The high-speed Internet service provider you choose is fundamental to your work and home life. Your plan determines the upload speeds, download speeds and data you get. It determines how fast you’ll be able to connect, what devices you’ll be able to use and what you can do online.
Find the best provider for you
Your Internet habits can tell you a lot about the high-speed Internet service you need. Different online activities require different connections, and a plan that’s right for someone else might not be the one that’s best for you.
And there are options – a lot of them. Every provider offers plans with varying speeds, prices and services. Ask yourself these questions to find a plan that’s right for you:
What do you do most online?
When you get online, you need to be able to do what you want – when you want. That means no waiting for pages to load, videos to buffer or files to send.
Some online activities are only possible with the fastest speeds. Others require less support.
High-bandwidth activities that require fast speeds include video and music streaming, downloading large files and online gaming. Basic activities, like surfing the Web and checking email, can be done at slower speeds. The FCC recommends minimum speeds for some online activities:
- Checking email/Web browsing: .5 Mbps
- Video chatting: 1 Mbps
- Streaming movies: 1.5 Mbps
- Streaming HD video: 4 Mbps
- Multi-player gaming: 4 Mbps
If you use the Internet for streaming, downloading and gaming, you’ll want a higher-speed plan. But if you only browse the Web and check your email now and then, you might not need the fastest speeds.
How many people are on your network?
Online activities aren’t the only things that take up bandwidth – the number of people on your network matters, too.
Multiple people online at the same time take up a lot of bandwidth. So if there are a lot of people in your house – and they’re all online – you’ll need a high-speed Internet service with faster speeds and more support than someone who lives alone.
The number of devices on your network can impact your speed, too. A home with one computer will use a lot less bandwidth than one with several laptops, smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles. If your family gets online on multiple gadgets, you’ll want a faster plan to support your high-speed Internet connection.
Which provider is right for you?
Every high-speed Internet service has pros and cons – and every provider offers different plans and features. Here are some basic guidelines to help you get started:
- Fiber-optic: Fiber is the fastest high-speed Internet service available – so if speed is your number one priority, fiber Internet is for you. Check with providers in your area to see if you can get fiber.
- Cable: Cable is also one of the fastest high-speed wireless Internet providers. If you live in an urban area but don’t have access to fiber, cable is most likely available.
- DSL: DSL is high-speed Internet, but it’s not quite as fast as fiber and cable. If you want home high-speed Internet on a budget, DSL Internet might be right for you.
- Satellite: Satellite is the best choice for high-speed broadband Internet in rural areas. But satellite plans usually have data limits – so satellite isn’t the best choice for unlimited high-speed Internet.
To find out just how long it would take you to do what you love online, check out these Internet speeds in real-time. Contact us for more information!