Today internet service is just as important as your other utilities, but unlike other utilities you likely have multiple options to choose from. Don’t get stuck with internet service that’s too expensive for your family budget or has insufficient internet speeds to keep your whole family online. Unfortunately, there is a bit of work to be done before choosing a new internet provider. To help you choose the very best internet provider available at your address, we’ve put together this guide.
Here are five things you need to know before signing up for new internet service. Let’s dig in!
- Check Availability
Service availability will be the biggest factor in deciding what internet provider and plan you will ultimately choose. Unfortunately, not all internet providers in your city or town will likely serve your address. You’ll have to do an address lookup for each provider to find out if they’ll provide you with internet and what plans they have available to you. A shocking amount of households only have one or a couple internet providers to choose from. If you live in a large city or close to one, you’ll likely have a few internet options. Meanwhile residents residing in rural areas will have much fewer options available to them.
- Consider The Monthly Cost
How much money is available in the family budget for internet service? You’ll have to decide what’s comfortable for your family to pay every month while striking a good balance between fast internet speeds and price. Unfortunately, fast internet service does not come cheap and cheap internet isn’t good. Afterall you want internet service you can actually use that doesn’t cause you additional headaches. Internet service costs between $30 to $150 a month depending on where you live and what service plan you choose.
- Choose Sufficient Speeds
Choosing the right speed for your household is so important. Know what internet speeds you need and choose wisely. Internet speeds are the most important factor for a good time online so you don’t want to scrimp on quality internet service if you can help it, especially if anyone works or attends school from home. The internet speeds you’ll be able to choose from depend on your location and what your new prospective internet provider has to offer. You’ll want to pick a plan with internet speeds that are both sufficient for what your family loves to do online and won’t break the family budget.
- Know Their Data Cap Policy
Before signing up for any internet plan, find out if the plan you want to sign up for has data caps. Data caps are limits that your new prospective internet provider places on your internet usage. Not all internet providers will have data caps, but those that do have either a hard or soft cap. A hard data cap means that once you use up your allotted data limit, you will receive overage charges or be completely disconnected from their service until the next billing cycle. A soft data cap means that once you use up your allotted data limit, your internet service provider will allow you to continue using their service, but it will be at a throttled or much slower speed.
Many internet providers implement data caps so that everyone who is subscribed to their internet service receives the same great service. If your new prospective internet provider has data caps, you’ll have to decide if that’s something you’re willing to deal with. Most data caps are a reasonable amount for most households. However, with households having an average of 11 devices per household, you may find yourself out of data quickly if the limit they instate is too low.
- Contracts Or Commitments
Does your new internet service have a contract or commitment and if so for how long? It’s important to find this out upfront no matter how long you plan on keeping the service especially if you’re renting your home or apartment. Plans can change and if you find yourself needing to switch internet providers later, you’ll incur early cancellation fees. Early cancellation fees can be expensive depending where you are in your contract from a few dollars up to $500 dollars in some cases. Contrastingly, signing up for service under a contract has its perks too. You’ll receive more new customer deals including waived fees, lower monthly rates and additional freebies.