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How to Choose the Best Internet Service Provider

Posted on by GWI

ipad-tablet-technology-touch-largeWhen it comes to choosing an Internet service provider for your home or business, there are many factors to consider. It’s important to understand a few things before you make a decision on which one best fits your needs.

Location

First, research the available Internet service providers (ISP) in your city. Although Internet service providers likely advertise in your area, it is not guaranteed that your precise location will be supported by all carriers. By researching location first, you can rule out any providers that are not set up to service your home. Also, consider whether it is important to you to choose an Internet service provider who is headquartered locally. Typically, local and regional Internet service providers place greater value on the quality of service that is provided to its customers.

Bandwidth

Next, you will need to determine which Internet speed will accommodate the usage needs. As a residential customer, are you going to be using the Internet intermittently, just to check your email, or will you be using the Internet to stream video and use a gaming system on a daily basis? As a business, are you frequently downloading? Are you frequently uploading? Have you moved your business to the cloud? What is the impact to your business if your connection is slow or degrades at various times of the day? Depending on your answer, you should choose an Internet speed option that fits your needs. Don’t pay for higher Internet speed tiers if it cannot be justified.

Reliability

Reliability is something your business needs to consider. What is the impact of a service outage? As workforce mobility continues to grow in popularity, even residential subscribers need to consider the impact of a service outage. Will you continue to work from home if your connection continues to fail? If, your connection does fail, how does your service provider respond?

Pricing and Deals

Last, before choosing between Internet service providers, thoroughly research pricing options and deals from a variety of companies. Some providers offer discounts for new customers, students and employees of certain companies. Some require contracts, after which your pricing increases beyond providers who offer you an affordable price without contracts and hidden fees.  You will also find that some Internet providers offer 24/7 customer support, while others may charge you by the hour for technical support. You may find special bundled pricing for new customers or special upgrades for existing customers. As mentioned earlier, determine the speed you plan to use, and then compare pricing between service providers to ensure you pursue the best price available.

Overall, there are a variety of factors to consider when deciding between Internet service providers. Your location may rule out certain providers all together, while your Internet speed requirements may narrow down your selection as well. Finally, you are encouraged to closely research pricing before making a final decision to avoid overpaying for Internet access. If you keep all of these factors in mind when making your choice, you will be equipped to make the best possible selection for your needs.


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