If you are looking for an appropriate high speed internet provider then it is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of options that are available today.
To help you narrow down the field and find a package from a provider that satisfies your needs, here are some tips on what to look for and how to choose.
Unfortunately not every provider will be able to offer their services in your area, as there are lots of geographic differences in coverage.
Finding out which providers are operating locally is straightforward enough, whether you use the availability checking tools that are baked into most operator sites or rely on the official FCC solution.
Assess your requirements
Before diving into the somewhat tricky process of picking from the myriad providers and packages, it makes sense to work out what you are actually looking for in your ideal bundle.
The easiest way to do this is work out how much bandwidth you will require for the kinds of activities that you want to use the connection for, as well as how many people will be sharing the same service simultaneously.
If you want to do any kind of video streaming in high definition resolutions, then you will want at least 5mpbs of download speed at your disposal for a single-user household. For higher bit rate content or for instance in which 2 or more users will be piggybacking on the same connection at once, the only way to go is up in terms of speed.
You should also consider any usage caps which might be imposed, as some of the more affordable packages do come with restrictions on how much you can watch and download in a month. Watching just one movie in 4K on Netflix could eat up over 12GB of usage, so take this into account when weighing up the different providers and packages.
Test your existing connection
It is safe to assume that if you are reading this, you already have some way of accessing the internet, in which case you need to also work out whether it is even worth changing to a new ISP, or whether your existing service is up to scratch.
There are plenty of speed testing sites out there, but Google’s built in speed test which is available within its search engine should get the job done without needing to worry about any on-site ads or pop-ups.
As well as being able to use the results of a speed test to see if your current connection is enough to meet your needs, you can also harness the data as evidence to send to your ISP if you feel that there is something awry with the service at the moment. For example, if your speeds are not meeting the advertised download and upload rates that are part of your package, this can be a point to raise and you could even get a free upgrade, as well as some much-needed troubleshooting, as a result.
Now that you know what you want from any prospective internet service provider, you can start to search for the packages that are available. Third party comparison sites like Themescene.tv can be a good way to go about this, as they will let you select criteria on which to rank ISPs and allow you to filter out any unsuitable options so you do not have to wade through them.
It is also worth keeping average connection costs in mind when comparing offers and setting your budget so that you do not pay over the odds.
Interesting related article: “What is the ideal VPN service for you?“