When you’re looking to install internet at your home or office, your preferred speed is one of the first things you’ll be asked about. Many people ask themselves whether it’s worth paying extra for an ultra-fast connection when their needs are relatively small. However, the truth is that it can save you money, in the long run, by investing in faster service from the beginning instead of starting with something slower and upgrading later on down the road. Here are a few of the main reasons it pays to go with fast internet from the get-go.
Before getting internet service, understand your choices when it comes to connection speeds. Slower speeds may be less expensive, and that’s okay if you’re a primary user. If you have kids who play online games or do anything else that demands speed, you may need more speed. Speeds are typically measured in megabits per second (Mbps) but can also be given in megabytes per second (MBps). The higher numbers mean faster speeds.
Types of Connections
There are three types of connections available when you’re looking to get your internet service: cable, fiber optic, and DSL. Cable internet works through an existing TV cable line in your house or apartment building, whereas fiber optic and DSL rely on traditional telephone lines to deliver data. Fiber is faster and more reliable than either DSL or cable options; however, it’s not available everywhere just yet, like satellite internet access.
Determining Your Needs
It’s essential to know what kind of speed you’ll need before deciding on which internet service is perfect for you. Speeds are measured in megabits per second (Mbps) or gigabits per second (Gbps), and there’s no shame in starting small: 4–5 Mbps should be fine for everyday tasks like email and web browsing.
What Makes One Option Better Than Another?
Many factors determine how fast your internet connection will be, but unfortunately, most of these are out of your control.
Here’s what you can control: how much bandwidth you need, how far away from your service provider’s office you live, and whether or not you have fiber optic cable available at your home. With these considerations in mind, let’s go over some good options to consider when choosing an internet provider.
A Word on Pricing
We’re of two minds when it comes to internet speed. On the one hand, fast service is more enjoyable and productivity-boosting; on the other, slower speeds are just fine if your budget’s tight. We won’t tell you what to do—but we will tell you that pricing depends on more than connection speed, too.
Get The Right Equipment
If you’re just getting started in your own home office, you probably don’t have many (if any) peripherals. You may not even have a desktop computer. If that’s true, you can save money by going with a simple modem and renting your router from your internet service provider (ISP). The downside to buying cheap modems is that they often have poor customer service if anything goes wrong, so do some research before purchasing.
DSL, Cable, and Fiber Optic
DSL internet is available in most areas and usually involves accessing an analog phone line with a modem to get online. While DSL connections are often faster than dial-up, they also tend to be slower than cable or fiber-optic connections. The downside of DSL connections is that you’re at risk of experiencing service issues if your telephone line is disrupted due to storms or other natural disasters.
Installation Time Frames
The last consideration is how long you will be without service. It’s important to know not only how long it takes to install an internet connection but how long you’ll have no connectivity before and after installation. Some companies offer same-day installation services that can get you back online almost as soon as your order is complete.
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