Net access is equally important as other utilities for both business and domestic purposes. Every smart device requires internet connectivity to function properly. Without the Internet, some businesses can’t operate at all. Most businesses need the Internet to process online transactions from credit or debit cards.
On the other hand, video streaming and gaming online are quintessential for home entertainment. That’s why everyone needs the best internet service. In this write-up, we will inform you what to consider when choosing top internet service providers.
The key factors in choosing top Internet providers
Apart from that, many different ISPs use different technologies and focus on different aspects. Besides, all the ISPs don’t operate all over the country. You have to take these issues into account before choosing top internet providers for your home or business.
To ensure an uninterrupted internet connection. Top Internet providers have to ensure minimal downtime due to maintenance and other issues. A good service level agreement with your ISP stipulates allowable downtime and service quality.
Friendly customer service is always expected in any type of service industry, ISP is not an exception. You have to talk to the existing customers of the ISP you want to deal with and check out their opinion about customer service. It will save you from a great deal of mental stress if you run into any trouble afterward. Also, ask for any certificates or awards for customer support.
It can be tricky to find out the amount of data or bandwidth you actually need before purchasing the internet package from the ISP but it’s worth the effort because it will save a ton of money annually. It is because, the higher the Mbps rate, the higher the package price and if you buy a plan which exceeds your data usage, you will be bleeding cash for sure.
If you need the best internet providers for commercial purposes, you may have to consult with an expert for evaluating your business requirement. But in a common household, a 100 Mbps connection will suffice to meet the daily requirement. However, there have some nice Internet Bandwidth Calculators online you can use to figure out how much speed you actually need.
Availability in your area
As mentioned earlier, not every Internet provider in the country offers service in every state. So, you have to check the availability of a particular ISP in your native area. Besides, geographical conditions pose various challenges for internet and telecommunication services.
In remote areas, the only available internet connectivity methods are via satellite, 4G LTE mobile network, or DSLs which can be rather effective if you choose the right type of equipment. To check the internet providers operating in your area, visit BroadbandNow and enter your zip code in the designated field.
When it comes to the speed of the internet connection, people often consider only the download speed but for some applications, upload speed may be equally important. For checking email and regular web browsing, 1 to 5 Mbps is sufficient whereas for streaming 4K Netflix videos, you will need 40 to 100 Mbps. A minimum 200 Mbps internet line is required for quality online gaming.
Latency is another important factor for online gaming as well as choosing top internet providers. While 5 ms latency is recommended, up to 50 ms latency is tolerable. Any ISP providing a connection above 25 Mbps can be considered a good one according to the FCC broadband connection criteria. However, if you have a large number of connected devices, eventually, you will need more speed to use them simultaneously.
Another important issue is the unit of speed. Usually, bps stands for a bit per second. However, on the browser, the speed may be displayed as byte per second (bps). One byte equals eight bits and a 10 Mbps connection may be displayed as 1.2 Mbps which is ok.
Costing per month and charge are the most important things to consider about choosing top internet providers. The average cost of internet service for a typical American household is $64 per month. Additional costs include taxes, fees, and equipment costs ranging from $10 to $20.
Other hidden charges are equipment rental, installation/activation fees, FCC service fund fees, late payment fees, cancellation fees and data overage fees which may also add up to your regular bill based on the situation.
Type of connection
The most common modes of internet connection are satellite links, radio links, Digital Subscriber Lines (broadband), Cable, Optical fiber, Mobile phone networks, etc. and the speed of your net highly depends on the technology ISP adopts. For example, the latency of a typical satellite link is a minimum of 400 ms no matter how advanced the equipment is.
This is because every time you send a request via satellite link, first it goes to the satellite orbiting the earth an orbit 22,000 miles away and then it relays back to the network center to process the request. The response to your request follows the same path.
On the other hand, optical fiber connection has latencies like 20 ms. So, the medium of internet connection is vital for a sound service. However, remote rural areas usually don’t have access to fiber-optic, and sometimes the only options the consumer is left with is a mobile phone network or satellite link.
As for the fiber optic line, you have to understand two terms: “Fiber to premises” and “Hybrid Fiber connection”.
If the ISP offers a Fiber to premises scheme, it means they will erect actual fiber optic cable up to your house and install fiber to the internet interface. Hence such lines are real optical fiber lines all the way through without any bottleneck and you will probably get a very high download speed as well as upload speed.
The hybrid fiber connection uses optical fiber connected to a node close to your house and from there, an ethernet cable or coaxial cable will be erected up to your residence. These types of lines may have great download speed but much slower upload speed.
Internet Service Providers usually supply all the necessary hardware and software for smooth operation. But the important thing to consider is the rent of that hardware and quality of course. Some ISPs allow the users to use their own equipment and help to install them in a DIY fashion while other ISPs will make it mandatory to use the in-house equipment.
Both of these options have their own merits and demerits. For DIY installation of your own equipment, you may be able to save some cash but you have to have the technical expertise to select the correct equipment.
On the other hand, if the ISP chooses the equipment for you and installs them, they will charge you extra but you don’t have to know much about technical stuff. But remember, it is very important to choose the right quality equipment and set up it perfectly to get good internet service.
Many Internet service providers offer additional services like Internet home telephone, free premium TV channel subscriptions, and others which might save some cash for domestic users. With so many lucrative offers, it is very easy to get carried away and sometimes it can be more expensive than the separate service charge. So, you have to choose your bundle offer carefully.
Data roll-over plan
It’s a nice option to have, in case you have some extra data left at the end of your billing cycle. The data roll-over plan will allow you to add those extra data with the existing data on the next billing cycle.
Pause connection scheme
When you leave for a vacation for a couple of months, pause connection schemes will charge you a minimal fee less than your usual monthly bill and when you come back, the usual billing cycle resumes.
Almost every ISP has a data cap, and a certain amount of data limit (usually ranging from 10 GB to 150 GB except for unlimited plans) and if you have crossed that limit, you will have to pay an extra bill or you will notice a significant change in your speed. Even unlimited plans have data caps. You have to explicitly discuss these issues with ISP before signing the contract.
In a nutshell, the most important things you have to consider choosing top Internet providers (ISP) are Service quality, Connection type, and speed for most of customers.
Frequently Ask Question
01. What are the different types of Internet Services?
Basically, there 6 types of quintessential Internet services are:
Digital Subscribers Line
02. What is the difference between Internet speed and bandwidth?
The speed of the internet connection determines how fast data reaches your laptop or device and the bandwidth tells you how much data can possibly pass simultaneously through your line.
To clear the concept, think of a delivery truck. The speed of the truck tells you how quickly it will reach the destination and the weight capacity of the truck is similar to the bandwidth. In the net world, both share the same unit of measurement, Mbps. So, it can be confusing sometimes.
The real significance of these two terms is, if you have a high-speed line, you will be able to download a large file faster. And a high bandwidth connection will allow more data to be handled by your connection meaning faster download of a large file. So, they are quite synonymous from the consumer’s point of view.
03. How much speed do I need?
An average requirement for a standard household would be 100 Mbps for streaming 4k videos, video chats, gaming, running multiple devices, and other activities.
However, any connection of 50 Mbps is considered a good net connection. To calculate the speed requirement, you have to consider a few things like how many devices you want to connect to the internet at once and what your activities are on the internet.
04. How do I evaluate a good ISP?
You have to do a quick survey on the existing ISPs of your locality and compare things like: