Find a Cable Internet Service Provider - Choosing a Cable ISP
Choosing a cable internet service, or other broadband internet provider, is similar to choosing a dialup ISP, but generally your available choices are much more limited. Read on to learn how to select a cable ISP or go straight to our list of cable internet providers.
Generally you go with cable internet access, or other broadband internet service, when you value high speed above the lowest cost. There are two main factors that influence internet speed, latency and bandwidth. Bandwidth is basically the rate at which data can be passed to your computer. As an analogy, think of your internet connection as a highway. The higher the bandwidth, the more lanes your highway has. The more lanes, the more cars can pass through in a given period of time, correlating to the amount of data you can download per second. If you download a lot of music, movies or other large files from the Internet, bandwidth is very important for you. Although your actual bandiwdth may vary, you can generally look up the max bandwidth values for each ISP.
Latency is the other important aspect of internet speed. Using the highway analogy, this would be better thought of as the speed limit on the road. Although many cars may be travelling along the same road at once, it will still take an individual car 1 minute to travel 1 mile if it is limited to 60 miles per hour. Latency can be observed as the lag between you clicking on a link and the page starting to download. If you spend a lot of your time on the internet browsing web pages, as most people do, then latency is an important factor for your internet speed.
Unfortunately, if is very hard to compare internet providers based on latency, because the latency will vary greatly among users of the same ISP. Your computer, cable modem, distance from the cable company's local node and other factors can all play a role in determining your latency with cable internet service. Your latency may also vary depending on the time of day and how loaded your provider is with other cable internet users.
Therefore, it can be hard to determine what latency you can expect before you subscribe to a cable Internet service provider. You best solution when shopping for a broadband internet provider is to consult with your nearest neighbors and see what their satisfaction levels are with the local DSL or cable internet providers.
When you want cable internet access, usually your only choice is the company that provides cable TV for your area. Most areas have just one cable TV provider, so you have just one choice for cable Internet. Although the limited choices is disappointing, the fast speeds and convenience of an always on connection from a cable Internet provider is generally well worth the extra cost compared to cheap dialup internet services for most people.
However, you usually aren't really limited to your local cable company for high speed internet access, because you can also choose DSL internet services from your phone company. Learn how to find a DSL internet service.
Hopefully this article helped you in choosing a cable internet service. As the next step, please visit our compare cable internet services page or browse our index page for cheap internet access services.
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