Questions for Choosing An ISP

Questions for Choosing An ISP

Posted under: Internet

Choosing the right Internet Service Provider or ISP can be a challenge. Depending on where you live, you may have an abundance of options or just a few. But beware, not all Internet service is equal. As you shop around you will find a wide range of terminology that you may not be familiar with, extreme differences in pricing and speed, and even fluctuations in what you can do with different technologies. Because there is such variation in the market, you need to ask yourself some important questions before you choose your next ISP, so you get the best fit for you.

How many Internet enabled devices are in your home?

Because most homes with Internet have a Wi-Fi network set up, multiple devices can be used simultaneously. In fact, you may not even be aware of how many people are online at once in your household, but by knowing how many Internet enabled devices there are, you can get a better idea of the amount of bandwidth you need. Remember to include your smartphone in the count of devices, because most cell phone users connect to their home network when possible to save on data costs with their cell phone provider.

What do you do online?

Knowing how your household uses the Internet will also help you decide on the right plan and speed for your service. A home that only does occasional Internet surfing and social media will need much less data than a home that relies on streaming video for its primary entertainment. This is important because more and more providers are capping data.

What types of Internet are available where I live?

You may think you know the types of internet service available in your area, but the reality is that there are many options that you may not be aware of. A quick search of Internet service available by zip code will reveal exactly what your options really are.

Do I know the differences between the different types of Internet service and which one might best fit me?

Amongst the various types of Internet service, there are distinct differences.

  • Fiber Internet is the fastest option on the market but is the scarcest in terms of where it is offered.
  • Cable Internet is a top choice, is incredibly fast and is available to the majority of Americans. However, it is often unavailable to rural residents.
  • DSL Internet delivered via the phone line is a fast option for many, but speeds vary depending on how far a consumer is from the central office.
  • Wireless Internet is a responsive broadband option that allows for similar download and upload speeds, and requires no wires or cables. It is not as fast as many other options, and is often more costly, but is available in more areas.
  • Satellite Internet is the rural Internet choice, providing fast service in many areas where there is no other option. It is a reliable, affordable option, but has limitations such as lagtime, data caps, and slow upload speeds which prevent it from being used for things like real time simulation games.

Is my priority speed, price, unlimited access or something else?

When you are choosing an ISP, be realistic about what your true priority is. What is most important to you- the speed of the service, the monthly cost, unlimited access to the Internet, or something else? It is likely a combination of these, but by knowing which weighs more heavily, you'll be easily able to narrow down your choices.

Recent Posts
How Do U.S. Internet Costs Compare To The Rest Of The World?

How Do U.S. Internet Costs Compare To The Rest Of The World?

Do you feel you pay a lot for internet? Relatives in Asia seem to get a better deal? We take a detailed look at the cost of internet access in the U.S. and compare it to various countries and regions worldwide.

Posted under: Internet

A Snapshot Of Internet Service Provider Competition in the U.S.

A Snapshot Of Internet Service Provider Competition in the U.S.

Have you ever looked for an alternative internet provider? Couldn't find one in your area? Not enough choice? We take a deep dive into the state of ISP competition in the US and the challenges for providers entering the market.

Posted under: Internet

How Has COVID-19 Impacted Internet Speed In Your State?

How Has COVID-19 Impacted Internet Speed In Your State?

There's no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has meant huge changes to our lives with increased reliance on the internet. We researched the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had in 50 states, studying how it has affected internet speeds.

Posted under: Internet

Internet Shopping: The Future of Online Retail

Internet Shopping: The Future of Online Retail

Online retail has changed dramatically in the last decade and continues to evolve. We look at the likely developments in the future of ecommerce and related technology plus the ever changing goals of online retailers.

Posted under: Internet

The Best Modems For 2020

The Best Modems For 2020

modem is an important part of your internet setup but which one best fits your needs and your budget? We look at the best modem options for 2020.

Posted under: Internet

11 Ways to Speed Up a Slow Internet Streaming Service

11 Ways to Speed Up a Slow Internet Streaming Service

When you are trying to enjoy TV, buffering or low quality streaming can really ruin the Netflix and chill experience. Here are 11 ways you can try and improve your streaming experience if you are having problems.

Posted under: Internet, Netflix and Amazon Video