Broadband is one of the hottest merchandise in the market today. You will notice it by the presence of many Internet service providers offering various broadband plans at different prices and terms.
If you are looking to subscribe to an Internet connection, you might be confused with the different plans that are available. One the first things you need to do in order to make the right choice is to assess your broadband usage. Doing this can greatly help you to determine the plan that suits your needs. Here are the most important factors you need to consider when choosing a broadband plan:
1. Average Volume of Sent/Received Emails
The frequency and volume of emails that you send and receive can influence your broadband requirement, especially if you’re attaching large files with them.
2. File Download Requirement
The need to download large files on a regular basis also plays a role in your selection of a suitable broadband plan. Large files include music and videos. Be sure to identify what you need from the Internet; it can help you determine the plan that can provide your requirement.
3. Online games
If you are an online games fanatic, you will need a bigger plan to be able to play games without problems with Internet speed. Online games require large volumes of data to download.
4. The Number of Computers that Connect to Your Broadband
The number of people who use your broadband connection simultaneously matters a lot in determining your broadband requirement. Before choosing a plan, you should be able to determine the number of computers that will be hooked up to your connection, as well as the Internet habits of each user. This will greatly affect broadband performance especially if all the users access the web at the same time.
Aside from determining the broadband requirements, there are other important things you need to consider when choosing an Internet scheme. These are:
Speed is one of the primary factors that influence broadband use. Gone are the days when people patiently wait for the Internet to complete its job at lagging speed. Information technology has developed and providers are now able to offer speeds of up to 10 MBPS.
ADSL2+ and some cable broadband are an option you can consider if you’re really a heavy broadband user. It can provide faster downloads than ordinary ADSL connections. Please take not that Mbps here stands for megabits (not megabytes) per second.
Cable broadband is also a good alternative because a lot of them have speeds of up to 10 Mbps. Wireless or mobile broadband are advantageous if you want flexibility and freedom of movement, but they are a bit slower than ADSL and cable types of service.
Download capacity is important in determining a broadband plan especially if you are frequently downloading videos, music and other large files. ADSL is capable of providing great downloading speed, but it tends to be slower in uploading. But this doesn’t have much effect on residential subscribers because they don’t upload much. Cable Internet has the capability to provide good upload and download speed. It is one of the reasons why many business customers prefer this service over ADSL.
Peak and Off Peak Download Allocation
Even though ISPs promote unlimited broadband in their marketing campaigns, many of them set a limit for the amount of downloadable data during peak periods. You shouldn’t get easily carried away by ISPs who claim they are providing unlimited broadband. You have to verify this by asking some of their subscribers you know.
Length of Contract
Most broadband plans are offered with free installation. But it requires you to stick to the plan for at least 12 months before you can terminate the contract. Otherwise, you will be made to pay an early termination fee. It is difficult to switch ISPs when you are still under contract – even if you’re not satisfied with your current provider’s performance. When choosing a provider, you should carefully evaluate the efficiency and reputation of each prospect.
Choosing a broadband plan is just as critical as selecting an Internet Service Provider. When you choose a plan, you should also see to it that it comes from a reliable provider.
About the Author:
Dave Carter is an independent consultant for small businesses. His expertise in consumer electronics is backed by 12 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. He’s a techie who believes that one of the best ways to get the best from broadband services is to compare Internet plans.