Trying to order new Internet service can often be confusing. What company should you go with? How much bandwidth/speed do you need?
When we were first introduced to the Internet a number of years ago, we had numerous companies to choose from. Choosing the right one was mostly a question of cost because the speed was limited to what your modem was capable of. These days the speed you get is determined more by your needs than anything else. I’ve done quite a bit of moving over the last ten years or so, so I’m going to walk you through my decision-making process when I get to a new home.
Can You Take Your Current Provider with You?
If you’re happy with your current provider, you may not have to change providers when you move unless you really want to. Most Internet service providers (ISPs) will allow your current account to move with you, if they serve your new location. In fact, the “big boys” all have special numbers that customers can a call to arrange the service transfer.
Your Internet service is tied to the modem that the company provided. There’s a combination of letters and numbers that identify your modem to the provider, known as a MAC address. The provider just has to make some software changes concerning the office that your modem reports to and it’ll work in the new location. The main part of the service transfer is noting your new address so they can bill you.
Step 1 in Finding New Internet Service
Now let’s presume that either you’re not happy with your current provider, or they don’t offer service in your new neighborhood. The first thing you need to do is determine what sort of bandwidth you need. The more computers and connected devices in your household, the more bandwidth you’re going to need. If you’ve got kids like I do, they’re going to drive that need even higher. My kids seem to spend most of their time at home on their phones streaming YouTube.
If you have an account with Netflix or another video streaming service, you’re going to need a minimum of three megs of speed. If you plan on watching HD movies, you’re going to need at least five. If you have two televisions that could feasibly be streaming video at the same time, you’re going to need a minimum of ten.
Hand in hand with download speed is upload speed. My work requires that I send many large files to editors every day. This means I need a fairly decent upload speed. If this also describes you, you need to ask the salesperson if the connection is synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous means that the upload and download speeds are the same, whereas asynchronous means that your upload speed is capped around one megabyte no matter what your download speed is.
Step 2 in Finding New Internet Service
Now that you’ve determined what download speed you need, it’s time to move to step two, determining what equipment you need. Some providers will come in and install a modem for you and make sure one computer is able to get online using a wired connection. My current provider came in and installed a wireless modem, making sure I can get online using both the wired and the wireless connections. If you’ve got any wireless devices, you should find a provider that installs a wireless-capable modem and not just a wired modem. If all they install is a wired modem, you’re going to have to go out and by a router and install it. If that’s the case, I’ve written articles for most router manufacturers to help you get it set up and running in no time.
Shop Around for the Best Price
Ok. We now know how much bandwidth you need. We also know whether you need a straight modem or a modem/wireless router combination. The next thing to do is shop around for the best price. Once you determine your budget, it’s time to start looking for providers. We’ve got that covered here at Digital Landing.
Let’s take a hypothetical scenario and say you’re moving to Massachusetts. By reading the linked article, you’ll find a few of the providers that offer Cable TV service, as well as new Internet service. You can also search our site by company name to find ones that offer services in your area. In the hypothetical situation, we find that Atlantic Broadband covers much of Mass. and has a number of affordable packages.