5 Must-Read How to Choose Internet Provider Tips!
If you run a business, you’ll want to make sure you have the best internet provider. To get started, click here for 5 how to choose internet provider tips!
As universal as the internet may seem there are a quarter of Americans who still don’t have it in their household.
Many cite cost and speed options as the main reason why they haven’t jumped on the bandwagon.
It’s no wonder. Internet service providers can be costly, confusing, and intimidating.
With the proper research, though, it can be easier than you think. After these five how to choose internet provider tips, you’ll be better equipped to make a choice.
1. Find Your Speed
First thing’s first. If you’ve wondered, “how much internet speed do I need?” then you’re on the right track.
Before you even Google “local internet service providers” you should first have a handle on what speeds you’re aiming for.
Bandwidth is the maximum rate at which you are able to download data from the internet to your computer, tablet, phone, and devices. The more you have, the better!
Bandwidth is measured in megabits-per-second (Mbps). This is different than the measurement of digital files which is in bytes (megabytes, gigabytes, kilobytes, etc.).
So the more bandwidth you have, the quicker you will be able to do your favorite things:
- Download movies
- Stream movies
- Stream music
- Browse social media
- Play online video games
- Video conference friends, family, or business partners, etc.
It’s a simple case of the more you have the more you’ll get.
It all depends on your usage, though. If you’re only using your internet to check emails, browse the internet, and stream the occasional movie or TV show, you don’t need over 100 Mbps.
If you want to know how fast an internet speed you should choose, you’ll need to consider a couple things:
- How many devices will you be using on this internet connection?
- What will these devices be doing on this internet connection?
The more devices (smartphones, tablets, computers, smart TVs, etc.) using the internet at the same time, the more speeds you’ll need.
The more heavy lifting any of these devices are doing, the more speed you’ll need.
If you are doing simple web browsing and emails with only one or two devices, feel free to go for the lowest speeds. Technically, even 1 Mbps would be serviceable, and you’ll save a boatload of money.
If you want to do the above but also high-definition video streaming (Amazon Video, Netflix, Hulu, etc.) then you should opt for at least 10 Mbps. You should even aim for 20 Mbps if you’ll have multiple devices streaming at the same time.
You could even add another 5-10 Mbps if any of the people connected to the internet will be playing video games online.
You should aim for at least 50 Mbps or more if you are going to be downloading large files often.
This is the most taxing on your bandwidth and you need to take this into account.
If you are a business owner, this is where choosing internet speeds can get tricky (and sadly, expensive).
You likely will have many computers, laptops, etc. needing to connect to the internet. Many of these devices will need to download and upload large amounts of data simultaneously, or you could be hosting your company’s own website.
Basically, your demands are a lot higher than the average household. Read more about getting the most out of high internet speeds to grow your business.
Phew…now that we got that out of the way.
Knowing your speed requirements is the most important thing, but service providers are also contingent on local availability.
You’ll need to see what the actual options are in your area. A good, unbiased source would be In My Area.
With resources like those, you can enter your zip code and see available providers. There is more in-depth research you could do, but that’s a good starting point.
3. Choose Your Connection Type
There are a few ways that you may connect to the internet:
- Through a cable provider
- Through a phone company
- Through a satellite company
- Through fiber optic cable
Each has their pros and cons, too, so do your research.
Internet from a cable provider will be better but more expensive. Phone company services are usually slower but cheaper. Satellite internet options are usually not the best value overall.
If you want the best of the best, opt for fiber optic cable. Sadly, fiber optic isn’t available everywhere yet, so you may not have this as an option at all.
4. Consider the Pricing, Bundles, and Promotions
From here you only need to weigh your options. Who offers what speed at what price? What options are best for what you need?
Consider whether or not it is a cable connection, dial-up, fiber optic, or anything else.
No matter which internet service provider you call, they’re going to try to upsell you to a bundle, including internet, cable TV, phone lines, and more.
Most people don’t like being upsold to, but be aware that it will happen. In some cases, bundles may actually be worth it.
If you know that you will get the use out of it, then weigh the pros and cons. No matter what, though, take time to consider the option. Don’t make a snap decision even if you feel pressured.
Promotions are great as you can save a lot of money, but they usually have an expiration date.
When promotions expire, you have to pay the full price, cancel your service and start looking for a new provider all over again or negotiate.
Which leads to the last tip.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
Not everyone is a natural-born negotiator, but don’t be afraid to negotiate with your internet service provider.
Tell them you have found better prices and speeds elsewhere. Tell them you still want your original promotional price and you’ll leave if they can’t work with you.
Let’s face it, you’re already weighing a number of options as it is. There are other options to choose from, and if their customer service is even halfway decent, they’ll find a way to keep you.
How to Choose Internet Provider Tips and Help
Internet service providers come in many shapes and sizes. It’s all dependent on a number of unknown factors, such as your needs and location.
Choosing an internet provider can seem daunting, but hopefully, these how to choose internet provider tips helped get you started.
If you’d like to read more tips and advice for small businesses, check out more of our blog section!