The first thing you need to know and understand about home phone and internet packages are the different types available in the market today. When you say “broadband” this pertains to the general description of internet connections which include satellite, cable, fiber optic service and DSL. Now these are for people who have a great need for speed and who wants to be constantly connected. The dial-up is still around and people up to this day pay for them(believe it or not). You don’t want to go with dial up unless there are no other options available. Otherwise, you may want to take advantage of these various broadband connections:
The Cable Broadband
This type of broadband comes from your cable TV provider. It uses coaxial cable TV wires and has download speeds of about 3Mbps to 100Mbps.
You are at an advantage no matter how far you are from your provider, unlike a DSL. It’s also much faster than satellite or DSL and much accessible than your fiber optic broadband. Now, the bad news is that, more often than not, you share your bandwidth with other subscribers in your neighborhood, so that the more people are watching television at the same time, the slower your internet connection will become. Now, that can really be a bummer for Netflix users.
The DSL Connection
Otherwise known as the Digital Subscriber Line, it operates using regular telephone lines in order to deliver download speeds of about 25 megabits/sec. Under DSL you have two types namely the Asymmetric DSL (ADSL) and the Symmetric DSL (SDSL). The ADSL is less expensive than SDSL. It also has faster download than upload speeds. On the other hand, SDSL gives you the same upload and download speeds that is a main considerations for those who need large back up files to the cloud or VPN users.
The good thing about DSL is it’s much cheaper compared with the other broadband options and you have several providers to choose from, something you don’t get with a single fiber optic or cable provider. They also have very consistent and dedicated speeds from their line. The downside however is that it is distant dependent. If you’re miles away from the central office, you will definitely get slower connections. And DSL is relatively slower compared with other broadband types, though they’re definitely much faster than dial ups.
Otherwise known as fiber optic service, this is the latest among all internet connectivity types. It operates using light. They offer high fiber optic speeds of up to 300 Mbps down and 65 Mbps up.
What you will like about this is that it provides you with the highest speeds available against traditional connections like cable and DSL who are still using copper wire. Good as their high speed capability sounds, they are still available in very limited areas.
As the term suggests, it gives you internet feeds through the satellite dishes installed in the homes of the subscribers. Regardless of your location, it can give you speeds of up to 15Mbps down and 3Mbps up. What subscribers love about this is that it can reach areas that cable, DSL and fiber cannot. For a lot of people in the rural areas, this is their best broadband option. The downside? It’s more expensive than the other broadbands, and considerably slower as well.
Other than types of connections, you must also consider bundling factors. There are lots of home phone and internet packages out there that will give you great value for your money. Here are some suggestions on how you can better compare the best ISPs to suit your budget needs.
Speeds when Downloading and Uploading
Some people don’t care how much they are paying for their internet connection as long as they can be provided with the highest speeds available. So make sure you do a direct comparison. Choose plans that are almost identical when it comes to their upload and download speeds. There are many speed test sites you can choose from to help you make a decision. All you have to do is find your location and scroll down its’ ranking on its ISPs by speed index.
All their great features will boil down to nothing if they are not available in your area. So first you must do some careful research on what company do this kind of service in your area. There are many websites out there who let you do this by entering your zip code. You can also look up break downs of different broadband options in DSL reports. They do this by categorization like cheapest broadband, cable providers, residential DSLs cost, ISPs who ranks on top of the list, etc. They also give you the latest peoples’ ratings when it comes to reliability, and cost-effectivity.
So start searching using these sites to make good comparisons as to which ISPs will give you the highest speeds at the lowest price. Then you may want to check out their individual websites to get the nitty gritty details about their packages to further understand the benefits, trade-offs, etc. if you choose to sign up with them.
Check out the Contract and the Price
Compare against a modem you have to rent out or something you will buy for yourself. Some companies will really charge you a fee for installation while other companies willingly do it for free. Some give great discounts when you get bundles of home phone and internet packages. Be careful though, because some only do this for a couple of months and don’t forget to check out the expiration date of the said contract. Others are willing to pay higher so they can avoid contracts that are multi-year. So do some careful thinking first so you can compare wisely.
Their Terms of Service
All providers, no matter how good their offers sound, have certain limitations that you must be aware of. An example of these are data caps which limits you to the monthly data you can consume or maybe you will be prohibited to do certain actions like running a file or web server.
Special and other Value- Added Features
Be careful when looking into these so called “special features”. It seems you’re getting a lot because they’re throwing in a lot of perks and freebies, when actually you’re really paying for them, big time. Some of these are even features you don’t really need, they are simply that- extras.
Again, all their other great features will all be for nothing if you cannot get a good connection when you have to. So for starters, you can actually go around asking your neighbors for some feedback. Or test their speeds without having to leave your seat by using the Net index from Speedtest.net.
Great Customer Service
Now, every now and then, sometimes often you encounter problems and you need somebody to confer with to help you troubleshoot connection problems. So see if they really provide good customer support when you need them the most or they’re just interested in making you sign up then leave you hanging in the air afterwards.
So make sure to do your homework first to get the best home phone and internet packages out there. Happy hunting.
About the Author
Yvonne Hart is a tech blogger from Australia. Her knowledge about consumer technology is backed up by 8 years working as a marketing professional in an I.T. distribution company. She now works as a consultant for compare broadband.