The high number of broadband service providers means numerous alternatives for subscribers, but it also makes picking one a tad challenging. Internet service providers have a wide range of products to cater to the varying needs of customers. These offerings come with enticing deals that can easily confuse you if you are not careful. You might find yourself tied into a year-long contract that doesn’t satisfy your daily requirements. How do you avoid that?
1. Identify Your Needs
Before you decide if you want standard broadband or something more exclusive, be clear about the kind of user you are. For some people, home internet is necessary for simple jobs like ordering groceries and checking social media sites. Another one may require internet for gaming, downloading and uploading videos. Your usage will determine the capacity, speed and type of connection. Whether you are using the internet for business or not will also help narrow down your choices.
2. Know Your Monthly Limits
After identifying your requirements, you can estimate how much allowance you need. ISPs offer packages with monthly limits, and in some instances, the data is unlimited. The reason for evaluating monthly usage is to avoid getting too much and incurring unnecessary expenses or getting too little then having to spend more on additional bundles. For instance, if you are a light user, 10GB a month might be sufficient. A person with a home business might want to have 50 GB or more available every month. When analysing monthly usage, remember to count the number of devices that are usually connected to the internet.
3. Type of Connection
Internet users have to decide which connection serves their interests better. Cable connection uses coaxial cables, which makes them reliable because it doesn’t require a telephone line to function. ADSL is the most popular connection in UK households. A working telephone line is necessary to deliver the connection. The distance of the user to the telephone exchange dictates the speed. Fibre optic cables deliver some of the fastest internet speeds and are, therefore, perfect for heavy users. This connection type costs more than the others. Analyse the benefits for each connection so you can pick the most suitable.
4. How Important is Speed?
For a light user who doesn’t spend a lot of time online, a connection that delivers 1Mbs or even less might be ideal. A gamer, on the other hand, will require high speeds. Before you can settle on a provider, ask about the types of speeds that it offers. You might find two ISPs who offer fibre optic connections but with completely different speeds. Look through the reviews to see if a provider delivers the speeds that it promises.
[Read more: How Well Do You Know About Your Broadband Speed?]
5. Ask About Extras Charges
Some providers make profits by bundling small additional charges to contracts and not being open about them. Those little fees like equipment delivery or service charges can add up fast, and suddenly a package that seemed like the most affordable becomes an expensive burden. Confirm the actual fees that your standard broadband package comes with before signing a contract. You can minimise some of the expenses through simple tactics such as e-billing rather than paper.
6. Consider The Contract Length
1- and 2-year contracts are the most common among ISPs. Cancelling a contract attracts stiff penalties. Take the time and decide which type of contract meets your needs. For example, if you have just bought a new home and know you won’t be going anywhere soon, a 24-month contract might be practical. Negotiate favourable terms for your contract, such as a better allowance to get the most from the deal.
Settling on a broadband provider and package is not usually straightforward. Be smart about your requirements and budget so you can choose what works.