The internet has taken on a huge role in various industries and also people’s personal lives, so finding an internet service provider (or ISP) that can provide a fast and reliable connection is essential. What should you look for in an ISP? Here are some important factors that should be taken into consideration to help you make the right decision.
1. Connection type
Internet providers offer different types of internet connections. These days, a lot of people are probably most familiar with fiber and wireless, with all thigh-speed fiber plans and unlimited home WIFI plans advertised everywhere. What they may not know is that there are also cable and copper internet connections. However, they tend to be inferior to unlimited home wifi plans and fiber in terms of speed and performance.
Pauses and stops every couple of minutes or so while you are in the middle of streaming a movie are annoying. Having to wait several hours to download a work file is even more frustrating. When choosing an internet provider, make sure to check the download and upload speeds that they offer. Your goal is to pick the one that can provide your desired internet speeds at a reasonable price.
3. Data cap
Anyone who regularly uses the internet has likely heard about the Fair Usage Policy, which is a policy that basically restricts the amount of data used during peak times so that there is no shortage of bandwidth for everyone who is online. So, for instance, if you subscribe to a 100 Mbps + 100 GBdata cap plan, your speeds can be reduced to as slow as 10 Mbps once you have used up all of your 100 GB data allowance. If you are a heavy user, you should pick one that really offers unlimited internet or at least a higher data cap to accommodate your needs.
Different internet providers offer different prices for their services. On top of your monthly internet bill, some may charge you a one-time installation fee and monthly installment payments for the equipment. Others may do the installation free of charge but have extra charges for other modifications to your plan. Before signing anything, you should contact your potential internet provider for clarification.
5. Customer service
If you are having internet issues, such as slow upload/download speeds or loss of connection, you will want the problem fixed as soon as possible. During these instances, you should be able to easily reach your internet provider's customer service team, whether through a phone call, email, or chat, to learn more about the problem and solve it right away.
6. Your needs
Determine what kind of internet user you are. Heavy users, such as those who need to upload and download large files for work and those who play many hours of online games, should choose internet plans with speeds of 20 Mbps or higher. Casual users, such as those who only check their emails, read blogs, and check out the news, should be fine with speeds of 10 Mbps or lower.