The Internet is one of the most important assets in every modern household. It is the main source of information and Entertainment in the modern age, and with so many smart devices, it’s nearly impossible to run an efficient household without it.
Add to this the fact that 27% of people work from home, and the internet becomes an even greater priority. Regardless of where you live, how you live, and who you live with, you need the internet.
However, with so many providers competing for this same slice of the pie, how do you pick the right one? Moreover, you’re limited by the availability of local providers. How do you find the best internet service from your local provider? Here’s how!
1. What Type of Connection is Available?
You first want to inquire about the type of connection you want. While there are many different connection types, the four biggest ones are.
- DSL: This internet connection is so Popular because it uses a phone line infrastructure. You can usually negotiate with your phone provider for a deal. While it may be slower than other items on this list, the coverage is amazing (since it’s available everywhere you have a phoneline).
- Cable: This type of internet is usually sent via coaxial cable, the same cable used for cable television. In other words, you’ll probably get your internet from your cable company. It’s slightly faster and more reliable than DSL, which is unsurprising since it’s a superior (and newer) Technology.
- Fiber: Fiber is, by far, the fastest and the most reliable internet connection currently available. The biggest problem is low coverage. Since it doesn’t use pre-existing infrastructure (like cable and DSL), it’s still not as widely available.
- Satellite: People living in rural and remote areas have no other option than to opt for satellite internet. While a tad more expensive, this type of connection is incredibly reliable and fast. Also, you own your own internet infrastructure, which is a huge advantage Food anyone wanting to live off the grid.
With these, you’ll also get a Wi-Fi option for your modem. Still, this will have a limited range, so if you want to expand the coverage, you should Buy an amplifier.
2. Local Availability
Another thing you need to do is check your local options. Even if you’re using a VPN, your physical location doesn’t change, and you’re still tied to your local providers.
Sure, when comparing characteristics on their own, picking fiber internet is a no-brainer, but is this available in your neighborhood? Fortunately, even fiber network is getting more widespread.
While people in Manhattan never had to worry about the lack of options, but today, even Wisconsin fiber optic is available and more than decent.
Now, regarding price, most providers try to be competitive with others in their region. This means provider discrepancies may not be that great on their default offer. Where they’ll differ are special offers. This is something worth exploring and shopping around.
Due to the lack of infrastructure, fiber internet is a bit more expensive than DSL and cable, but you’re still getting a better value for your money. The thing is that most providers have great expenses with setting up the infrastructure, and most choose to pass the cost down to the consumer.
In other words, you need to start your search with your location. Depending on local availability, your internet requirements may be more or less realistic.
3. Your Personal Needs
Now, the most important part is that you need to understand what kind of internet you’re looking for. There’s no such thing as the universally best internet. A connection that’s more than good enough for all your needs may be suboptimal for those who are online streaming or uploading huge content formats.
First, you need to figure out how much internet you need.
For instance, checking out emails and browsing social media doesn’t require more than 25 Mbps. On the other hand, if you plan to stream 4K content or play competitive online Games, you’ll need at least 50-100 Mbps.
Nonetheless, it’s even better if you were to get 200 Mbps, just in case.
At the same time, you also need to consider the number of users. For instance, even if 25 Mbps may be enough for a single user, the requirements grow exponentially with more people. This is especially true since you need a bit more leeway due to the unpredictability factor.
Sure, if everyone in the household decided to browse social media simultaneously, this wouldn’t be an issue, but what if all four of them decided to use the internet in different ways simultaneously?
Lastly, you need to consider your budget. Sure, you need the internet, but how much internet can you afford? Not only that, but for the sake of cost-efficiency, you want to pay as little as you have to for as much internet as you need. Fortunately, with so many options, finding this deal is not that hard.
4. Experiences and Testimonials
Don’t be lazy, and do some research. Every provider promises the world, but their reputations differ greatly. What you care about the most are the personal experiences of individual users.
Sure, individual users will have different experiences, but this will often be more indicative than just reading specifications off the site.
Make sure to visit forums and even subreddits and check out people’s experiences with different providers. Remember that people with negative experiences are more likely to speak up.
Satisfied users are a silent minority who’ll speak only when asked directly. They won’t look for this kind of content, and it’s unlikely just to pop up simultaneously. Most people on these threads are either potential users doing their research or people there to complain.
While you can change your provider every couple of years (depending on your contract), it’s still a service that you’ll use every day (some might even argue every hour of every day).
This is why it’s one of the most underrated decisions every homeowner must make. Now, you at least know How To pick the best provider for your scenario.