Unsightly internet bills can be a headache every month when it comes time to pay the bill. If you have fast internet speeds, you are more likely to accept the high payment but in reality you could be paying too much. Below, we give you a couple ways to see if what you are paying is a fair price each month.
Understand what speeds you need
First and foremost, you need to check and see if you are getting the actual speeds promised by your internet service provider. You can conduct a test by using websites such as SpeedTest.Net. Advertised speeds online are usually defined by a certain amount of Mbps (or megabits per second). This list breaks down how much speed you need to perform various activities:
- Basic browsing or emailing: 5 or less Mbps
- Browsing and emailing, with occasional streaming or gaming: 5-10 Mbps
- Average levels of streaming, gaming, and downloading on more than one device: 10-25 Mbps
- Heavy levels of streaming, gaming, and downloading on multiple devices: 25-40 Mbps
- Excessive streaming, gaming, and downloading on many devices: 40+ Mbps
If you fall into any of those categories listed above and feel like the speeds are not meeting your needs, you need to contact your provider. Your ISP should be able to look at your network connection and evaluate the problem. If they are not able to resolve it, you may need to start looking for a new provider.
Understand how your data caps works
If you are consistently going exceeding you monthly data allotment, you could be paying as much as $200 in overage fees. Below we have created a chart that outlines how much data you need to perform certain activities broken down on a daily basis.
- 2 hours of browsing: 1 GB
- 30 emails per day: 1 GB
- 2 hours of social media: 3GB
- 2 hours of SD video streaming: 45GB
- 2 hours of HD video streaming: 120GB
- 2 hours of streaming music: 6GB
- Upload/download 10 pictures: 2GB
- 1 hour of video chatting: 10GB
- 2 hours of online gaming: 1GB
That comes about to be almost 200GB of data used in one day. Not everyone uses this much data and some people use more. For example, a person that conducts business from their home would most likely spend more time online, send more emails, and potentially video conference more. This person should purchase a plan with a high or unlimited monthly data cap. However, if you are someone who only uses the internet for light browsing or emailing, make sure your plan reflects that. Most providers allow you to check how much data you have used by logging into your online account. If you are not using it all up, you should consider downgrading your plan. This is also important to keep track of because most providers do not allow you to rollover any unused data. It just goes to waste.
If you have checked all the things above and still feel like your provider does not meet your needs, consider making a change. It is important to put the necessary research on the front end to avoid getting the wrong plan or provider later. BroadbandSearch created a guide on how to choose an internet service provider. It helps make this process easier by educating you on all the terms you might need to know. You can also visit our provider page for a comprehensive list of the available providers in you area and see the plans they have available.