before choosing a service provider:
The first and foremost thing you need to do is see which Internet Service Providers (check Spectrum Internet Deals) are available in your area. There’s no point going about searching for a fibre optics connection only to find out that it’s no offered in your side of the country.
Once you have come across the offered ISPs, your second step should be to see how much transparency is an ISP comfortable with. Are they telling you whether your area would get better or low speed due to the CO’s (central office’s) distance? Are there any hidden charges other than tax? Do they have a good following or are they suppressing negative feedbacks to their services?
Find out how much trust you can put into the ISPs not just by comparing them but by asking your neighbours as well. Take their reviews. It’s best if you’d take reviews on all the ISPs listed in your area. Which one has the most satisfied customers?
For instance, Spectrum has over 5 million residential customers. Do the ISPs offered in your area have more or less? Which one has the most following?
Download and Upload Speeds:
Compare the download and upload speeds offered to you as per a particular package or ISP. You can compare those using online sites like Net Index. It tells you about the fastest speeds used and tested by people globally. If your preferred ISP is reviewed there – well & good! If not … it doesn’t hurt to ask them directly.
Don’t choose an ISP that puts a ‘cap’ or limitation on the monthly data usage, if you’re a frequent Netflix, Sound Cloud or Youtube user. Ask this from your ISPs, firsthand.
Cost and Agreement:
Some ISPs offer free installation while some charge you for the service. Some would ask you to rent or buy a modem while some would offer it to you. Moreover, at times the ISPs give discount offers on a double or triple play which can save you from paying a higher amount individually and saves you from a multi-year contract. This is a really important factor to compare between the ISPs when choosing.
Terms of Service:
Read the terms of services, vigilantly. Many ISPs have more than just a data cap and restrict you from certain activities like running a web or file server, downloading pictures or videos etc.
Many ISPs offer add-ons just to gain more customers. The add-ons might not always be something you need but the word ‘free’ makes one consider things s/he doesn’t even need. One add-on which truly is cool is a free Wi-Fi service – sometimes an ISP offers free Wi-Fi service to you regardless of your location. The only thing you need is a connection of that particular service around you and bam!
Does your service provider offer any customer support? If, yes then how much? Some ISPs offer 24/7 support to their customers while others have varying hours.
Would you be given a trial period or money-back guarantee? Some ISPs offer you trails for a week or month and ensure your satisfaction.