Ask This When Selecting an Internet Service Provider

In most areas of the country, the options you face when shopping for an Internet Service Provider can be incredibly daunting. You may be bombarded by promotional deals, commercials, billboards, and even advertisements that arrive right to your mailbox, but still not know everything available to you. Here’s what you need to ask when deciding on an ISP to make sure you get the best possible service.


  1. AskThisWhen on June 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    What speed do I really need?

    It’s incredibly easy to just assume that faster is better. However, “faster” typically means “more expensive.” Why spend all that extra money on service you don’t actually need? First, you need to evaluate your internet habits. If all you do is check the internet, read email, and post on Facebook, blazing speeds aren’t a major requirement. But if you stream video or music, upload photos regularly, or download large files, then it’s worth looking into bigger and faster options.

  2. AskThisWhen on June 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Can I save money by bundling my services together?

    Most ISPs are part of larger companies who also provide other services, such as cable TV or home phone. In those cases, companies may offer you a package price if you sign up for multiple services at once. Additionally, if you’re an existing subscriber, you may be able to bundle your current service in with new internet service. For example, if you have cable TV service, your provider may offer a TV and internet bundle for a better price than if you signed up for internet through a different provider.

  3. AskThisWhen on June 22, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    What is the customer service like?

    When you’re buying internet service, you’re paying for much more than the delivery of internet access itself. You’re also paying for the customer service you’ll ultimately need someday. Look into the providers in your area and what their customers think about the service they’ve received. Reliability is important, but also is the ability to get you back up and running if the service goes down, not to mention what they’ll do if your service is out for a long period of time.

  4. AskThisWhen on June 22, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    What hardware options should I look at?

    Every ISP will offer you the ability to lease the necessary equipment in order to receive internet service. Some may even offer advanced equipment that allows for wireless internet in your home. What’s important, however, is knowing what you need in advance and what your options are. Instead of leasing equipment from the provider and paying monthly for the privilege, it may be cheaper to purchase the hardware you need outright from a retail store, including wireless equipment. While it may mean you’ll have to replace the hardware yourself if it fails, it could cost less in the long run.

  5. AskThisWhen on June 22, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    What is the REAL price I’ll be paying?

    Most importantly, you want to get a scope of the actual monthly cost of service through your ISP before you choose a provider. Many companies may offer an initial promotional price plan, but after 6-12 months, the cost suddenly skyrockets! Make sure you understand what your real cost is before you choose an ISP so that you aren’t stuck with them. In turn, this is a good idea to see if promotional pricing requires a long term contract or not, and if it’s worth it to you to take that risk.