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What to Look for in Internet Service Providers

Computer and Internet Services

If you are in the market for one of the many available internet service providers, the process of deciding on a single company may seem dizzying. There is a variety of benefits associated with different internet service providers. However, it may be easiest to focus on what you are looking for in an internet service and then find the companies that best meet those expectations. Consider this list of some of the most sought-after aspects of internet service before you choose an internet company.

  • Price. If price is the overwhelming concern, then the cheapest kind of internet service is old-fashioned dial-up. It's slow - even the slowest broadband connection is at least 6 to 7 times faster - but it allows you access to the Internet. Most of the largest internet providers, including AOL, generally offer packages with only dial-up service included. If you want high speed internet but still are concerned about price, DSL plans are usually the cheapest alternative.
  • Speed. For some people, speed is the beginning and end of the discussion for high speed internet. The faster option on the market in 2010 was broadband service through fiber optic cables. Many older neighborhoods may not have access to this new type of technology. Check with the largest broadband cable and DSL companies to see if fiber optic cable is available in your neighborhood. If not, cable broadband generally offers faster downloads than any other type of high speed internet.
  • Bundled services. If, instead of just online access from internet service providers, you are also looking for TV and telephone services, then you need to compare bundled service plans offered by both cable companies and DSL providers. With these packages, you can get high speed internet, cable TV and local and long distance telephone service all at the same time. By subscribing from the same company, you can earn significant discounts. When you check different internet service providers for the prices on their bundles, make sure you don't have an introductory offer that expires in a limited period of time. You may also have to guarantee you'll remain with the company for a year or two in order to receive the special bundle rates.
  • Service anywhere. In some rural or mountainous and generally less populated areas of the country, there are very few internet service providers available. If that's the case where you live, then the main goal is to simply find a provider who offers internet to your home. The best choice in that case likely could be satellite internet. This connection is the most expensive to set up and can be affected by bad weather. But it's the only type of internet service that can reach the most rural areas of the country.

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