All of us want lightning fast internet speed and we want it now! We want to surf the net with ease, without any hang-ups and long loading times. There is nothing worse than streaming a much loved movie and then get stuck abruptly due to buffering. Honestly, with the high speed internet we have now this shouldn’t be that difficult. We’re about to enter into a new age with 5G and crappy internet is just not acceptable anymore.
While we doubt any provider would be offering speeds so slow that streaming becomes a chore, it is possible that the package or service you opted for is just not geared towards your needs. To ensure you get the best value, here are some tips you could follow while selecting an internet service:
What speed do you need?
Before you look at internet service providers and their packages evaluate what your usage is and acquaint yourself with what bandwidth is and why is it important.
Bandwidth is the maximum rate at which a person can download data from the internet. It is usually measured in megabits per second (Mbps). It is different from speed on internet. How? To put it simply, think of Bandwidth as the capacity and speed as the transfer rate.
Imagine you have a bucket that needs to be filled with water. You observe that when the diameter of the pipe is small, it takes 20 minutes to fill the bucket. When you increase the diameter of the pipe it takes half as long. It’s not because the water is flowing faster or internet speed has gotten faster, it is just that the capacity of the pipe or in our case the bandwidth of the internet has increased.
You may have a fast internet connection, but if you have low bandwidth and try to use the net at the same time on multiple devices, it’ll take longer to load.
So, the question arises how much bandwidth do you need?
If you are someone who uses the internet for surfing the web, sending emails, and scrolling through social media, you’ll need internet speeds of about 1 Mbps. For online gaming you’ll need between 1 Mbps to 3 Mbps and for video conferencing you’ll need between 1 Mbps to 4 Mbps. To stream standard videos you’ll need between 3 Mbps to 4 Mbps, while streaming high-definition videos will require 5 Mbps to 8 Mbps. If you are someone who frequently downloads large files, you’ll need 50 Mbps or more.
Use this as a guiding tool. Take into account how many devices are in use at your household and how many people. You might want to also consider what their use is. Add the corresponding bandwidths discussed above and you’ll be able to get a good idea of your household’s needs.
What type of internet should you get?
While choosing an internet service, you might want to look into what type of internet connections they offer. There are four types to choose from:
- Fiber-optic internet
Digital Subscriber Line
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is delivered to your house through the already installed telephone line. It is the cheapest form of broadband internet you can get. It can offer speeds of up to 25 Mbps, which is good enough for streaming movies and other general activities. The only downside though is that the further away you are from the provider, the slower your internet speed is. You might want to check if there’s an internet service provider in your area that offers DSL. If there is, you’re sure to get a bang for your buck. Just get their phone line and subscribe to their net.
Your second option is Cable internet. Delivered through your cable connection, it offers higher speeds as compared to a DSL connection, exceeding 100 Mbps. But, this connection too has its disadvantages. When you subscribe to cable net, you are essentially sharing the service with the people in your neighborhood, which means that during busy times you’ll have slow speeds. If you were thinking of streaming a show after school or at night time just before sleep, you’ll find slow speeds. However, if you are someone with odd timings, this could prove a boon. For the best service in cable internet, we’d recommend you give Spectrum internet customer services a call to find out about their package.
Satellite internet, as the name suggests, uses satellite to bring internet to you. Its speeds are usually slow, capping at a mere 20 Mbps, and you might face certain hiccups, but they are negligible.
For example, if you’re getting ready for some Netflix and chilling, the movie might take time to start, but once it does, it won’t disappoint you. You can get cozy in your blankets with nary a care. If you’re based in a rural area, satellite is your best bet. Most likely it’s the only option you might have if you want internet.
The best internet speeds or lightning fast internet as you might call it, can only be achieved through Fiber-optic internet, which is delivered through optic cables that transmit data through light. Sometimes referred to as FiOS, it is unfortunately only available in some areas.
For the most part, the fiber-optic service functions similar to a DSL service, but the speeds it offers can go as high as 500 Mbps, albeit in some areas only. If any internet service provider is offering this connection in your area you better jump on. The prices are comparable to DSL for the same or better speed.
So, what else?
There are a few more things you should ask about, like data caps, introductory deals, additional costs and bundling, before you subscribe to any package.
If you are an avid streamer, who spends hours on Netflix and YouTube, you might want at least a 1TB data cap, or none ideally. Also keep in mind that additional router, modem rents and taxes might increase the total cost of your package, so spend time to learn about these. Additionally, if you want to save some money, ask about introductory deals, but also make sure you are aware of the regular price. If you sign a two-year contract that has introductory pricing for the first year only, you might lose out in the end. If you need cable and phone services, go for bundling. You might get a better deal that way.
That’s it we’re at the end of the road. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to get the best package for you!