There are so many internet service providers (ISPs) out there that it can quickly be overwhelming for the average consumer. Couple that with the multimillion dollar marketing campaigns that major ISPs are constantly running and it’s easy to understand why so many consumers struggle to choose the right provider for them. We’re here to make that process a bit easier by going over the four factors every consumer should use to evaluate whether an ISP is the right choice for them.
The majority of internet users say that speed is the number one attribute they look for from their internet service provider. However, not everyone needs the fastest speeds offered. It’s important to take the time to consider what you use the internet for and how many users you expect to be using your internet service concurrently.
Most ISPs offer several different tiers of speed, with the higher speeds costing significantly more. If you’re a gamer or have multiple people in our residence who will be using the internet a higher-speed service will likely be worth the higher cost. Otherwise a lower tier could save you a lot of money, and you might never even notice the difference. Remember, the days of dial up are long gone. Even a low-tier can still offer speeds around 100 Mbps. Take the time to evaluate your usage and make the decision that’s right for you.
A data cap is a set amount of bandwidth that the ISP allows their customer. When that cap is hit the customer is either charged overage fees or their bandwidth is throttled. These days most people utilize their internet connection at all hours of the day. Even if you aren’t sitting at a computer you might be streaming music, browsing on your smartphone or any number of activities that utilize an internet connection. Knowing that, it’s important to make sure your ISP isn’t hitting you with a data cap that’s going to kick in before you’re ready.
Many people don’t realize that most ISPs include some sort of data cap. When that data cap kicks in usually depends on the type of internet package that you purchased. Do your due diligence and always ask your ISP what the data cap is on a particular package before you purchase anything.
Cost is another major factor that most consumers consider when deciding which ISP provider to go with. One of the most effective ways to cut down on those costs is to bundle services together. Most ISPs also offer television and telephone services. If you know you want those anyway, look into bundling them together. These bundles can offer steep discounts on all those services and almost always guarantee you the best price available.
Unfortunately, many ISPs make a killing off of costs that catch many of their customers by surprise. Often these costs come in the form of equipment rental fees, or a price hike that kicks in after a set number of months. Make sure to ask your ISP about any costs and do your own research before signing any contracts.
Internet is no longer a “nice to have” in today’s world, it’s become a “need to have”. Internet in 2020 is more akin to other public utilities like water and electricity more than anything else. That shouldn’t mean that you need to pay an arm and a leg for it. Take the time to do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions! The same ISP isn’t going to be right for everyone, don’t be afraid to branch away from the major providers to find the one that’s right for you.