How to Choose an Internet Provider Near Me


Lyndon Seitz - Editor-in-Chief

Date Modified: April 18, 2024

How to Choose an Internet Provider Near Me

For many, moving houses or apartments goes on the “Least Favorite Thing To Do” list. It takes forever, is inconvenient, and makes you think you have too much stuff–perhaps this is why minimalism has seen a steady rise. 

Choosing an internet provider may also go on that list–it can take just as long and be just as inconvenient. 

Whether you’re thinking about switching to another ISP, have recently relocated, or are subscribing for the first time, choosing an internet provider can be challenging. If you feel lost in the process, this guide will help get you started.


Did you know the United States ranks third in terms of the largest online markets in the world? The U.S. currently has over 307 million internet users nationwide, which is expected to reach 328 million by 2027. Over 90% of Americans are online, and it’s unimaginable to think about what life was like before.

Internet usage in the U.S.

But, despite social media’s bad rep and the inaccuracies found on the World Wide Web, the internet has made our lives easier. 

It has changed how we work, communicate, learn, play and even order food–it has changed our lives. The Laura Ingalls days would be foreign to us, most notably the writer of this, who is a member of Generation Z. 

So yes, the internet has become a necessity for us–and that’s not an exaggeration. People may take a two-week detox from social media, but–at some point during the day–they will have no choice but to access the internet. It’s all around us.

This is why choosing the right internet provider is a big deal. You may be tired of your current provider or have changed residences. Either way, the challenge comes from the number of possible choices.

But fear not. This article will provide you with all the necessary tools to find the perfect provider and save you time and money. 

Tips for Choosing the Best Internet Provider Near You

With the long list of ISPs, it’s natural to want to pull your hair out. Narrow down your search by considering the following factors:

Factors to consider when choosing an internet provider

Availability in Your Area

This is perhaps the most crucial step. There is a 0% chance you will sign up with an ISP if they are unavailable in your area.

This is where your specific location comes into play. Determining whether you are in a rural or urban area will make your search much more concise. 

To make this even easier for you here is a quick and easy way to find internet providers by state. 

Good Customer Service

The customer service of your potential ISP should also be a priority. You need to know that an issue will be quickly resolved should one come up. Here are a few things to ask:

  • How reliable are they?
  • What do the customer reviews say?
  • How quickly do they respond to outages?
  • How quickly do they respond to you?

Internet Speed & Bandwidth

The internet is necessary for everyone, but internet speed and bandwidth will be specific to each individual. Depending on what you use the internet for, these two elements may need to be increased.

Remote Work

The internet is essential when you work from home–your livelihood depends on it. 

For remote work, it’s recommended that you have at least 10 Mbps of download speed and 1 Mbps of upload speed. For optimal performance and less hassle, however, strive to reach 100 Mbps of download speed. 

Achieving this desired speed and bandwidth will result in no buffering and less waiting.


The recommended internet speed for best gaming can sometimes differ depending on your type of console or platform (Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, or PC). But, as a general rule, most manufacturers recommend a download speed of at least 3 Mbps and an upload speed of 0.5 to 1 Mbps. This will significantly enhance the gaming experience due to less lagging and a decrease in getting kicked from lobbies.

Online Streaming of HD Videos

The recommended speed for streaming and watching HD videos is 5 Mbps. This is increased for those streaming in 4K to at least 25 Mbps. 

This is the minimum to maximize your video quality on platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and HBO Max. 

Casual Internet Use

For those who just use the internet casually–searching Google, checking emails, or scrolling through social media–you should strive for at least 5 Mbps download speed, and 1 Mbps upload speed.

You’re not doing anything crazy here, and your livelihood doesn’t depend on it. This just makes the process hassle-free for those simple activities.

Internet Plan Packages

Availability, customer service, internet speed, and bandwidth are all important factors to consider, but you’re not finished yet. You also need to find the internet plan that works for you. 

Internet plans come in many different varieties. Here are a few things you should look for when shopping around for packages:


The cost of a specific plan is the most significant aspect for most people. You want everything you need but don’t want to pay more for add-ons that you don’t.

Check to see how much the average internet plan costs in your area. This will give you an idea of what you should expect to pay.

And, as always, check the fine print. See if there are hidden fees you should be aware of, like contracts, installation, and termination charges.

Bundles and Promotions

Internet providers frequently offer discounts and promotions to those who bundle.

A bundle is what it sounds like–you group certain aspects of your plan, and by doing so, you get a discounted rate

Check with your current or potential ISP to see if they are currently offering any promotions or if you have the opportunity to bundle.

Data Cap

A data cap is a limit or ceiling on how much data you can use. Going over this limit usually results in being charged extra or being downgraded to a slower speed. 

Deciding how to navigate this data cap is contingent on your budget. Unlimited data is the way to go if you don’t mind paying extra.

Know the Best Type of Internet Connection in Your Area

Knowing the type of internet connection you want is essential to having a struggle-free experience. Some prefer the traditional route of cable, while others may enjoy satellite or fiber. The choice is up to you; however, the type of connection you receive will primarily be based on your location–rural or urban. 

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

DSL is common and available to more than 90% of the United States. A DSL internet connection is great for those in rural areas–where getting a connection is challenging. 

With DSL, internet speed is heavily influenced by the distance between the provider and the subscriber. This results in a wide range of internet speeds. 

The cost of DSL is considerably lower than other types of internet connections. The only cheaper option is dial-up–and who wants that?

Satellite Internet

Also great for the middle of nowhere, satellite internet is the most available connection out there. 

This type of connection also tends to be on the more expensive side. Satellite internet has also been known to be slower than other types. The latency issues result from the dish having to communicate with another satellite in space.

Cable Internet

Cable internet is the tried and true method. It’s fast, reliable, and uses the good old-fashioned ethernet cord. 

Cable is faster than DSL. However, everyone in your area will be sharing the same network. This means your internet may be slower during peak hours.

Mobile Internet

Mobile internet has many advantages but is primarily designed for phones. 

One upside is that technology is constantly improving and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

With the rise of 5G internet, mobile internet is a great option if your area has a sound cellular infrastructure. 

Fiber Internet

Fiber has been dubbed the latest and greatest thing since sliced bread. And for a good reason. It is known for its lightning-fast speeds and reliability

The only downfall with fiber is its availability and installation procedure. While it may be the newest type on the market, it is so new that it doesn’t have as much coverage as other types. 

The Bottomline–Time to Make Your Choice

Changing your current internet plan or getting one for the first time is a complicated process. But it doesn’t have to be. 

Availability, customer service, internet speed, and bandwidth are all essential features to look for in an internet plan and service provider. The good news is that you don’t have to do this all alone. You can find here all the internet providers in your area.


How do I check which internet is fast in my area?

Websites like rank ISPs on how fast their internet connection is. This is a great place to start if you’re curious.

Why are there so few internet providers in my area?

If there’s a lack of ISPs in your area, it may be because you live in a rural area. But that’s not always the case. Recently, many smaller providers were bought out by large, nationwide companies.

Do ISPs have overage fees?

This is where data caps come in. Some ISPs will charge overage fees should you go over that mark. For example, your provider may charge you $10 for every 50 GB of data you go over.

Is an internet service provider the same as a WiFi provider?

No. ISPs and Wifi providers are two different things. The key difference is your ISP is where you get your Wifi from.