How to Select an Internet Service Provider

One of the biggest decisions that many people face is picking an Internet Service Provider. Although some geographic areas have a limited selection of providers, most people are able to choose between several companies that offer a variety of services and plans. Different elements, including speed, technical support responsiveness and pricing, factor into the decision-making process. A lot of people telecommute or work entirely from a home office and need to know that their ISP can provide them with the services they need to keep up with their job or self-employment responsibilities. Others merely want to be able to interact socially when relaxing without service disruptions or slowdowns.

Selecting an Internet Service Provider isn’t difficult. You simply make the selection based on your specific needs:

Understand the Norms

Many companies and government agencies have created guidelines to help consumers better understand Internet services. For example, before you start shopping, you should consider download speed. Check out the Federal Communications Commission’s Household Broadband Guide to help you better understand the download speeds you actually need based on the activities that you expect to perform regularly online. Additionally, research additional services you might need from an ISP, such as a wireless router, anti-virus protection, a website, cloud storage, technical support for non-Internet computer issues and integrated home security services.

How to Select an Internet Service Provider

Pick a Delivery Method

Internet service is commonly delivered via phone, cable and FIOS cable lines and satellite digital signals. Each of these options come with pros that are often based on individual preferences. The cons with each delivery method are less preference-based and more technology-based. For example, phone and cable services can suffer from electromagnetic interference because of their copper lines. They also take longer to fix when they go down. Satellite signals can suffer disruption on cloudy days. FIOS bypasses these problems with durable cables filled with fine glass filaments that are designed for interference resistance and easy repair and replacement.

Compare Prices

Type your ZIP code and the type of Internet service you want and/or the name of an ISP recommended to you by family, friends or co-workers into your favorite search engine to find local options. If you are looking for a specific type of service, another method to compare pricing is through a comparison site – for example, if you’re looking for FIOS deal, check out Vdeals at http://www.verizonfiosdeals.com/.

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