Cable, video streaming and internet providers are numerous and, depending on the area you live within, you may have several service options available to you.
Therefore, it is important to learn more about the types of services that you may be able to get within your home as well as common terminology, such as DSL, cable broadband and fiber optic.
If you are searching for cheap internet or cable, then it is worth taking the time to learn about the ways that you can cut down on the price of your service, such as through shopping around, bundles, contracts or reducing the bells and whistles included with your service plan. For example, most cable service providers charge a fee for each cable box within your home, which can quickly add up.
Learn About Finding and Selecting Available Internet Providers
If you are wondering, “What internet providers are in my area?” then you can use websites to determine your options for service while learning more about the type of services that will be most beneficial to you. Once you have selected a provider, you will need to set up services through that provider.
Depending on the type of service that you will be receiving, you may need to have a technician visit your home. In some cases, technician fees may be waived for new service or with a qualifying contract. However, it is worth asking potential providers whether or not you can expect any startup costs before enrolling for service.
How to Choose Between Internet Providers
If you are searching for the best internet provider, then it is important to learn more about the type of services that you may be able to obtain for your home as well as common terminology. Most, if not all, of the providers within your area probably offer “broadband services”. Broadband services is an umbrella type term that covers most types of internet connections.
Cheap internet can exist in nearly any broadband service, but it is still important to learn about the types of internet services within the broadband umbrella. The service that you will benefit from most will depend on what you use the internet for and the number of devices you will have connected to the internet at any given time.
If you are offered a “broadband” service, then be sure to ask defining questions in order to determine the type of service that the company is actually offering you. The internet providers in your area may offer services such as:
- Digital Subscriber Line (DSL). If you are looking for cheap internet, then DSL often costs less in comparison to other broadband options. DSL internet utilizes a telephone line to deliver internet to a home. Speeds can be as fast as a download speed of 25 megabits per second (Mbps), however, some forms of DSL are incapable of delivering high upload speeds alongside download speeds, which can be a drawback for gamers, those who regularly backup large files and VPN users. The largest disadvantage of DSL is that the level of service (and internet speed) that you receive will depend on how far your home is from the provider’s central office. Not only does distance affect your internet speed but also the reliability of the service you will receive.
- Cable broadband. Cable television providers that also offer internet services generally will provide cable broadband services. Cable broadband is delivered to a home using a coaxial cable and offers download speeds between three and 100 Mbps. Cable broadband is a common and reliable choice for most homes, as it is often faster than a DSL or satellite connection and it is currently more readily available compared to fiber optic broadband services. However, with cable broadband, the bandwidth that may be available to you will be shared with others within your neighborhood. Therefore, you will likely experience slower or unreliable service during peak internet use times within your neighborhood.
- Satellite internet providers can offer internet services to areas that may not otherwise have many (or any) other internet service options. No matter where you are, satellite services can generally reach up to 15 Mbps download speeds. However, this form of service is often far more expensive and slower than other broadband options. Additionally, the weather has a significant impact on service reliability.
- Fiber optic services. Fiber Optic services offer high speed internet that other forms of broadband cannot compete with. Operated over an optical network using light, this type of internet service can offer speeds that are faster than any other type of service as well as a greater amount of reliability. However, fiber optic services are only available in limited areas and are not offered by every provider. These services can also be more expensive in comparison to broadband services.
To find the best internet provider, you will likely need to shop around and review the providers that offer internet services within your area. Before signing up for internet services, it is also important to determine the level of internet speed that you will likely need. The higher the speed, the higher the cost of your services.
When searching for cheap internet, you may be able to reduce costs by bundling other services, such as cable services, with the same company. Where available, a contract may reduce the price of your internet for a set period of time — typically one to two years.
How to Choose a Cable Services Provider
Cable services are, fortunately, not as complex as internet services. However, it is still important to take the time to research the cable suppliers within your area and compose a list of channels that you would like or need to be included within your package, the number of TVs within your home that you would like to have access to cable and the cost range that you are looking to stay within.
Cable TV is often presented through numerous “packages” that are each associated with a price range. Each “package” offers a set amount of TV channels with the higher levels of packages offering more channels and, in some cases, premium channels that you would normally need to pay an additional fee for, such as Starz, HBO or Showtime.
However, despite the hundreds of channels that you will see in various packages, a 2016 report showed that American adults receive 205 channels through a cable supplier on average but only watch about 20 of the channels that they receive. Therefore, it is important to determine which channels you want to be included in your package and double check to make sure that one channel is not costing you a significant amount of money to be in a higher package.
Cable companies often include additional fees for several services or equipment that you are utilizing within your home. For example, each cable box that you receive from your provider is a “rental” and you are likely paying a fee for each one every month. If your cable box has additional features such as DVR recording, then you may be paying an additional fee.
When reviewing cable providers within your area, it is crucial that you shop around and review each offer carefully in order to save money on the services that you receive. You may also be able to obtain discounts on your service as a new customer, by bundling services or by enrolling in a contract.
How to Choose Video Streaming Services
If you are tired of TV service providers and you are looking for a way to reduce your overall monthly household costs, then you may benefit from video streaming. Video streaming services offer consumers an effective way to “cut the cord” and drop cable altogether by providing an abundance of TV shows and movies that can be streamed through an internet connection.
Some streaming services even offer live TV options and, in recent years, premium TV channels such as HBO have offered standalone streaming, further reducing the need for cable. Therefore, it is worth taking the time to review the many different service providers available to you.
If you would like to stream movies or TV, then it is important to determine the type of content that you want to watch and find a service that offers that type of content. Some services such as Netflix offer an abundance of content while other providers such as DC Universe offer a limited type of content. By doing your research ahead of time, you can find a provider that offers the type of content that you like to watch while staying within your desired budget.