It is rare to find a household that does not use the Internet to some extent. While some people may choose to rely only on cellular data service to meet their Internet needs, this is not good enough for most people. This is because the Internet is being used in increasingly large sectors of life. While it was once used for making purchases or sending emails, it is now used for streaming video and television, playing games, making VoIP calls, and much more. Because you cannot expect to live without the internet you should consider what type of internet will be fastest and best for you.
Consider Service Providers in Your Area
Most metropolitan and suburban areas of the United States have a handful of Internet service providers, giving you competitive prices and speeds. Want to know how fast your internet really is? Simply “check my speed” to see if it’s time for an upgrade. Do a quick search for service providers online, and ask your friends and co-workers for recommendations. Keep in mind that while all service providers give you a number for how fast their speeds will be, this often represents maximum speed and may not represent how fast your Internet will be during high-use periods.
Consider Your Options for Internet Service
As you consider providers, also be sure to consider how they provide their Internet. Oftentimes, the fastest speeds are provided over fiber optic cable. However, DSL and regular cable may also have high speeds depending on the time of day and the number of people currently using the Internet in your service area. Be sure to find a provider that gives you the type of Internet that you can install in your home or apartment, particularly if you rent.
Consider How Many People Are Using Your Internet
When choosing internet you must consider how many people will be using your bandwidth. If you have four or more people in your household who regularly use Internet services, you will need significantly more bandwidth than you would if it was just you or your spouse. If you have a home office with bandwidth monitoring, you can measure available bandwidth and use it to maximize speed and eliminate bottlenecks. Additionally, be sure to protect your Internet with a strong password so that people living nearby cannot leach your Internet from you.
Consider How You Will Be Using Your Internet
Finally, consider what you plan on doing with your Internet. If you are just using it to check email or social media, you can probably get away with the slowest speed offered without noticing any difference. However, if you routinely make VoIP calls, stream movies or television, stream or download audio files, play online video games, or download large files, you will need a high-speed service provider, particularly if more than one person at a time is using the Internet in your home.
There are several tools that you can find online to help you check the amount of Internet speed that you already have and to estimate how much you will need. In general, try to choose fiber optic, cable or DSL with high download speed. Be aware that most service providers make it easier for you to switch to a higher speed if you find that your current speed is not good enough.