One of the few things almost as bad as having no Internet access at all is being tied to the wrong package. Forget to check a few details and you can be saddled with an expensive bundle that may not meet your needs.
The key to selecting a high-speed Internet package is to ask the right series of questions, in the right order.
Consider Your Telephone Service
Do you have or want a landline telephone? Most people who don’t remember the Carter Administration have gone totally cellular. Despite that trend, many of the most popular high-speed Internet packages come with telephone service.
If you live in the parts of a city where a home security system is necessary, that brings the landline service into the picture because many of the more sophisticated security systems require a landline.
Urban or Rural
Inside the city means a far wider selection for high-speed cable Internet, including bundles with television, telephone and home security packages, and much faster speeds.
Outside a city or large town means you’ll probably need to get DSL, a satellite dish or a cellular phone connection. Keep in mind that a DSL signal over your telephone line weakens with distance from the telephone company’s station. Ask the neighbors what their service is like.
Two other options outside the city are satellite and 3G or 4G cellular phone connections. With the satellite connection a person buys or leases a satellite dish that must have a clear view to satellites orbiting over the equator. The cost will generally be in the thousands of dollars and you will still pay a monthly fee, but it’s often the only option for rural areas.
Apartment, Condo or House
In urban areas, the next question is what kind of living space you have. A large apartment building might have a community-based high-speed Internet system such as a building-wide WiFi signal. If your building is old, it may not have the cable TV or Ethernet connections in the walls that carry a full Internet and digital TV package. If you own a home, you have more flexibility in setting up a home network because you will have full control over your router and connections.
How Much Bandwidth Do You Need
Here’s where your personal habits come into play. Do you watch TV and movies on your computer? Many Millennials own no TV or stereo system at all, because they stream their entertainment straight from the internet. These people need a better Internet service than the people who just use their computer for checking e-mail and Facebook.
If you ask a cable company for only a high-capacity Internet connection, the charge for your extra bandwidth may be higher.
The trend toward tablet computers is also increasing bandwidth needs because many of these devices rely on data and even hardware from remote “cloud” servers rather than on the device itself. Having two or three people in the house listening to music, watching TV or movies on tablets will add up to a high-bandwidth draw that does not seem apparent when you look at these devices individually.
How Much-Holding Do You Want
Finally, how much service do you want from your high-speed Internet provider? If you’re not an ace with modern communications, a full package from an Internet/cable TV/telephone company may be the thing for you. If you’re a high-tech guerrilla road warrior with a Linux laptop, you have a lot of other options.
Once you have considered all these in the correct order you will be able to confidently decide which internet package is right for you. Afterwards you will be more satisfied with your decision since you took the time to carefully consider and weigh your options and wound up making an informed decision.
Dee enjoys freelance writing/blogging in her spare time and also does some ghost writing as well.