Choosing an internet connection for your home is just as important as choosing the right couch or the right color for the wall. You cannot change ISPs frequently, and this long-term decision should be made with a lot of care and thought. Therefore, here are the 5 things to know before choosing an internet connection.
In the majority of the cases, the ISP will always advertise the download speeds. This is because download speeds are just much higher and more relevant to their customers. However, this does not mean that upload speeds don’t matter.
Try to understand the difference and importance of each of these. Download speeds are important for identifying the speed at which you will be able to download something on your server from someone else’s. For example, downloading attachments from an email, or streaming a movie. On the other hand, upload speeds are the rate at which your computer will send or transfer the data to the internet. For example, sending a message or uploading an image on social media.
You must know what download and upload speed the internet connection has. If it is cable, DSL, or any other internet technology, chances are that the upload speeds are much lower than the download. However, if you are opting for fiber internet, this might change and both upload and download speeds may be the same.
Many providers will provide you with an internet modem at a monthly fee of about $10. This price can vary from one provider to another. Some providers also make it compulsory for the customers to pay the monthly fee. The problem here is not that you have to pay the monthly rental fee for using the equipment, but that you barely have any control over the quality and type of equipment being used. This means that you could get stuck with a modem and a router that don’t have enough security and privacy features. Or, a router that does not come with advanced parental controls that you could make great use of. In such cases, the whole internet experience gets ruined, and you may end up being unsatisfied with your ISP.
The best thing to know before choosing an ISP here is to first make sure that they allow you to use your own equipment. This means that you can dodge the monthly rental fee, and instead make a one-time investment in your choice of internet devices. As a result, you get to have more say in what quality of the device you use, and what features there should be.
Another thing you can do is inquire about the quality of the equipment that is being given to you. Providers like AT&T are known for their powerful Wi-Fi gateways that have advanced Wi-Fi 6 standards, and also provide additional options like Wi-Fi extenders and whole-home coverage. This way, even if you are paying a higher monthly fee, at least the internet equipment will be reliable and durable.
It is very easy to get misleading price quotes. You might find an ISP’s website online, and see that its particular internet plan costs $30 a month. When you actually get the internet connection in your home, the installer or the sales representative will tell you that it costs more than that.
While there are many different reasons why the prices have been miscommunicated, one big reason is location. Many ISPs offer different prices for the same plans and packages in various locations. Xfinity is one such ISP that has coverage in more than 40 states, but its prices are not consistent throughout. The plan’s prices vary based on the infrastructure costs and distances to your location.
The same is the case with internet speeds. You might not get 1000 Mbps in your area, but the ISP advertises this speed. This is because the type of internet in your area, the distance that the data has to travel, and the ISP’s coverage play a huge role in this. It is best not to get fooled by online quotes and advertisements and simply speak to an expert at the ISP’s customer support. If you are subscribing to Mediacom Internet, you will find customer support 24/7 and with all the answers to your queries. A good ISP will always be transparent and helpful in explaining to you the available prices and speeds in your area.
Speaking of customer support, let’s not forget how important that is before you get an internet connection in your home. You must be wondering what customer support has to do with your home internet connection?
Well, the answer is, from subscribing to an internet plan to have it installed in your home, and to a point where you need to solve a sudden internet outage, customer support is all there is. It’s not very difficult to predict whether or not the provider has reliable customer support. In your first few calls when you will be only inquiring about the available internet offers and plans, their attitude and responsiveness will become clear.
Some things to stay wary of include:
- A lot of wait time till someone picks up the call
- No variety of communication mediums, such as emails, chat support, phone number
- Uninformed sales representatives
- Rude attitude
- Late follow-ups and action time
- Language barriers that cause difficulty incomprehension
- Lack of willingness to accommodate the customer’s needs
- Require multiple calls to resolve an issue
- The constant back and forth between different departments to solve one issue
Of course, it all comes down to how much you have to pay for the internet connection every month. Even if all the factors are in place, such as great internet equipment and excellent customer support, if you don’t have clarity over the monthly bill, then there is no point in it all. You need to fully understand the monthly bill and know exactly what you are paying for before committing to the internet service.
If the ISP is reliable, it is most likely to communicate and inform you about the hidden costs and prices beforehand. If it has not done so already, you take charge and ask about any additional charges you will be required to pay. There are fair chances that these additional fees and charges can be avoided. For example, you can dodge installation fees (which average between $50 to $150) by choosing self-installation. You can also go ahead and invest in a great quality modem or a router so that you don’t need to pay the monthly rental.
In any case, you must have knowledge about all the important charges and fees. Here is a rough list of all the hidden fees that you might get charged:
- Activation fee
- Installation fee
- Equipment rental fee
- Taxes and service charges
All this information should help you land the best internet connection for your home and your family. Don’t forget to start your research with a renowned and reputable internet provider like Mediacom. This makes the decision easy, as you might just find the perfect fit for your home quickly.