Choosing an Internet Service Provider – What you should know before taking the plunge

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Aggressive advertising of fiber-optic and broadband services everywhere you look coupled with the complex nature of bundled service packages can make choosing an Internet Service Provider a difficult task. When deciding on the best solution for Internet, Phone, and Broadband services there several factors to consider. If you’ve been wondering about the different broadband services that you would get for your home or for your phone, you should shop around and make sure you know everything that you need to know before making the right decision. What will you get from your ISP and what sort of backup plans would you get if things don’t work out?

Types of Broadband Connections

The type of broadband connection, which you use is determined by the technology that your local providers offer. Here are the 3 most common kinds of broadband services that you can choose from for residential service.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Lines): DSL transmits data through telephone lines without ever interfering with the phone service. Local telephone companies usually offer DSL services.

Cable Modems: Cable modems usually access the internet over cable lines again without interfering with cable television service. The companies which offer cable TV service are the ones which offer cable modem internet access.

Fiber-Optic: FiOS is a new and faster type of broadband service. The same fiber optic line which offers you broadband service can also deliver you video and phone services as well.

Factors to consider while selecting an ISP

Is it residential or business?

ISPs usually offer different service options for business users and residential users. Business class connections usually offer faster upload speeds, more reliability, and various other features, which are needed in most companies. However, these plans tend to cost much more than residential services. You can check out HughesNet Internet Plans for both your business and residential internet needs.

How reliable is the connection? Are there Service Level Agreements?

Most business-class internet connections come with guarantees regarding latency, uptime, and other metrics. For instance, your ISP may guarantee you that you maintain 99.9% a uptime; on your Internet connection. These guarantees are established in a formal document called the Service Level Agreement or an SLA.

What are the terms of the contract?

There are some ISPs that set a limit or control the things that you can use your Internet connection for online. One example of this would be that some service providers prevent customers with residential service holders from hosting websites or separate online services. They can also set caps on the amount of data that you can download and upload in a given billing period.

Does your ISP offer voice and data service?

It is becoming increasingly common to get both data and voice services from the same vendor and often through the same equipment. You should be aware of the fact that integrated services can be less complex and expensive to manage than separate data and voice services.

In conclusion, if you’re about to choose an Internet Service Provider, you should consider the factors outlined above before choosing a provider.

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