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8 Steps to Securing the Best Internet Deal

Updated: Apr 18

Hey there! So, you’re on the hunt for an internet service provider (ISP) that doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out? You’re not alone. In today’s digital age, having a reliable internet connection is as crucial as having electricity—well, almost.

Whether you’re a Netflix aficionado, a work-from-home warrior, or someone who just likes to casually surf the web, picking the right ISP can make or break your online experience. Here are ten things to keep in mind that’ll help you make a choice you won’t regret.

1. Know Your Need for Speed

Imagine your internet connection as a two-way road. On one side, you have the download lane, where information travels from the internet to your device. This includes everything from streaming your favorite TV shows to browsing websites and downloading files.  A smooth streaming experience, for example, might require speeds of at least 5 Mbps for HD content and 25 Mbps for 4K content.

On the other side, there's the upload lane, which is all about sending data from your device to the internet. This could be anything from uploading videos to social media, sending emails, or video calling. A good rule of thumb is having an upload speed of at least 3-5 Mbps for basic video calls and more for higher-quality broadcasts .

For multiple users in a modern household, we suggest an internet speed of 100 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload to support simultaneous activities like streaming HD video, online gaming, and video conferencing.

2. Choosing the Right Type of Connection

There’s a bunch of ways to get online, and each has its perks and quirks:

  • Fiber-optic: The Usain Bolt of internet connections. Super fast, super reliable, but not always in the race (i.e., not available everywhere).

  • Air Fiber: Delivers high-speed, wireless internet to the hard-to-reach, transforming rural connectivity without the constraints of traditional infrastructure.

  • Cable: The reliable workhorse. Good speed, widely available, but can get a bit crowded during peak hours.

  • DSL: The old faithful. It’s everywhere, but it’s not winning any speed races.

  • Satellite: The only player in town for many rural areas. It’s got coverage but can be a bit laggy and doesn’t like bad weather.

3. Money Talks: Costs and Contracts

Let’s talk turkey. Prices vary, and so do contract terms. Some ISPs offer tempting introductory rates that can skyrocket after a few months. And then there’s the dreaded contract—some lock you in for years with hefty fees if you bail early. Moral of the story? Read the fine print and know what you’re getting into.

4. The Dreaded Data Caps

Yes, some ISPs still have data caps, and yes, exceeding them can lead to extra charges or slower speeds. If you’re an internet power user or have a household that streams a lot of content, look for plans with high or no data caps.

5. Equipment: To Rent or Not to Rent?

When it comes to getting your internet up and running, deciding whether to rent equipment from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or to buy your own is a pivotal choice. Renting directly from your ISP offers a hassle-free setup and direct support for any technical issues, albeit at the cost of higher long-term expenses and potentially less advanced equipment.

On the flip side, purchasing your own modem and router can be more economical over time, providing the advantage of selecting devices with superior performance and more robust features. However, this option requires ensuring compatibility with your ISP's network and taking on the responsibility for any necessary repairs or troubleshooting.

6. Installation: DIY or Call in the Pros?

When it comes to installing technology, some people are comfortable doing it themselves, while others prefer a bit of help. If you're confident in your ability to handle tools and follow instructions, a DIY (Do It Yourself) installation could be a great choice. It's usually cheaper since you're not paying for a professional's time.

However, if the idea of setting up equipment feels daunting, or if the system seems complex, you might want to consider hiring a professional. This can prevent potential issues and ensure everything is set up correctly from the start. Keep an eye out for special deals that include free professional installation to save on costs.

7. Customer Service: Your New Best Friend

Ah, customer service—the make or break of any ISP relationship. Nothing’s worse than being stuck in internet limbo with no one to help. Do some digging. Read reviews. Ask neighbors. A responsive and helpful ISP can save you a ton of headaches.

8. Deals, Deals, Deals

Last but not least, keep your eyes peeled for promotions. ISPs are always looking to lure in new customers with sweet deals. Just be aware of what happens when the promotional period ends—nobody likes a surprise bill.

Iinquire about specific discounts for seniors, first responders, and veterans to secure the best deal, but always review the terms.

Wrapping It Up

Choosing an ISP is a bit like dating—you’ve got to know what you’re looking for, be aware of the red flags, and be ready to commit (at least for a little while


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