Did you know that according to a study by the Pew Research Center, broadband internet is now considered a basic necessity in America? In fact, the report found that nearly half of all American adults believe that access to high-speed internet service is essential for participation in modern society. And with good reason: broadband internet has become an integral part of our lives, connecting us with friends and family, allowing us to work from home, and providing us with endless entertainment options.
But not all internet service providers are created equal. So how do you choose the right one for your needs?
That's when you turn to HomeLinkd. We'll help you determine which internet providers (ISPs) are worth your time and money. With so much competition on the market, there are a few factors that set the greats apart: fast speeds, widely available and offer internet service bundles or discounts. In this article, we're looking at broadband, what it is and how to choose the best internet provider for your needs.
The internet in your area might look different (especially if you live in a rural area) so we also touch on how to find local internet available near your home and what to do to get the internet plan you want.
An internet term used widely across the board. Broadband internet, also known as high-speed internet, is defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as an internet connection with a download speed of at least 25 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 3 Mbps. This type of internet connection is typically much faster than what is offered by a standard dial-up connection or even a basic cable internet connection.
There are four main types of broadband internet services available: fiber optic, cable, DSL, and satellite.
Fiber optic internet service is provided by a network of underground cables that use light to transmit data at high speeds. Fiber does just offer fast internet, it offers the fastest internet speeds available, with speeds that can reach up to 1,000 Mbps.
Cable internet service is provided by the same cable TV lines that are used to deliver television programming to your home. Cable internet speeds can range from 50 Mbps to 500 Mbps.
DSL (digital subscriber line) internet service uses your home’s existing copper telephone lines to deliver high-speed internet. DSL speeds can range from 3 Mbps to 100 Mbps.
Satellite internet service uses a satellite dish to connect you to the internet. Satellite internet is available in areas where other broadband options are not, but it is typically slower than other types of broadband internet, with speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 25 Mbps.
A broadband internet connection offers a number of advantages over a dial-up connection, including:
- Faster speeds: With a broadband internet connection, you will be able to browse the web, stream video, and download files much faster than with a dial-up connection.
- Always on: A broadband internet connection is always on, which means you won’t have to wait for it to connect every time you want to use the internet.
- More reliable: A broadband internet connection is more reliable than a dial-up connection, which can be interrupted by weather or phone line problems.
There are a few things you can do to find the best broadband internet deals in your area:
- Start by doing an internet search for “broadband internet providers in my area.” This will give you a list of all the internet service providers that offer service in your area.
- Next, narrow down your list by considering the types of internet services that are available in your area and the speeds that you are looking for.
- Once you have narrowed down your list, contact each internet service provider to inquire about pricing and availability. Be sure to ask about any special deals or promotions that they may be offering.
- Finally, compare the prices and plans of each internet service provider to find the best deal for your needs.
Keep in mind that the cheapest internet plan may not always be the best deal. When comparing internet plans, be sure to consider the speeds that are being offered as well as any additional features or benefits that may be included.
To get started with broadband internet, you will need a few things:
- A modem: this is the device that connects your computer or home network to the internet.
- An internet plan: you will need to sign up for an internet plan with an internet service provider.
- A router (optional): a router allows you to connect multiple devices to the internet and creates a wireless network in your home.
The speed you need for your home internet will depend on how you plan to use it. For general internet use, such as browsing the web and checking email, you will need a minimum download speed of 3 Mbps.
For streaming video, such as from Netflix or Hulu, you will need a minimum download speed of 5 Mbps.
For online gaming, you will need a minimum download speed of 8 Mbps.
And for 4K video streaming, you will need a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps.
To figure out what broadband speeds you need for your home internet, start by thinking about how you plan to use it. Keep in mind that the speeds listed are minimums. For the best internet experience, you should choose an internet plan with speeds that are higher than the minimums listed for your desired activities.
For example, if you plan to use your internet for general web browsing and streaming video, you will need a minimum download speed of 5 Mbps. However, for the best streaming experience, we recommend choosing an internet plan with speeds of 25 Mbps or more.
This is our list of widely available internet providers and their fastest speeds. While internet serviceability can change from town to town (not to mention state to state), providers like these are the most likely to provide internet service in your area as they offer wider coverage.
Remember to always confirm that every internet option is available in your area before you start shopping around to avoid disappointment.
- AT&T U-Verse offers internet speeds up to 1,000 Mbps
- Comcast XFINITY: offers internet speeds up to 500 Mbps
- Cox Communications: offers internet speeds up to 300 Mbps
- Verizon Fios: offers internet speeds up to 500 Mbps
If you live in a rural area, you may have limited internet options. However, there are a few internet service providers that offer broadband internet plans specifically for rural areas.
- HughesNet: offers internet speeds up to 25 Mbps
- ViaSat: offers internet speeds up to 12 Mbps
- CenturyLink: offers internet speeds up to 40 Mbps
If you’re not happy with your current internet service provider or plan, you can switch to a new one. Once you have found a new internet service provider that you’re happy with, the process of switching is relatively simple. First, contact your new internet service provider and sign up for their service.
Then, contact your old internet service provider and cancel your service. They will likely require you to return any equipment that you rented from them, such as a modem or router. Finally, set up your new internet service with your new internet service provider.
If you’re interested in an internet service provider or plan that isn’t available in your area, there are a few things you can do:
- Check if the internet service provider offers coverage in your area: many internet service providers have coverage maps on their websites that you can use to see if they offer service in your area.
- Look for internet service providers that offer roaming plans: some internet service providers offer roaming plans that allow you to use their service in areas where they don’t have coverage.
- Use a mobile hotspot: if you have a mobile device with internet access, you can use it as a hotspot to connect other devices to the internet.
- Get satellite internet: if you live in a rural area, you may be able to get internet service through a satellite dish.
Looking for ISPs in your area is a tough task when you don't even know what you need or a plan may not be available. Hopefully this article has helped you understand what broadband providers are and the available internet options in your area.
From smart homes to remote schools, a good internet speed with a reliable connection is a "need to have" nowadays. There are tons of different home internet options with a variety of speeds available from the top internet providers around the country.
We don't just publish articles about broadband service, we cover every topic internet users might be interested in — like cheap internet options, who has the fastest download and upload speeds, fiber internet plans, the cost of internet service in 2023, and other common internet topics.
If you're interested in internet technology or just have a major internet related question, be sure to visit the HomeLinkd website.
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