Life is moving in the fast lane and there isn’t much that families get to share. As children grow up their school schedules change. Before you know it, everyone in the house leaves and enters at different times – different schedules, different eating routines – just different preferences overall. Amongst the few things that keep the family connected, literally and metaphorically, despite the variety of their preferences, is the internet.
But the trouble with the internet is not all providers will get you reliable services. Varying routines among family members imply increased online communication during the week; while the hardship endured during weekdays drives everyone to look forward to taking a breath over the weekend. And what ties all that up together? Technology. Cable and Internet come into action and make their importance felt. And that’s not all. Schools will have your children submit assignments and homework online, moms who telecommute at times may need to be part of a conference call or maybe submit a file or send an email, etc. Reliable internet is therefore no longer a want but a need.
Speed and entertainment choices are one thing, but what are the factors that constitute a reliable cable internet provider? Before you get the answer to this question, however, you must know what your options are.
DSL or Digital Subscriber Line is known as the first high-speed internet connection. It is always on and requires 2 lines to free up room for an uninterrupted telephone line. The line connects to a router which then connects to your computer via Ethernet cable. DSL can get you speeds ranging from 128 Kbps to 7Mbps.
This internet gets to you via cable TV lines. The line connects to a modem which then enables internet connectivity. Cable internet is widely available and relatively cheap. The speeds vary with uploading and downloading options. It provides faster speeds ranging from 512 Kbps to 20 Mbps.
It requires a receiver on your roof which then connects to a satellite in the earth’s orbit. The signal travels from earth to the satellite and is then sent back to earth. This long journey causes a slight dip in speed which is why the connection is relatively slower. Satellite internet connections offer speeds starting at 512Kbps up to 2 Mbps.
While DSL and cable internet rely on copper wires which may provide a fluctuating quality based on your distance from your ISP, Optical fiber, on the other hand, uses light to transmit data which minimizes the fluctuation and enhances the speed. This approach makes it faster and more reliable than its counterparts. It is this technology which has made Gbps speeds a reality.
Now that you know about a few options, it is time to let you in on the formula to choose the best internet service in your area.
What good is an ISP if it does not offer services in your area? Availability naturally comes on top of all the factors to consider. Most cable-based ISPs cover a massive part of the country but do not offer all services in all areas. There are chances that you may be looking for a different provider and instead find Spectrum Internet Packages better than the rest. This brings us to the factor next in line.
Now that you know which providers service your area it is time to choose from the speed- range they offer. That’s right. Just like not all providers offer services everywhere, every provider may not be able to offer all available speeds in your area. It is not that they don’t want you to avail their services, it is sometimes simply out of their hands. The local authorities may not issue a license or the infrastructure may be in need of an upgrade in a particular region. Before you go looking for speeds that internet providers offer, you must, however, make an evaluation of the speed ideal for your household needs.
Alright, so you have a list of providers in your area and you know the speed you want. What’s next? The next thing you need to know is how reliable the service provider is. The quality of service can also vary like speed and availability. Sometimes it is due to maintenance work, upgrading process or simply because the market is so small the provider forgot about taking necessary measures to rectify the issues in the area. You can visit websites like speedtest.net to see where various providers stand.
Contracts and costs
This is one tricky part. Provider contracts, terms and conditions vary. They are so inconsistent that it is almost impossible to put a thumb to what is what. Take modems, for example, you can buy one from the provider or rent it. The cost would vary in both instances. Then there comes the third option when you decide on getting a modem of your own. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Make sure you take a deeper look into the contract and know every detail before you finalize your provider.
This is a fun one. Providers aren’t always someone to worry about. They also offer benefits to their customers. Yes, I am talking about extra features that will not cost you a penny. Again these offers will vary from one area to another. Most of these offers are available for a limited time only. When talking to a representative don’t forget to inquire about any extra features or special offers that may be up for grabs.
Choosing a provider is no simple task. The tiniest of detail can land you a service that you may have to deal with for a long time to come. Don’t make haste. Go through the checklist here. And you will have the right connection at an affordable price with the quality you have been looking for.