Let’s face it. This is 2016, and there are a gazillion choices left and right for every sort of service and electronic device. All of these services and choices are thrown in your face with bright colors and 5 star reviews that are designed to attract you to them. How do you make an informed choice so that you don’t end up with something less desirable than you thought you were going to get? If you want to make sure you choose the right Internet Service Provider for your home devices, then please read on.
The first thing you need to consider is how many devices do you have that will be used at the same time. Additionally, does anyone in the home often use large amounts of data by downloading content, gaming, or streaming video? The reason this is more important than anything is the fact that almost every ISP today imposes “data caps”. The reasons given by the companies are usually standard; those who use more should pay more. In today’s age of extremely fast equipment this may not be so relevant. The cost of providing services has dropped sharply in recent years, and the companies profit has gone up. Despite this, the industry standard is stubbornly sticking to it’s guns when it comes to why and how they do this. Therefore, you need to choose wisely in accordance with your future needs.
Small, independent start up companies and those with a culture of a home grown style of service usually will offer better plans or even unlimited service to attract customers away from the big players who do limit their data. Since the overhead for such service has decreased, it is easier for small companies to compete where they couldn’t have hoped to before. The answers you usually receive when asking why there is a data cap are all generic excuses to make it seem as if the caps or higher prices for unlimited service will somehow benefit you or others. In fact, it is nothing more than what amounts to greed in most cases, thinly veiled in an attempt to pull the wool over your eyes and generate more revenue for the fat cats in charge.
So, how DO you choose the right ISP? Research. When googling to find out who to use, make sure to include terms such as “cheap”, “reviews” and “forum”. This will force google to change it’s results to include more actual data having to do with your search. Let’s say you live in Sydney, Australia. Your search would look something like this; “Internet service provider, “Sydney”, “cheap”, “forum”, “reviews””. Another possibility would be; “best reviews ISP Sydney, forum”. As you can see there are a myriad of ways to rephrase this to get the results you want. Make sure that the reviews are not too positive, this could indicate that the company has made an effort to create paid reviews that makes them look good when in fact there were no real reviews at all!
Another factor in your choice should be support. Even if you are the most technical person on the planet, you can’t diagnose the company’s network or update yourself on it’s status if it goes down. Is there a history of this company that you are considering in which they provided excellent or terrible support? This is something you should also refine your searches to include or do separately so that you can obtain more accurate results. Nothing is more frustrating than having a problem, yet your support agent has a limited knowledge of English, and worse, of technical problems in and of themselves. Does your potential ISP provide local tech support, or do they outsource?
The type of services available from an ISP is also important. Going back to your potential usage patterns; Do you want to stream or game? Some services provide excellent streaming capability but with high latency. This would be fine for a family or user who only streams video and uses the internet for business. However, if you or someone in your household is a gamer, then things are different. Most modern day games rely on instant reaction times and the ability to see things as they happen. Without this ability, you will surely lose to another person in the game who has a quicker reaction ability than you due to your horrible latency. By the time you have pointed your digital weapon at your opponent, they have already moved and attacked you. In the gaming world, this will not do. Many satellite internet systems suffer from this issue. Think about it; the signal for your computer has to bounce from wherever it is coming from, up to a satellite, and then back down to your modem and then to your PC. This is opposed to a direct connection directly on the ground where the same signal has less distance to travel, and often times goes through a fiber network at the speed of light!
In the end, the choice is obviously up to you. If you do not need instant reaction times, then it can often be cheaper to purchase a plan from a reputable company that uses dish technology. This is especially true for those in rural areas where long distance cables and fiber is more expensive to install or may not even be available. If you live in a populated city however, your choices will be more varied. Fiber, cable, and DSL are all potentially decent ideas depending on your needs. Many companies will offer incentive packages within a tightly competitive area to try to generate business. When calling around, be sure to ask for any unadvertised specials that could get you in the door for less than the average, less savvy consumer. Do the research, use your head, and the internet, to make a wise and informed decision!
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