Looking to change your internet service provider (ISP)? The key to choosing the right ISP is to look beyond the price and delve into what the company is really bringing to the table. Given how much time is spent online every day, choosing the right provider is extremely important. Here’s a look at a few ways to compare ISPs in your area, so you can choose one that will let you stay connected all day long.
A number of ISPs lure customers in with the promise of connectivity that will never fail and lightning-fast speeds, but don’t go by what you see on advertisements. Instead, look up user reviews online and talk to your neighbors and friends about the experiences they’ve had with their ISP. If you hear or read about a number of complaints about a particular ISP, stay away.
Even the best internet plans will sometimes drop or lag, which is why you need to be able to connect with the ISP’s customer service team. When you are comparing internet service providers, make sure to look for companies that offer 24/7 support by phone or chat. It’s also important that they have an easy-to-navigate website.
A data cap is when an internet service provider limits how much data you can make use of in a certain time frame. Most providers impose data caps of some form, but, of course, this will vary from company to company and plan to plan. If you work from home or stream a lot of videos, it’s a good idea to get a plan that offers unlimited internet or at least something close to it, so you don’t have to worry about your data speed getting throttled midway through the month.
Don’t get carried away by the download speeds advertised by the internet service provider – the numbers mentioned are just estimates and are usually optimistic averages. The actual download speeds that customers get may be slower than what’s promised. Look up speed tests of plans that you are considering since that will give you a more realistic idea of what to expect. If you use your internet solely to browse the web and send a few emails, 5 Mbps will work for you. If you stream occasionally on a few devices, you will need at least 10 Mbps. But, most people who work from home and do an average amount of streaming will need at least 40 Mbps.