How To Choose The Best ISP For You And Your Business
It’s difficult to know where to start when it comes to looking for an Internet Service Provider (ISP). With so many different ISPs now available how do you choose the best one for your home or business?
Additionally, when you do get some good recommendations, you need to understand the terminology because you’ll hear sales reps talk about “broadband,” “dial-up,” “DSL,” “cable,” “satellite,” and “fiber optics.”
Finding a high-quality and affordable service is important because an unreliable connection will make it difficult to be productive when doing any type of online work. However, you may not have many choices where you live, or, conversely, you may be in an area where you have an abundance of choices.
Factors to Consider
When deciding on an ISP, you need to ask questions about affordability, types of services, and speed.
- Is the service affordable?
The best way to get an affordable service is to choose a bundled package. An ISP like Optimum internet not only offers you a great price but will also help you connect your TV,
computers and mobile devices. In addition, they include Cloud DVR, HBO, and even SHOWTIME for a whole year.
- What types of service are available?
Numerous Internet services are available, and you need to know the difference between the different kinds so that you can make an informed decision.
You will hear the word “broadband” a lot mentioned in ads or when you talk to salespeople. In actual fact, broadband is not a type of internet service, but the name of a category. It’s an umbrella term for high-speed internet connections that are always connected. Consequently, broadband services include DSL, satellite, cable, or FiOS (fiber optic service).
A Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is the least expensive of all the broadband selections because it usually works over the regular telephone line. However, unlike dial-up, it is fast, up to 25 megabits. However, Nerdwallet reports that this technology can also deliver speeds of up to 100 Mbps if fiber optics are used instead of phone lines. Google Fiber provides remarkably fast internet speeds at a reasonable cost of $50 a month. This is an excellent option if you need fast downloads for your business.
Cable television providers offer cable broadband because it runs over their coaxial cable television wires. Download speeds vary from as low as 3 Mbps to well over 100 Mbps. Compared to other broadband choices, cable is usually faster than both DSL and satellite. Although slower than FiOs, it is more readily available.
Satellite connectivity, as the name implies, uses satellites to beam an internet feed directly to your installed satellite dish. Speeds can average around 15 Mbps for downloads and a slow 3 Mbps for uploads.
Finally, fiber optics (FiOS) is the latest technology. The major fiber providers are Qwest, Verizon, U-verse, and AT&T. A fiber-optic line is made out of pure glass and it is as slender as a strand of human hair. Compare that with the traditional copper wires used by DSL and cable. Download speeds are a blazing 300 Mbps. Upload speeds are high too, averaging about 65 Mbps. If you happen to be a web designer, this is something that you could definitely use to get your work done quickly online. While this might seem the best way to go, it is not available in many areas.
Incidentally, although dial-up is an old technology that runs over telephone lines, it still exists. Remember, AOL? This is not something you should get unless you live in a remote area and that is the only choice. It can be difficult to make a connection and you can wait up to three to five minutes just to get online. If you have a choice go for broadband.
- How fast is it?
Since you are probably interested in getting the fastest download and upload speeds, you should try speedtest.net. It provides a map you can drill down to find your area and get a list of ISPs ranked by their speeds and network quality.
Making A Decision
In closing, when trying to decide on the provider that you want based on affordability, type of internet service, and download and upload speeds, you also have to take into consideration company policies like the contract, terms of service, reliability, customer support, and any special features added on as a bonus.