Are you looking for the best internet service provider in your area? Here are the most important factors to consider when making your choice.
Table of Contents
In modern households, we use the internet for so much. No longer is it only for web browsing and sending emails, but the internet now facilitates most of our entertainment. Every TV show or movie you stream uses the internet, as does gaming and everything else you do online. As such, internet connection speed is essential,
Ideally, you want to look at the typical evening speeds on offer. In the evenings, more people use the internet, increasing demand on the network. This slows down connection speeds, so if an ISP has low average evening speeds, they may not be the best.
Some providers offer maximum speeds, but these are rarely reached. So, don’t sign up with a provider that promises 100mbps but only reaches that once a day. Look for consistent average evening speeds as your best indicator.
This is perhaps the most significant factor when choosing an internet service provider. The reality is signal strength, and connection quality is poor in some areas. Different providers may be able to offer slightly better connections, but ultimately, if the connection is lacking in your area, it won’t matter which ISP you choose.
Standard NBN connections may not be possible in certain areas, and you’ll need to look for satellite options. These can be more expensive but more reliable in remote areas. Unfortunately, in locations where internet service is problematic, you may not have the luxury of choosing the best price or speed.
Naturally, price is always a consideration for everything you purchase. When it comes to subscriptions such as NBN broadband plans or mobile phone services, you need to remember these are monthly expenses. So, even a $10 monthly difference in internet plans can mean you pay $120 extra annually.
While budget is important, you do need to be wary about ultra-cheap ISPs. Many cut-price internet connections come with low speeds, poor data allowances or sub-par customer support. So, take a holistic view when checking prices. Most people would rather pay a little more for a reliable internet connection that meets their needs.
Every internet connection comes with a certain amount of data. This means you have a limit on how much you can download or upload within a month. Easily the most popular internet connections are those with unlimited data. With this type of plan, you’ll never have to buy data add-ons or have your connection shaped (slowed down) if you exceed your data limit.
However, unlimited data plans also have a price tag attached. So, if this is out of your reach, try to find the highest allowance within your budget. Comparison websites are terrific for this. Remember that everything you stream uses data. If you don’t use streaming services, you can probably get away with a lower data allowance. But otherwise, just make sure you have enough data to cover your monthly needs.
If an ISP offers cut-price plans, you need to think about what compromises have been made. Does that ISP keep costs down because their customer support service is poorly funded? We should mention that poor service isn’t limited to bargain ISPs – even the big ones can get it wrong.
It’s not always easy to find out what an ISP’s customer service is like until you need it. So the best way to check for this is through social proof. Check for Google reviews, ask for recommendations on social media, and check comparison sites for reviews and information.
Finally, it’s important to look at all your plan details. Specifically, what’s included and what’s not. Some ISPs offer sign-on incentives like a free streaming subscription for 3 months or lower prices for the first year. Just make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully because not all incentives are everything they’re cracked up to be.
Also, look for the contract term. Are you being locked into a specific contract period, or can you cancel at any time? What happens if you go over your data allowance? These details should all be clearly shown in your plan.
Ultimately, it’s about finding an internet service provider who meets your individual needs. Not everybody needs high data allowances, and some people may not be concerned about connection speed. Determine the most important factors for your circumstances, and choose accordingly.