Knowing what you need and who can provide it can save you a lot of money when buying internet for your home and family. 

Most Americans are paying at least $60 a month for their internet. But are they getting the best deal and do they have what they really need?

With some research, you can make the best choice for your internet speeds and save money, too.

Read on to learn the 5 key things you need to do when buying internet services.

1. Know What You Have Already

There’s no point in buying internet if you don’t know what you already have.

One of the simplest ways to check your current service is to do a speed test. You’ll have a good base level to compare with other providers when you start shopping around. There are plenty of speed tests available online.

Also, give some thought to the overall cost of your current service. Think about the customer service you receive from your provider. Make sure you’re comparing what you have with what you hope to get in a way that is fair.

2; What Speed Do You Need

Working out what speed you and your family need when buying internet is the most important step to take. You need to know what bandwidth is and how much you need to make sure you can do all your online activities with ease.

For one user at a time, you’ll need bandwidth no lower than the following guidelines:

  • Email, social media, and web browsing – at least 1 Mbps
  • Online gaming – at least 1-3 Mbps
  • Video chatting – at least 2-4 Mbps
  • Video streaming (standard definition) – at least 3-4 Mbps
  • Video streaming (high definition) – at least 5-8 Mbps
  • Downloading large files – at least 50 Mbps

Of course, those are the minimums, and for one person at a time. The more people using your internet connection and the more high-bandwidth activities they do, the more bandwidth, or speed, you’ll need.

3. Type of Internet Available

Next, you’ll want to check what type of internet is available in your area. You’ll likely have a choice from DSL (internet through a telephone line), internet through your cable provider, internet from a satellite provider, or fiber-optic internet.

DSL is the cheapest but the slowest. Cable and satellite services have higher possible bandwidths but often come with cable or satellite package requirements. Check the availability of fiber internet in my area because it offers the highest bandwidths but isn’t available everywhere.

4. Compare the Competition in Your Area

Do your homework. Find out what internet providers offer services in your area.

What bundles or options does each provider offer? Are there any promotions that offer better internet service for less money for a certain amount of time? What is the customer service like with each provider?

5. Hidden Costs

There are often hidden costs to take into account when buying internet services. You might have to buy or rent a router or modem from the provider. There might be data caps that slow your internet down once you’ve used your monthly quota.

Again, it’s all about doing your homework. The monthly price for internet might not include the up-front costs.

When Buying Internet Services, Do Your Research

When you’re thinking about buying internet services, it’s important to do your research. Check your current speed and work out what you will need in the future. 

Compare the service providers in your area and look at the small print

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