What Questions to Ask Before Subscribing to a New ISP?
Subscribing to a new Internet service looks easy but one wrong decision can lead to frustration until the term of the contract is over. And if you try to cancel the service earlier, there are good chances you will be hit with a hefty penalty in the name of an early termination fee. Click here to check the contract buyout offer. No wonder people still find it overwhelming to settle for an Internet service provider and plan.
Cost is not the only factor that should drive your decision, you must ask several other questions before settling for a provider. So how to find the right ISP and what are the right questions to ask? Let’s dive in:
What Type Of Connection Do You Want?
Depending on your local area, you could have a complete menu of Internet entrees to choose from. The type of connection to settle for depends on your need. These are some common options:
It uses a traditional telephone line to provide an Internet connection. It’s cheap but doesn’t offer a great download speed.
It’s the most common and widely available type of Internet connection. The data is transmitted via coaxial cable TV lines. Up to 100 Mbps download speed is available. It’s great for homeowners and even small businesses.
Satellite Internet is mostly an option in rural and remote areas where DSL and cable are not available. It’s not one of the best Internet connections because of the latency issue. But if you are in the middle of nowhere and only satellite Internet is available, then it’s better than having no Internet.
- Fiber Optic
Fiber topic is one of the fastest Internet connections out there offering up to 940 Mbps download speed. The speed is exceptional but the only drawback is fiber topic connection is not yet available in all areas.
What are Your Internet Needs?
Another important factor is your speed requirements. Generally, ISPs offer four choices:
- 5 to Mbps
This speed is enough for one person for light Internet usage like casual surfing, checking social media news feeds, writing emails, etc.
- 10 to 25 Mbps
If you would like to watch videos on YouTube and there is more than one Internet user involved, this speed tier is for you.
- 25 to 50 Mbps
Frequent online game players will find this speed perfect. It can cater to the needs of 3 to 4 Internet users at the same time. It’s also enough for streaming Netflix.
- 50 Mbps and Beyond
In case your Internet usage involves excessive streaming and it’s not just limited to Netflix but video conferencing, then you will need more than 50 Mbps of download speed. Mostly small business owners or remote employees fall into this category.
Some Other Questions to Ask
Let’s assume you already know what type of connection you want and the speed. What’s next? To narrow down your options and choose the best ISP, it’s important to get answers to a bunch of other questions such as:
Are They Available 24/7?
It’s easier to have a provider by your side who is available 24/7 for technical, and general support. Find out what type of customer support is available (Email, live chat, or phone). The support team must offer a prompt answer to queries and address your concerns in a friendly way.
Do They Have Data Caps?
Almost every other ISP imposes data caps for the sake of data throttling. Should you exceed the data limit, your connection slows down. Ideally, look for a provider with no data caps so that you continue receiving steady speed throughout the month.
Do They Make You Sign A Contract?
It is a normal practice to make a subscriber sign a contract for 1 to 2 years. This is a trick to bind a customer. For your best interest, it’s recommended to choose a provider with a month to month service. Don’t bind yourself in a contract.
In case you are not happy with the services, the contract would tie you up. Of course, you can cancel the service by terminating the contract but this results in an early termination fee, which most people can’t afford to pay.
Do They Offer Bundles?
Some providers also offer cable and phone services and they are willing to bundle them up with the Internet plan. This is a good way to get a bargained price for all three services. Do ask the provider in question if any such facility is available.
Choosing and TV and Internet service provider does not have to be difficult. As long as you know what your needs are and what questions to ask, it’s possible could find a provider by the comfort of your couch.
Don’t settle on the first provider you come across. Do your research, test the customer service, look into the terms and conditions, and learn about their data caps policy. Then, sign up for the best ISP.