With such a wide range of broadband offers and packages being screamed at you from all angles, it can be hard to know which ones are really what they say they are, and will they be worth it 6 months down the line when the offer is over and you are hooked into a contract?
Here is a helpful buyers guide to helping you choose the broadband package that is right for your household’s needs, and will save you money not only in the short term but in the long run.
The first thing you need to know is what is actually available in your area. Broadband can be delivered to a household via either a phone line or a fibre optic cable line, and which one you will need is dependent on your area. In some areas both will be available to you, but to find this out you need to do an availability test, which can be found here.
What factors affect broadband speeds?
- How close you are to the local telephone exchange – If considering a phone line broadband connection, the closer you are to the local exchange, the faster your broadband speeds will be.
- The amount of people using the internet in your area – If signing a cable broadband connection, the amount of people using cable broadband in your area will affect your speeds.
- The type of modem/router you use and the specifications of your computer – These could affect whether you get the maximum speeds advertised by the internet service provider (ISP) you choose. They should be able to provide a list of specifications and modems/routers that will work best with their broadband.
- Your browsing habits – If you play a lot of online games or download/stream movies and music then you need a higher broadband package to achieve the fastest speeds, whereas if you simply check emails and do online shopping or browsing, a low broadband package will achieve the same speeds for you. The ISP should specify what each of their packages is ideal for.
Bandwidth, Download Limits, and Fair Usage Policies
Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can pass along the broadband connection channel., and this is measured in gigabytes (GB). It refers to general usage as well as downloads, and most ISPs will set monthly limits on the amount of bandwidth you can use on most packages, and but also offer ‘unlimited’ internet packages, which suggests you can have unlimited bandwidth. However in most cases, even the ‘unlimited’ ones come with a ‘fair usage policy’, which means if you go over a certain amount of bandwidth that they class as ‘fair usage’, you will be cut off or charged.
Contract or no contract?
Most ISPs will offer their best deals on their longest contracts, so don’t be drawn in with ‘free for the first 6 months’ because they will make their money back for the next 12-18 months after that as they have you tied into a contract. You need to consider your current living situation, are you likely to stay here for the next 24 months or are you looking to move within the next 6 months?
If you know you are going to be living somewhere and needing constant internet for the next 12-24 months then signing up to a contract would be worth your while, and you could cash in on one of the longer contract offers. But if you aren’t expecting to be living in one place for too long, then some providers offer rolling month to month contracts, meaning you are only ever tied in for one month at a time, so it is easier to cancel and change when you like, although they may cost more per month for the privilege.
So to recap, here are the key points to remember when signing up to a broadband contract:
- What is available in your area? Phone-line/cable/both? If both, which will be faster?
- Does your current computer specs and modem/router allow you to meet the maximum advertised speeds?
- How often do you use it/what for? Does your usage and download habits require a low or high usage package? REMEMBER: ‘Unlimited’ doesn’t always mean unlimited.
- Do you want to be tied into a contract or not?
To find out more about the broadband services on offer from Dove Computer Solutions or to ask more about what broadband is best for you, visit http://dovecomputers.com/home-users/broadbandGoogle+ Author Link