We’re living in an age defined by the internet. Digital connectivity has transformed our lives. We are no longer bound by long wires to make phone calls. The world has largely gone wireless. Today, broadband service providers offering bundle packages like Spectrum internet plans dominate the market.
However, finding the right internet service provider can be complicated. You’d have to consider multiple factors while searching for the best ISP. The good news is that you don’t have to waste your and time going from one web page to the other because we have compiled the ultimate guide to finding the best ISP.
What Types of Internet Services are Available in the US?
The United States is home to a large number of internet service providers. You could find a plethora of broadband services in your state. However, it is important to note that all areas aren’t connected to the internet. Some places still lack access to the internet. A simple Google search will provide you with a list of areas with internet access in the United States.
That said, there are many internet services in the U.S. They include fiber optic, cable, DSL, and satellite. Almost all urban areas have access to types of services. Rural areas, on the other hand, have access to some if not all internet services. To located ISPs in your area, simply enter your zip code on your web browser. The search results will provide details regarding internet plans as well.
Fiber optic is the technology used to transmit information in the form of pulses. Optical fiber connections carry information over long distances and at high bandwidth rates. Fiber service is faster than DSL service and offers connection speeds of up to 500 Megabits per second or Mbps. Fiber optic networks are becoming widely popular due to their multiple benefits.
Cable internet is the service provided by your cable operator. The average speed for cable internet can go up to 100 Mbps. It is much faster than the DSL service. However, there’s one major drawback when it comes to cable internet. You might experience slow speeds during peak hours. This is because your cable operator uses the same cable to provide cable internet service to your neighbors. This shared connection often puts a toll on the speed during peak hours.
DSL or digital subscriber line is delivered to your home via your phone line. It is the cheapest internet service on the list. The advertised speed for DSL varies between providers. It usually ranges between 25 Mbps and 100 Mbps. Unlike cable internet, DSL is a private connection. However, it does have a drawback. The greater the distance between DSL provider and user, the lesser the speed.
Satellite internet carries information via a satellite device. It is the slowest form of internet service available to your home. The connection speed usually remains below 20 Mbps. Satellite service is common in rural areas with little or no access to other forms of internet services.
How to get the Right Deal
At this point, you are only gathering information. So, you’ll have to do a bit of work to find out the right internet service provider. It is advisable to go on a window-shopping spree to get relevant details. Here are several important factors to consider before finalizing your ISP:
Internet speed is the ultimate difference maker between ISPs. However, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Every ISP advertises speed as its unique selling point. Most will boast about their high download speeds without any interruptions. The ball is now in your court.
Make sure to get proper information about the speed of the cable and DSL connection. Ask the ISP about their range of coverage. You may experience slow speeds if you share your cable internet connection with many households. Moreover, do not forget to confirm the distance between your home and the ISP provider.
Having proper information about data caps can help you make an informed decision. You’ll have to ask the company about data caps on monthly downloads. If you’re an avid fan of streaming, then getting a high data cap will work for you. Low data caps, on the other hand, will do just fine if you’re aren’t a hardcore gamer or stream viewer.
It is important to know about all the additional costs and hidden charges. Some ISPs offer routers and other internet equipment free of cost. Others rent out these tools. Oftentimes, these services come with extra costs.
Stiff competition has forced ISPs to roll out attractive bundle offers. You can get phone, internet, and cable services at competitive prices. Bundling the three services can save you extra costs.
What are the return and refund policies of the ISP? What is their reputation in the market? Do they provide good customer service? Finding the answers to these questions can land you the right deal.