Selecting an Internet Service Provider (ISP) isn’t easy these days; there is so much you have to take care of. First off, you need to find the best companies in your area, compare their plans, pricing, speeds, and then pick the best out of them. The problem is, many people are not tech savvy and they end up picking the wrong service provider. If you are someone who wants to avoid this and save your precious money, read on. We will list down all the details that will help you pick the most affordable and best internet service provider.
Tips to Finding the Best Internet Service Provider
Before you start your search, you need to decide which type of internet service is suitable for you. You must also understand that not all types of services are available in every region, so you need to make the choice, after seeing their pros and cons. The most famous internet options these days are Cable, DSL, Fiber Optic, Satellite, and Fixed Wireless. In cities and towns, we mostly find cable operators, broadband providers, and fiber optic services. If you are a work from home mom doing some freelance work, you can make do with the cable or DSL connection. However, if you run a small business, you better opt for fiber optic, which can deliver speed up to 1 Gbps.
To find the available internet providers in your area, you can run different searches on Google such as ‘internet service provider in my area’, ‘ISP in my area’, ‘high speed internet in my area’, ‘best internet in my area’, or ‘internet providers for my address’. Your search will give you the list of ISPs.
Internet Service Provider Comparison
Once you get the list, the next step is to open the website of each Internet Service Provider in your area and compare their plans and pricing, speeds, installation and equipment expenses, customer happiness score, and data caps and overage charges. Honestly, I know this is too much to ask for a non-technical person. I have a simple solution if you want to save time. Find an independent ISP review website providing honest reviews of these companies such as Reviews.org. They compare different providers on the factors I have mentioned above, making it easier for you to pick the one according to your needs and under your budget.
While it may be easy to find an internet service provider, comparing your needs to match the pricing and services of the provider is very tough. You need to consider factors like tech services, internet speed, extra add-ons, security, support, and scalability. Let’s discuss a few of these factors below:
How Much Internet Speed Do You Need?
So, you have found a good Internet Service Provider that offers great customer service and nationwide availability, but if it is unable to give you the speed you need, what benefit it can serve to you? To determine your speed requirements, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- How often people in your home stream HD videos?
- How often and how many people use video chat or internet phone calls?
- How many people in your home or office play video games?
- How often do people watch movies online?
- How often people in your place download big files?
- How many residents of your home or employees in your office stream at the same time on a regular basis?
- How many Computers, smartphones, tablets, laptops, gaming consoles, smart TVs, smart devices, etc, you want to connect in one time?
- How many employees would be browsing the internet or checking email at the same time?
- How many employees would be on video calls?
These are just a few very important questions for home and business users that they must ask themselves to determine the speed they need on a daily basis. Again, if that is too much for you, you can use an online Bandwidth Calculator to find the answer to how much speed do I need?
How Much Security Does the Internet Service Provider Offer?
While security is a prime concern of any Internet user these days, it is even more important for businesses. The best Internet Service Provider offers anti-spam, anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-malware protection. They even cover mobile devices and offer backup protection in the event of a system failure.
Does He Offer Add-Ons and Limitations?
For businesses, it is more important to find an Internet Service Provider that offers static IP, port access and third-party software programs. You definitely need Static IP for your business if you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Additionally, if you want to build your own private server, you need free port access to use specific software. We very well know that each software on the internet uses a port to access the particular service. For instance, the browsers employ port 80 for downloading. Therefore, if you need a random port like 4354 for your particular program, you must ask the service provider for free access.
Some ISPs provide free online backup services, personal website hosting, antivirus program subscriptions, and other add-ons. Some even offer free Wi-Fi hotspot access to mobile workers. Therefore, if your workers need internet access at home and other areas of their work, you need to consider an Internet Service Provider that provides free Wi-Fi hotspot access.
Reliability and Customer Service
Your Internet Service Provider must be very reliable. If you are a regular internet user, you will second me that internet services aren’t the same everywhere. It means an ISP in one city might not be that good in another city. However, the same cannot be true for customer support, which usually is standard nationwide and often operates from a central location. For business users, great support translates to more customers, sales and employee efficiency. Before you decide, find out if your Internet Service Provider is offering Service Level Agreement (SLA) and guarantees uninterrupted service or uptime. Furthermore, you need to know what your ISP would do in the event of service failure. Would they compensate you in any regard?
Are You Switching Your Service Provider?
If you are someone considering switching your ISP for any reason, you must know about early termination fees, which can cost you hundreds of dollars. Read your contract and decide if you should complete the contract period or you are comfortable shelling out the termination charges.
After reading our guide, I hope you will not have any issue choosing the best ISP in your area.