Internet service providers suck in most places around the world. But it doesn’t have to be this way at all times. Some ISPs perform considerably better than others, but many don’t consider that we mostly go with the bandwagon. Down the line, when ISP-related problems start to kick in, it’s usually frustrating.
In this article, we will share the considerations that matter when choosing an Internet service provider.
1. Degree of access needed
The degree of access varies. How often do you want to use the internet? Of course, everyone in the current era needs an ISP they can rely on at all times.
2. The ISP’s track record
This is where you dig into the company’s history of service delivery. Online reviews can be of great importance to this aspect. Do extensive research on ISP’s track record on service delivery, customer support, and reliability. A newly launched ISP might be exciting with new offers, but before you make the jump, it would be good to go with traditional companies with a proven track record – until the latest entry proves they can deliver their claims. Experience really matters.
3. Customer Support
Customer support is essential for any company that offers products or services to consumers. Consider whether the ISP offers 24/7 support, provides support via online channels, and responds to user requests faster. Also, consider if an ISP offers toll-free support for calls and if the ISP actively monitors their network link to see if it’s down and call the affected user. Not all ISPs excel at these requirements. So what you should look out for is the best among the bunch.
4. Connectivity and Bandwidth
How much bandwidth does the ISP offer? 64 Kbps, 128 Kbps, 256 Kbps, 1Mbps, 5Mbps up to Gigabit. The main point here is to know your needs. If you wish to stream Netflix in 4K, the company recommends at least 25Mbps. Your bandwidth needs matter. If you wish to use your internet for basic surfing and streaming video, 10Mbps should be a good place to start. As they say, faster is always better.
But how many Mbps do you really need?
If you have one to two devices in your house, up to 25Mbps is enough for light tasks like web surfing, social media, moderate video streaming, and email. For a household with 3 to 5 devices, 50 – 100 Mbps should be enough if you plan to do intensive tasks like online multiplayer gaming and 4K streaming.
For more than five devices with more bandwidth-intensive actives, you’ll need between 150Mbps to 200Mbps.
The connectivity does matter, too. Is the internet connectivity directly joined to the backbone of the internet, or are several links in between?
Price and speed are what many people consider. Check their prices in comparison to other competing companies. How do they stack? Remember, the key here is to get the value for your money. Cheap is not always better in value, and so does expensive—everyone prices their packages the way they want.
Besides, also consider if the initial installation and equipment costs. Some ISPs have no installation and equipment costs whatsoever, but others might charge you for that.
6. Contracts and Limitations
Finally, check the contracts and if they can be stretched to fit an individual user’s needs. Consider the data caps an ISP has in place, which most excuse using the fair usage policy. These data caps don’t mean that you won’t entirely use the internet after exceeding the limit. Most will reduce internet speeds dramatically.
On the contract, check how much it will cost you to switch. Some ISPs might charge you if you switch before the contract is over in what is known as early termination fees (ETFs). Most won’t but consider this as well to be on the safe side.