Selecting the ideal broadband service for your home has become a challenging task. There are several factors to keep in mind while making your choice. This simple guide highlights the important issues to consider before you pick a service provider for home broadband.
Choosing a broadband service for home use is no longer a simple matter of calling up the only company in your area and accepting the first plan that fits your budget. There are several factors that go into the decision, and with the diversity of choices available, this can be quite a challenging process.
Upload And Download Speeds
Broadband Internet connection speeds are measured in Megabytes/sec or Mbps. It represents how fast data is moved to and from your computer. Broadband Internet connection speeds are 10 to 1000 times faster than dial-up connections. In an ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscribe) connection, there is a difference between upload and download speeds.
Download speeds are several times faster than for uploads. Since most broadband users are passive consumers who use their connection only to browse the Web, listen to songs, or receive homework assignments through email, the higher download speed makes for a pleasant user experience.
Business users log on to the Internet for video conferencing, or share large data files and software with their clients. Some others use broadband for online interactive learning or dynamic gaming. For these heavy users, slow upload speeds of ADSL connections can be frustrating. Such dynamic Web users should look for connections that allow equally fast upload and download speeds.
Are High Speed Connections Important?
If you are interested in high bandwidth activities, then check broadband speed guides which list the minimum download speeds needed for a good user experience for each type of activity. You should then search for broadband services that provide such speeds. For most other users, all that’s needed is a basic ADSL connection which offers reliable service.
Very high speed connections are great for high definition video streaming or graphic intensive applications and online gaming. For all other activities, high speed connections of 10 Mbps or more will not significantly improve the user experience.
If your household consists of several members using the Internet at the same time from multiple devices, then higher speed connections will meet everyone’s demands and deliver a pleasant browsing experience. There are online guides which help you to rate your bandwidth needs and grade them as basic, medium or heavy usage.
How Latency Affects Certain Types Of Web Activities?
Another factor that will impact your use of broadband is latency. Latency can be described as a time lag or delay in the way packets of data travel back and forth over the wires. If latency is high, some real time applications like video conferencing, online phone calls, and interactive gaming will suffer.
Not all data plans allow unlimited bandwidth. Many providers limit the amount of data you can download or upload per month. This depends on the data plan you choose. If you have a data plan of 250 GB limit per month, you can download around 50 HD movies. Broadband service providers often penalize users who exceed their bandwidth limits. So if you’re a heavy user, opt for a higher data plan.
How To Find Broadband Services In Your Area?
There are online tools which allow you to research and compare the different broadband service providers in your postal code. Urban users can choose from cable broadband, ADSL broadband or wireless broadband connections.
Value For Money
Compare and find plans that provide value for money by way of high speed and reasonable bandwidth allowances at an affordable price. Higher speed connections are expensive, so see if you really need them.
If you switch plans or providers midway through your contract, you might have to pay a sizable cancellation fee. So read the terms and conditions carefully. Some plans may provide free installation, a free modem, and throw in other bonuses, but will lock you into long term contracts with higher monthly charges. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each plan before picking the one which best fits your needs.