It can be quite intimidating to find the right internet connection for your home. You will inevitably feel confused looking at the different numbers, plans, and deals on internet service providers’ websites. Internet access is critical for homes and businesses and picking the right internet service is important.
This is why we have come up with a brief guide to help you find exactly what you are looking for. Here are things you should know before signing up with any home internet service.
It’s important to know what type of internet you want (cable, fiber, etc), and whether it is available at your location. Internet coverage can be different based on your location which can limit the choices in your area. Moreover, the speeds, plans, promos, and packages advertised by the provider can also vary from location to location, so availability is a huge determinant in the process of choosing an internet service provider for your home.
Hidden Costs and Price Hikes
Pricing plays a huge role in determining the provider you will go for. To help you out, we have highlighted the 4 hidden costs and fees you must look out for when picking an internet plan to suit your budget.
- Promo pricing vs standard pricing
The prices quoted by the provider at first is a promotional rate for new customers. This means that the price will increase after a particular period, typically 12 months, and increase to the plan’s standard price. Usually, the price hike can range anywhere from $5 to $60 a month. Therefore, when considering an internet provider, make sure you are also considering the standard pricing and long-term rates instead of just the promo pricing.
- Installation and equipment fees
You need a modem and a router to access the internet and most internet providers will provide the equipment for rent. This is a great option if you want help and customer support, however, a cheaper option would be to buy your own equipment. You should also focus on the installation fees.
Providers offer two choices for installation. You can install the equipment for free with the self-installation option or have a professional come to your house and install it, which can cost between $50 and $150.
Contracts Can be Costly
Most providers nowadays are offering services on a month-to-month basis instead of long-term contracts. However many still stick to 12 to 24-month-long contract agreements. If you are considering signing a two-year contract, make sure you can stick around for that long to avoid getting hit with an early termination fee if you want to end it. Your provider will likely charge a fee for every month left when you plan to opt out of the contract before the term ends.
Data Caps Is a Significant Factor
Data caps are a factor that will affect your overall decision significantly. Data caps refer to the limit internet providers put on the amount of data a user can consume each month. Once the limit is crossed, internet providers will charge a fee for the extra data consumed each month.
Many providers impose a data cap on multiple internet connection types including fixed wireless internet, cable, and DSL, and charge an overage fee for every bit of data a customer goes over. For instance, AT&T home internet data allowances include 1TB of data per month for plans up to 75 Mbps.
Consider Download Speeds And Latency
You should be aware of the various types of internet speed to pick the ideal internet speed plan. Speeds include download and upload speeds, and latency. Download speed is the speed that is primarily advertised on the plan. It measures the amount of time taken to ‘download’ or perform activities like browsing the internet, watching videos, etc.
The faster the download speed, the faster one can download files and perform these activities online. 50 Mbps of download speed is sufficient for households with 1-2 members, while you can also find plans that offer 1 to 2 GB of speeds, based on user needs.
Upload speeds are generally slower than download speeds and only a few providers can offer symmetrical upload and download speed plans. Upload speeds are also not more important than download speeds unless you enjoy gaming or live streaming on a regular. Faster upload speeds allow you to make smooth video calls, upload large files faster, send emails, and play lag-free games. 10 Mbps of upload speed is ideal for an average household. Keep in mind that fiber connections offer faster upload speeds than satellite, DSL, and cable connections.
Latency indicates how fast your internet connection can transfer data from one point to another. The greater the distance your internet signals have to travel, the greater the latency of your connection. Satellite connections, therefore, have higher latency than cable and fiber connections. High latency means longer lag times and loading times. The type of connection you choose also determines the quality of your internet experience. Fiber and cable connections have lower latency than DSL and satellites’.
To Wrap It Up
Use all of these pointers to land on the best internet plan and provider for your home. Any plan that offers low latency, fast speeds, and small data caps are worth a shot. And, if they let you bundle up the internet service with some other services like TV for more savings, go for it! AT&T lets you bundle its lighting fast internet plans with AT&T DIRECTV Stream packages to bring more value for money!