There are a few things you should do before deciding to switch internet providers. First, check out what internet speeds are available in the vicinity of your home. If the fastest speed available is 25 Mbps, it may not necessary to switch your provider if you already are subscribed to an internet plan within this range.
You’ll also want to see if you have multiple internet service providers available in your area and compare the prices of their packages. Again, it’ll give you a better idea of whether or not switching to another provider saves you money in the long run.
Doing this research can save you from getting bogged down by:
- High prices
- Hidden fees
- Slow internet speed
When comparing different internet providers, look for these three red flags; they warn you about how your experience may be in the longer run.
Internet service providers (ISPs) promise a lot — but not all of it is true. Some are better than others, but even the best ones can lead you to expect more than you should. Therefore, it is important to keep realistic expectations and be aware of your purchase. Here’s what to do before committing to your ISP.
Download speeds are the most advertised and popular aspect of internet service packages. Download speed is a measure of how much data your connection can download from the internet to your device — it’s measured in megabits per second (Mbps). The speed also depends on the number of devices and users connected to the internet at a time. Higher download speeds can also allow you to watch high-definition videos and play games without lag.
Unlike download speeds, upload speeds are not commonly advertised by ISPs because they are typically an afterthought for most consumers, who use the internet primarily to consume data rather than send it. Upload speeds measure how fast your internet connection can send data from your device to the internet — this is also measured in Mbps.
If your work or internet usage involves sharing large files, uploading videos, or taking part in video chats, you should pay attention to upload speeds. With some providers, you may have up to 10 times faster upload speed than download speed, so make sure to ask about both when getting a price from ISPs.
A data cap is a limit set by your ISP on the amount of data you can. The caps vary from provider to provider, and also between one internet plan to another. Data caps have become very popular in internet provider billing. While small data caps aren’t entirely unheard of, ISPs are becoming increasingly aggressive with data limits. They can charge you hefty sums of money if you exceed these data caps.
If we go back to the mid-2000s when cable internet was introduced, the average usage was below 150GB. So, why are broadband providers finding ways to make more money from their customers? It’s because they can do it legally and easily, considering that our internet usage has significantly increased.
When it comes to cost, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. For example, some people value speed and reliability above all else and are willing to pay a premium price for it. But you need to be aware of how much you’re spending and if it’s worth it.
Poor Customer Service
You can’t always avoid bad customer experiences with your internet provider, but you can minimize them by choosing a provider with a reputation for good service and support. An excellent way to determine this is by reading customer reviews on websites such as ProductReview or Whirlpool or checking out the telco’s Trustpilot rating. Yelp and Reddit are other great sources of learning about an ISP’s customer service through real customers!
If people complain about long wait times on the phone, technical issues that never get fixed, or unfriendly staff, that could be a sign that you might experience similar problems down the track.
False Sense of Security
The first thing you should check is whether your service is secure. If you buy a wireless router from the provider, ask if they offer free installation services or support if there are any problems. You can see the red flags already; start looking elsewhere.
When you sign up with an ISP, be sure that you understand precisely how much you’ll be paying each month and what services are included in the cost. If the provider has “hidden fees” that increase your bill every few months without notice, it’s a sign of inconsistency.
Ask the company directly if they have any hidden fees that apply to your specific plan before signing up for a subscription. Windstream internet service offers 30-Day money-back guarantee if its service fails to hit the mark.
Just be Mindful
Trust and reputation are some of the most valuable assets that an internet provider can have. So when you are looking for a reliable internet provider, check out what others are saying about the company on third-party sites. And don’t worry, you got this!