While using the internet is great, setting it up can be overwhelming. Packages, bundles, contracts, and speeds can all blur together after a while.
You may wonder where to start if you’re looking for an internet service provider (ISP). If you prepare beforehand and then take your time, the good news is that the process is quite manageable. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to choose between different internet options.
. And make no mistake; this is an important part of the process. Before you get there, it’s wise to assess your current needs. Ask yourself the following questions:
As you get a feel for what you’re doing, identifyeach activity takes. For instance, a video call might need 3-5 Mbps (megabytes per second), whereas streaming a 4K movie requires more like 25 Mbps.
Next up, take some time to round out your internet terminology. The three most important terms worth understanding are:
- Upload speed: The speed at which your devices can send data from your devices up into the cloud.
- Download speed: The speed at which your devices can bring data into your house from the internet.
- Modem: A that translates incoming data into a viewable format on your media devices.
As you prepare to choose your internet, ensure you’re at least somewhat comfortable with the words you’ll be using.
Now that you’re prepared, it’s time to gather that list of internet providers in your area. Many tools can search this information for you or other geographically-based identifier.
Look up each company on the Better Business Bureau. Drop by their Google My Business Listing. Pop onto their social media profiles. Once you have your list, reviewing each option’s worth taking a few minutes.
The goal should be to see what customers are saying about each company. Do they have good customer service? Is their internet dependable? What are people saying about their prices? As with many businesses in similar industries, you’ll find plenty of negative reviews. Don’t let a bad word from a past customer be your only deciding factor. Still, reviews and ratings are a great way to gauge how good or bad the company’s reputation and services are.
Next up, take your list of the ISPs you want to consider and review their product offerings. As you do so, you want to:
- Identify the speed you need: Which plan or tier of service that the ISP offers fits your needs?
- Look for fees: This could include data caps, overage fees, and even a charge to “rent” a modem.
- Note if there is a contract involved: Some ISPs require you to agree to stay with their service for a certain length of time if you want to pay a lower price.
- Consider installation requirements: Do you need to set up coaxial cables, a modem, a router, etc.? What elements of the installation will the company do for you?
This process can take a few minutes, especially if you have several options. Try to make notes as you go not to lose track of everything in your head.
Once you’ve gathered your list of ISPs, considered their customer reviews, and compared their services, it’s time to decide. A clear top contender emerged throughout this decision-making process if you’re lucky. However, you may find that there are still many different ISPs with very similar product offerings.
If that’s the case, you may want to see if either one is running a promotion. Many internet service providers will offer incentives for first-time sign-ups. If that’s the case, you can see which ISP currently has the better promotion.
Once you’ve chosen your internet, the next step is installation. If the company does this, it will require minimal work from you. If it’s up to you to do part of the process, they will still likely provide you with detailed steps to set up your at-home internet.
You’ve finished the hardest part once your internet is up and running. However, there are a couple more things worth checking.
First, run a quick upgrade your home equipment, which leads to a second follow-up.after the installation is complete. This can help you ensure you get the right upload and download speed. If you aren’t, call the company to see if it’s on their end (they’ll be able to check over the phone). If it’s on your end, you may need to
Choosing an internet provider can feel scary at first. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you assess your needs and consider your local provider options, you can choose the service that makes the most sense for your household with minimal difficulty.