When it comes to selecting an internet package, there are many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to choose from.
ISPs are the companies which provide you with access to the internet, usually for a fee. The most common ways to connect to an ISP are by using a phone line (dial-up) or broadband connection (cable or DSL).
An ISP can sometimes be referred to as an IAP (Internet Access Provider).
When it comes to shopping around for an ISP, there are a few key things to keep in mind :
Speed - Pay attention to the download speeds, because unless you’re uploading a ton of content, download speeds are what really matters. Also confirm whether this is over a DSL connection or Fibre.
Data Caps - Certain packages provide you with a limited amount of data known as a data cap. Capped data packages usually provide you with an additional fee for any data used outside of the monthly package.
Additional Costs - Read the fine print to find out whether there are any additional fees such as set-up costs, monthly line rental or router cost.
Introductory Deals - Is the price you’re being quoted a “special introductory cost”? If so, how much will the cost increase by after the special is over?
Bundling - If you’re already using a provider for your home or work telephone line, then it might be possible that they offer a combined bundle deal which includes the cost of your monthly telephone rental as well as an internet package. Often these bundle deals are less expensive than purchasing multiple products or services separately.
Customer Support - Find out if they offer comprehensive customer support. Not all ISPs provide 24/7 support or support over weekends and on holidays. Also ask your friends, family and colleagues whether or not their ISP provides good support.
At the end of the day, you need to find an ISP that provides the services you need within your budget.
Some ISPs provide you with a limited time period to try out their services, either at a reduced cost or for free. Use that trial period to help you decide whether or not a specific provider is the correct one for you but always make sure that you do not get charged after the trial period.
Should you decide to sign up with an ISP after the trial period has ended, enquire as to whether or not the cost will pro-rated or whether you’ll be paying the full monthly cost.
Remember that you’re shopping around and that you should never be forced by an ISP to select their services.