The internet you are using right now is provided to you by an internet service provider, which is a company that deals with providing internet connections to households and organizations. In addition, internet service providers may also deal with providing software packages such as browsers, email accounts, personal websites, etc. Internet service providers can even host and build websites for businesses.
To delve deeper into the functioning of internet service providers, let us take the example of one of them – Comcast. Their Comcast internet has a wide range of internet speeds for you to choose from, all based on their accorded pricing and availability. You will also get a router and modem to be able to connect all your computers and devices to the internet. Comcast also deals with installing internet to your home, helping you troubleshoot if any issue arises with the internet connection, dealing with your internet payment, etc. These are a few of the responsibilities of internet service providers in question i.e. Comcast.
However, deciding on an internet service provider can be tricky, since there are a lot of factors to consider before you narrow down to the one that suits your internet browsing needs. Those factors will be explored below:
This is the first thing to consider when looking for an internet service provider. Because not all internet service providers are available in every part of the country. You are more likely to find a fiber internet connection in urban areas than in rural areas. Internet users in rural areas have a limited option of internet service providers to choose from, the ones who offer a satellite internet connection. So before deciding on just one ISP, you need to know which ones are available in your locality.
If you were a movie enthusiast, you wouldn’t want to spend the whole day waiting for your movie to be downloaded. Or if you prefer streaming movies, you wouldn’t like it when your movie constantly buffers and lags while playing. If you liked playing online multiplayer games, you would want a fast internet connection because you don’t want to experience lagging while you are in the middle of intense gameplay. However, if you were just an internet user with light browsing history for checking emails and looking up YouTube videos, a slow-speed internet connection would work just fine for you. Hence the kind of internet speed that you go for depends on what you need to use the internet for.
Different internet speeds are based on different prices. Prices of 25 Mbps internet speed can be provided at a low price by one internet service provider and the other can charge higher prices for the same speed. Or the same internet service provider can charge a lot for 50 Mbps speeds in one area, and charge less for the same speed in other areas. This factor depends on how much you are willing to pay for an internet connection. If you are a single person who needs an internet connection, you wouldn’t need to pay a substantial amount. But if there are multiple internet users in a household, you will have to pay a little more for internet speeds to be provided to all their devices.
Types of Connection
You will also have to consider the types of internet connection provided by the internet service provider in your locality:
- DSL. This is the cheapest option you will find, offering internet speeds up to 100 Mbps. DSL internet connection uses your phone line to create an internet connection for your household. However, the internet speed will depend on how far you are located from your ISP; the farther you are, the slower your internet connection will be.
- A cable internet connection is faster than DSL, but like DSL, you get an internet connection from your cable wires. Since cable wires are shared by everyone in a specific area, the speed of your internet connection will depend on how many people in your area also have a cable internet connection. This can majorly disrupt your internet connection during peak hours.
- Satellite internet is the slowest internet connection and this is a widely available option for internet users residing in rural or remote areas.
- Fiber-optic. This is generally the fastest and most reliable type of internet connection, with its symmetrical download and upload speeds up to 2 Gbps (1 Gbps = 1000 Mbps). However, due to its limited resources and expensive infrastructure, it is not widely available yet. It is usually the pricier option in the market as well
The best way to find the reliability of an internet connection is to read reviews online posted by customers from your area and learn about their experiences with certain internet service providers. However, while internet service providers do have to make an internet connection reliable enough for you to use, there are still other factors that tamper with the reliability of an internet connection. These include weather conditions, natural disasters, physical terrains, etc.
You also need to be able to communicate your queries and issues with the internet to the internet service providers, which is why customer service also matters. If you do not have a good experience with their customer service, you will not be able to deal with them again in the future. The customer service of internet service providers should be able to prioritize your internet needs accordingly.
Considering all these factors and a little research, you should be able to narrow down the kind of internet service provider you need for an internet connection.