Whether you’ve moved house or are simply having Internet installed for the first time, it’s important that you understand your choices. While you may not have many choices when it comes to a type of provider, you do have a decision to make when it comes to the type of Internet you purchase. Here are the five choices that you have:
By far the slowest type of Internet that you can purchase, dial-up Internet is also the cheapest. It’s not unusual to be able to find dial-up being offered for less than $10 a month. You need a dedicated phone line, which means that you must have a landline installed in your home, and a computer tower or laptop that accepts the connection. While dial-up Internet was the only choice two decades ago, it is slowly becoming obsolete. It’s estimated that only about ten percent of adult households maintain this type of Internet connection.
Satellite Internet provides speeds that are only slightly better than dial-up connections. Not only can satellite-provided Internet be slow, but it can be incredibly expensive for the service provided. If you can get any other type of Internet service, it’s typically recommended that you avoid satellite Internet. If, on the other hand, you live in a rural area where other types of Internet are not provided, satellite may be the best that you can do.
DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line. If you already have a landline in your home, this option can be convenient and speeds constant. DSL is fairly inexpensive, running at under $50 per month with most providers. You should never pay more for DSL than you would for cable Internet. Considered to be a good second choice, DSL is not the best option for families or those who use the Internet heavily or on more than one device. Latency with DSL tends to be low and, if you are the only person using the Internet in your home, considered to be the best choice for gamers.
Broadband, or cable, Internet is the first choice for the majority of households in America. Broadband is the best choice for watching videos, downloading heavy files, listening to music and for the use of multiple devices. IF there is a downside to cable Internet, it is this: Many areas have only a single choice of providers, meaning that you have little choice in the cost you will pay. Cable Internet, depending on the bandwidth your purchase, can run as much as $100 in some areas.
If you travel, are frequently on the go or just don’t want to be tied to a year-long subscription to another provider, a mobile hotspot could be what you’re looking for. Cellular providers and big box stores offer mobile hotspots for varying prices, typically running between $30 and $110 per month for decent access. Before you decide that a mobile hotspot is for you, you need to consider your proximity to a cell tower. If you are in a rural area, your connection could be spotty. In general, if you get fantastic cell reception, you’ll have no problem using a hotspot.
Search the internet for a list of providers in your area. Choosing the type of service that will suit you and your family is important. Be sure to read through the article above and research your preferred options further. While many people find that cable Internet best meets their needs, you may be better served by one of the other options.
Eric Lustig is an avid blogger. If you want to learn more about your internet service choices, look at information on Internetproviders.org.