Guide to Choosing an Internet Service Provider
If you're dissatisfied with your Internet service provider, or if you're searching for an Internet service provider for the very first time, chances are you're discovering many different options. They all claim to provide fast reliable connections, but not all Internet service providers are the same, and there's more to compare than cost. Realizing your needs as well knowing what to look for in an Internet service provider is the first step to finding the right company to best serve your needs.
ISP Service Bundling
Cost is a major consideration when searching for an Internet service provider, and prices can vary as greatly as the quality of services offered. Many companies that offer cable television and phone services also offer Internet services, and savings can be substantial.
If you're a cable television subscriber, ask about service bundling. Many cable television providers offer service bundling packages that are a tremendous value. Not only will you save a considerable amount of money, but you will also gain the convenience afforded by a single bill.
Speed of Connection
A major consideration when searching for an Internet service provider is the connection speed. No one wants to wait while pages slowly download. Music, video and graphic downloads are some of the main reasons many people want a faster connection, and depending on Internet use, it's worth paying for a faster connection.
Before making a decision regarding connection speed, consider what you and your family most often use the Internet for. With simple infrequent use, you can get by with a dial-up connection, but with frequent use, you should consider a broadband connection, such as DSL, satellite or cable.
If you're mainly using the Internet to send email to friends and loved ones, the least expensive package is probably sufficient. In this case, a dial-up connection is probably adequate since Internet use won't disable the phone lines for long.
If you or family members spend a lot of time surfing the Internet and downloading large music or video files, consider a high-speed broadband DSL, satellite, or cable connection. Your phone lines won't be tied up, and you'll appreciate speedier connections, especially when pressed for time.
With a broadband DSL connection, keep in mind that the further you are from the central office, the slower the connection speed could be. A company representative can advise you as to the probable speed of your connection according to your location.
Consider the Extras
When considering a broadband DSL or cable service provider, find out exactly what you'll get for the money. High-speed connections are a plus, but exclusive services can be even better. Many broadband Internet service providers offer premium extras such as audio clips and photo shows. Content as well as speed are major considerations.
A broadband connection will keep your computer linked to the Internet at all times, so make sure your computer is properly protected if security and firewall software isn't included in your package. There are companies that include at no extra charge, firewall, and security software, and this is also a major plus to consider before making a final decision if you do not already have these programs.
Once you've figured out your family's needs, compare the overall value for the money. Consider the connection speed, savings through bundling services, and any extras provided at no additional charge. All things considered, you could discover that the ISP you initially thought was the most expensive is actually the best value for your money.
Compare Internet Providers: Dial Up - DSL - Cable - Satellite - Wireless - VOIP
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