Shopping For An Internet Service Provider? Know What To Look For

Are you deciding on a new internet service provider for your home or business? If so, you need to look at more than just the monthly cost associated with the service. There are many factors that can make one ISP more favorable than the other.

Transfer Speeds

Start by looking at what transfer speeds are being offered, keeping in mind that there can be large differences between upload and download speeds for each package. For example, an ISP may be offering a 250 Mbps plan, but that is only the limit on the download speed. You may find that upload speeds are capped as low as 10 Mbps unless you upgrade to a bigger plan.

Consider your data use and what kind of speeds you need. If you're streaming 4K Video, you'll need at least 25 Mbps for each simultaneous stream on your internet connection. If you upload large media files, you'll need upload speeds that allow for fast transfers.

Equipment Fees

You'll need at least a modem to get your internet up and running, and you'll likely need a router as well if you have a basic networking setup. However, you often have the option to rent or buy your own equipment. While renting equipment is an ongoing charge, it can help guarantee tech support for troubleshooting issues. Look at the overall equipment rental costs and what it would cost to buy equipment that works for you. Then you can decide if it is worth renting or buying equipment.

Data Caps

It is becoming more common for ISPs to impose caps on how much data you can transfer in any given month. You'll want to understand what your data caps will be for each service--if they even exist--and what happens if you exceed your data cap. You may be limited to exceeding the cap so many times before you are charged for additional data, or have your data speeds throttle after you exceed the limit.

See if your existing ISP has a history of how much data you use per month to let you know if data caps will be a problem. They are not for most people, but with 4K streaming media and large files being more common, it's possible that you are approaching the data cap limits and do not know it.

Reach out to your local high-speed internet provider for more information about packages and pricing.