For most people, Wi-Fi is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity for everyday life! But the internet is never one-size-fits-all. Every household has different needs for speed and different considerations to factor into their choice. It’s important to assess your unique situation before you sign your internet contract. Here are eight of the top factors to consider when choosing an internet service provider.
The Top 8 Factors to Consider When Choosing an ISP
- Availability in Your Location.
- Download and Upload Speed.
- Cost and Contract.
- Type of Connection.
- Customer Support.
Availability in Your Location
This is the most important deciding factor in rural areas. A high-speed cable or fiber connection is useless if the provider does not serve your area. A surprising number of businesses and homeowners have only a few options, usually one of which is broadband (BSNL, AIRTEL, TATA etc.) or a 4G-LTE network (which can be surprisingly good with the right equipment and plan).
Download and Upload Speed
You must ensure that you have sufficient speed to not disrupt daily use, even when demand is at its highest. To some customers, speed is the most important factor when determining an ISP. If you like to stream videos, you should be especially concerned about download and upload speed when choosing an ISP. Some customers get lucky and have access to fiber connections with over 1000 Megabits (Mbps) per second while some rural businesses are stuck on 3 to 6Mbps DSL connections.
ISP to make sense for your needs to have a good balance between speed and price. Only you can determine how much you’re willing to spend on your Wi-Fi. For example, if you’re just a single person, you probably won’t need to pay a substantial amount for your internet. But if you have a house full of teenagers or you own a growing small business, you’ll probably want to splurge a little more on your internet. To some companies, the price doesn’t matter as much as the speed & reliability.
Type of Connection
The type of connection has a big influence on how fast the internet “feels”. Satellite internet is notorious for seeming “slow”, despite having respectable download speeds (Up to 25Mbps). By contrast, even the latency on 4G-LTE signals is around 100 milliseconds versus 400+ milliseconds for satellite connections. Other connections, such as Fiber, offer much lower latency, often under 20 milliseconds. When it comes to the type of connection, you’ll have a few different options. Each one has its pros and cons.
DSL-Digital Subscriber Line (3-115 Mbps)
DSL uses broadband technology. Typically, this is the cheapest internet option, and there is a wide range of DSL speeds available. DSL speed is not affected by congestion from multiple users. The farther away, the weaker your connection will be.
Cable (10-500 Mbps)
This is faster than DSL, but the speed will depend on how many people in your area are also using cable internet. Typically slowing down during peak hours — like those streaming-heavy evenings after work.
Fiber-optic (Up to 10,000 Mbps)
The newest in broadband internet technology, fiber-optic internet boasts the highest speeds available. Unlike previous broadband services, fiber-optic upload speeds mirror its download speeds. As companies move to adopt this newer, faster service.
Cellular technology (Up to 300 Mbps)
If you live rurally and there aren’t many other options. It might not be the cheapest option, but pairing a cellular router with a signal booster provides the best internet for cell phones and data-driven devices, without all the wires. This is also good for travel, as you can take it anywhere.
Reliability is likely the biggest factor, especially for business customers. Having unreliable internet is stressful and counterproductive. No one wants unreliable Wi-Fi! The best way to find out about the reliability of a certain internet service provider is to check out reviews online from customers in your area and see what their experience with that ISP has been. Customer Services goes hand-in-hand with reliability. Regardless of how good the connection is, something will one day go wrong.
They require a higher level of service and a good service provider understands that. The ISP choice is probably the most important decision related to the connectivity of your home or business. But if you have fiber-optic internet, the lines are buried underground, which usually means the connection will be strong regardless of the weather conditions.
The security of the connection is also something to consider when looking for a new internet provider. Investing in security is key to protecting your most private data. Encrypting your wireless connection is the best way to go for your peace of mind!
Your internet connection will need a router or a modem that supports GPON/EPON. If you already own one of these, you won’t have to worry about any extra cost associated with installing your network. But if you don’t, you’ll have to rent one from your ISP for a monthly fee. This may not seem like a lot at first, but it adds up. Shop around for a good deal if you can! In addition, you’ll have to pay for your provider to install the equipment.
No matter how reliable your connection is, you’re bound to experience some technical difficulties with your Wi-Fi at some point. You may not also be the most tech-savvy person and tend to have questions about troubleshooting your Wi-Fi.
Regardless, good customer service matters! You can usually get a feel for an ISP’s customer service after you’ve had a conversation with them, especially if you have questions. You can also look at customer reviews or consult friends about their internet providers to find one that has a stellar reputation for prioritizing customer satisfaction.
With a little research into these factors to consider when choosing an internet service provider, you can find the perfect fit for your needs! If you’re still unsure about how to choose an ISP plan, check out the Interjet fiber nets guide to compare plans and help you make an informed decision.