‚ÄúWhat is the best internet connection for you?‚Äù is the most common question asked of me every time I talk about internet connections with my customers. Some say that a certain ISP (Internet Service Provider) is the best to sign up with because of their features, while some say it is the other one since they offer cheaper rates.
When you plan to avail of an internet connection from certain providers, you must take into consideration certain things before signing their contract:
- TYPE OF CONNECTION
There are a number of connection methods available nowadays and almost all of them can be possible to deliver data connectivity to your place. Connection type ranges from wired (DSL or broadband), wireless (wi-fi) and cable internet (usually bundled with CABLE TV). New comers are HDSPA, 3G and 4G connections which still falls under the wireless category.
So far, the wired connection has proved to be more stable than the wireless connection. Wireless connections will depend on how close you are to the ‚Äúaccess point‚Äù (source). Cable Internet uses the cable television infrastructure and somewhat analogous to DSL connection.
It is best to ask which connection is available in your area. Honestly, ISPs will not tell you much detail about your subscription. Ask around which is best and fits your needs.
- ISP (Internet Service Provider)
When High Speed Internet Access hit the market, the growth of ISPs exponentially boomed as well. Each internet service provider will deliver internet connection with varying configurations and subscription options for their customers.
It is for us to determine which one of the ISPs in our area will give the best connection ‚Äì that has lesser down times (outage) and provides true connection speed. Sad to say some providers will not give the full bandwidth that you have subscribed with. They should have at least informed their customers about bandwidth control and restriction (bandwidth capping)
- CONNECTION SPEED
The connection speed will vary from different ISPs and will be based on your personal requirement as a user. This will come in two types ‚Äì upload and download speed. The ‚Äúdownload speed‚Äù is what most users are concerned about. It determines how fast you get data to your computer from the World Wide Web. The ‚Äúupload speed‚Äù is how fast YOU send data to the network or to another computer like uploading pictures to a social networking site (like FACEBOOK). For most providers, they provide asymmetrical connections ‚Äì download speed is higher than the upload speed. (eg. 2MBs/384Kbps)
If you just love to browse the web and check your mail, then 384kbps ‚Äì 756kbps (kilobits per second) will suffice. If you love to watch streaming videos or listen to online music, 1Mbps ‚Äì 2Mbps (megabits per second) of connection speed should be subscribed with in that matter. If you want to download stuff or want to connect more than five devices at your home to access the internet, better get 3Mbps and above. Of course, expect that for each speed gain that you have subscribed, prices will be higher. Consequently, the higher download speed you avail, the higher upload speed you get based on my experience.
Price has always been the dominating factor when it comes to choosing a product or a service. ISPs always package their services with the corresponding rates. So far, all rates are justified and every provider maintains the same pricing scheme. Only, they differ on the service that they offer for each rate available. Always double check your budget and capability to pay for the Monthly Service Fee (MSF). When you go for the post-paid option, you will be likely paying the service within two years ‚Äì a lock-in period for 24 months as indicated on their contract agreement. I don‚Äôt know if any ISP offers no lock-in periods for their post-paid services.
If you are in a tight budget, better go for the prepaid option (YES! They do have that one now!) But prepaid options apply only to the USB dongle type (wireless connection) and you may need to buy the device to avail of the offer.
- FREEBIES and OTHER FEATURES
This is the least thing you have to consider since free items should not be the deciding factor why you would subscribe to a particular provider. Sometimes the freebies are just a way for the provider to cover the unsatisfactory service that they offer. Freebies may come in many ways like a “free” computer or a laptop, a mobile phone, a printer or a month of service without charges.
Honestly, I do not recommend any ISPs in the market since service availability and quality of service may vary from one location to another. Again, ask around your community about the most favorable connection you could get otherwise, you may have to take the risk of having good or bad internet connectivity ‚Äì just like I did.