Choosing Internet service providers (ISPs) can be confusing if you don’t know how to wade through. Finding the right provider for your needs isn’t hard once you know what to look for. When it comes to looking for the right ISP, here are four important considerations to watch out for.
Your Internet Needs
How you use the Internet determines which service is best for your individual needs. There are several questions you should ask yourself before you begin your search, such as:
- Are you looking for Internet for a residence or business?
- If you’re looking to get Internet service for your home, how many computers will be online at one time?
- How will that Internet be used? For example, downloading and uploading, watching movies, checking Facebook or email?
- Is your local area covered by your ideal provider? Or are you located in a rural area that has limited Internet access?
Internet Connection Type
Focusing on that last question is the most telling factor of what kind of Internet service providers are available to you. The type of connection you use determines price and speed. There are a few options available, like:
- Dial-up connection goes through your phone lines, and is the slowest type of connection.
- DSL or broadband is connects through phone lines, but doesn’t tie up phone lines.
- Cable is another broadband connection type that goes through cable television access
- Satellite is also a broadband connection that connects through satellites orbiting the earth. Good for people in rural areas.
Nobody likes to wait, so a speedy Internet connection can make your online experience much more enjoyable. If you like to get online fast and download files quickly, stay away from dial-up. Broadband connections are usually fast, but there are several factors that can slow down your Internet speed. Cable connections average about 30 Mbps (megabits per second), and that is a good average speed to seek when shopping for an ISP. Businesses may require faster Internet speeds to operate properly, and these speed concerns and issues should be discussed with a representative before any contracts are signed.
Customer and Technical Support
Although you hope that you’ll rarely have to call customer support, knowing that an Internet service will take care of you during technical difficulties is relieving. No matter if you call about an Internet outage or an issue with your last bill, courteous and prompt customer support response changes the ways customers view Internet service providers. Ask your friends and coworkers what ISP they work with and what they like about that service. If someone is always grumbling about an outage or wrong bills from a certain provider, you can mark that as one to avoid.
Finding the right ISP for your home or business doesn’t have to be complicated. The last thing to consider when finding an ISP is cost and contract terms. If all your Internet needs are met and the price is right, choose a provider with a contract you are comfortable with.