In the past decades, Internet access was seen as a costly service restricted only to those who can afford it. Fast forward to today, Internet connection is no longer accessible to just the privileged few. Almost all households have Internet connection these days, making it no different from water and power utilities.
As a basic and essential service, some countries are striving to provide an Internet-for-all solution to public spaces. However, this project entails complex infrastructures and high costs, making its implementation but a distant reality.
Meanwhile, households are stuck with subscribing to an Internet plan to ensure connectivity for work, education, entertainment, and other purposes. If you want to switch or subscribe to a new internet plan, here are some tips in choosing the right one for your needs:
1. Understand the basic types of Internet connection
Before getting a subscription, discover the different types of the Internet connections to know what’s best for you. These include:
- Fiber Optic: Of all the types available to consumers, a fiber optic connection offers the fastest Internet speed. Fiber optic cables are capable of transmitting large amounts of information swiftly. Because building this network infrastructure is expensive, fiberoptic services are limited to some areas.
- Cable Internet: This Internet service is widely available and quite stable. A cable Internet typically offers good Internet speed, which tends to slow down when used by a high volume of subscribers in an area.
- Digital Subscriber Line (DSL): Because it uses a connection similar to a phone line, most telecommunication companies offer this service, too. A DSL cable is wired differently compared to a telephone line because the former is structured to allow broadband transmission. The connection provided by a DSL is stable, yet, like a cable Internet, it tends to slow down during peak Internet usage hours.
- Satellite: Satellite Internet is often slow and more expensive than the other connection types. However, it’s particularly useful in rural areas where network infrastructure is nonexistent. Satellite Internet has a bandwidth that’s quite similar to DSL and cable, but can oftentimes appear slower because of latency, or the time it requires for a signal to travel to the Internet service provider’s (ISP’s) server and back.
- Dial-up: This one offers the slowest Internet connection. It can’t support broadband and, thus, has limited bandwidth. Its technological limitations make it almost obsolete.
2. Check which Internet services offer the best services in your area
When it comes to the type of Internet connection and speed, your location matters. Because Internet service providers rely on the existing network infrastructure available in your area, they can only do so much in getting the speed that you want. Another point to consider is that not all ISPs are present in your area, hence, no matter how much you prefer a particular ISP, you can’t avail of their Internet plans if they’re not present in your area.
If you’re living in Australia and want a fast and affordable Internet service that’s accessible in most parts of the country, you may check out sites like OCCOM.
3. Keep your options open and compare
After conducting your research, narrow down your choices to three or two. Compare the essential qualities an internet service provider (ISP) should have, such as the speed, costs, customer reviews, data caps, available plans (such as OptiComm plans), and other important factors. These types of information should be available on the company’s website.
Opt for an internet plan that gives you adequate and reliable speeds, excellent service, and cost-effective plans with a huge amount of data at an affordable price.
4. What Internet speed do you need?
In choosing the best Internet subscription plan, keep in mind the amount of data and the Internet speed that you need. Ideally, your Internet plan should have adequate download and upload speeds to facilitate seamless Wi-Fi operations for your needs (and your family members’ requirements). It’s not practical to get an ultra-fast Internet plan that’s too much for your needs because you’ll end up paying too much.
Speed isn’t the only thing to consider when choosing the right Internet plan for you. Other equally important factors to think about are cost-effectiveness and level of service. For instance, it’s always a good idea to spend extra for a reliable and fast connection rather than being stuck in a cheap plan that gives you nothing but sluggish connectivity.