Six Things to Consider When Searching for a New Internet Service Provider

There is little doubt that several ISPs currently serve your area, with each company offering a particular type of Internet service, such as DSL, satellite Internet, mobile Internet, cable Internet or even an old-fashioned dial-up connection.  Because so many options are available, you may find searching for a new Internet service provider to be overwhelming — especially if you are not particularly savvy when it comes to  computers, electronics, and Internet techno-speak.

Television Advertisements May Not Reflect Your Best Reality

As a result, many folks may end up relying on flashy TV ads put out by the larger companies — in fact individuals with limited expertise frequently are drawn to these larger companies just for this reason. Oftentimes, though, it is possible to find superior service and better rates with a smaller, less well known company.

With a little bit of research, you can determine which one of the available ISPs will be able to provide the best service for your needs at the best price.  But what is it you should look for when searching for the best Internet service providers?

Here are six important things to consider when you’re searching for a new Internet service provider:

     Availability of Service. If you live in a major city, availability will not be a problem. If you live in a rural area, however, your choices may be limited. Obviously, before you can make a choice, you need to size up all of the available ISPs that serve your geographical location.

     Connection speed. It is quite common among ISPs for each company to advertise that they alone offer the fastest Internet connection speeds.  Here is the truth of the matter: Companies that offer the fastest speeds must have up-to-date equipment. When an ISP routinely keeps its equipment updated this is a major plus. Keeping current assures not only consistently faster connection speeds, but also provides customers with the latest Internet technology.

     Customer Service. Do the necessary research to find out which ISPs in your area give the best customer service. This should include response time to technical problems as well as billing problems. Find out if the support they provide is available on the phone (which most folks prefer) or if it is done strictly via email or live chat. 

     Modem Ratio. If you are looking for a high-speed Internet connection 24 hours a day, it’s important to know if there will be a lot of other users who will be “sharing” your connection. For instance, when you are on a cable or DSL connection your speed will be faster during non-peak hours than it will be during peak hours. Why?  Because during peak hours many other users will be sharing your bandwidth. The less people downstream, the faster your connection will consistently remain. Remember, though, that not all users are online at the same time.

     Price. Generally speaking, most Internet service providers offer pricing that is structured upon the features you select. Usually the higher the connection speed, the higher the cost. If you choose a package with lots of bells and whistles, you will end up paying for them. When choosing a package make certain that you select only the options you need and will use. In this way you can find the best value for your individual circumstances.

     Website Provisions. Something many people don’t consider when selecting an ISP is a personal website. If you plan to open a website, and especially multiple sites, find out from your ISP if they offer web hosting and technical support. You may find that these services are offered without additional charge. if so, it can result in a substantial savings when compared to using an outside hosting company.

This article has hopefully given you some food-for-thought if you are searching for the best Internet service providers. The six points above should help you in making your selection. The key is to choose the company that provides you with the connection speed you need and the services you want — all at a fair price.


Guest blogger Bob Brownell enjoys writing about technology, especially in the area of Google fiber optic internet.


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