Everyone is unique, meaning everyone's needs are also unique. With that being said, there is no one-size-fits-all for home internet options as people using the internet may want different things out of their connection.
HomeLinkd provides a guide to everything you need to know about how to find internet providers and compare broadband deals that are best suited to your needs and lifestyle.
The first step is understanding the types of internet service providers (ISPs) and the technology behind each one. The four main types of broadband providers are:
Satellite broadband is beamed down to your home from a satellite in space, providing internet coverage to even the most rural areas. Satellite providers offer plans that is is usually more expensive than other types of broadband and can be slower, with higher latency (the time it takes for data to travel from your device to the satellite and back).
Cable providers use the same infrastructure as your TV service to offer internet access, providing fast speeds of up to 100Mbps. Cable is widely available, but can be expensive, especially if you live in a rural area where there is only one provider.
Fiber broadband is the fastest and most reliable type of wireless internet connection, with with upload and download speeds of up to 1Gbps. Fiber is not widely available yet, but is gradually being rolled out by providers such as Verizon FiOS. Comcast Xfinity and AT&T U-Verse.
DSL is a type of broadband that uses your existing phone line to deliver internet to your home. DSL speeds can be as fast as fiber, but availability is limited as it depends on the quality of your phone line.
Now that you know the types of broadband providers, it's important to know what you need from your home internet. Below are a few factors to consider when choosing an ISP:
Speed: How fast do you need your internet to be? What should your download and upload speeds look like? If you only use the internet for basic tasks like web browsing and checking email, then a slower speed may suffice. However, if you use the internet for streaming video or gaming, then you'll need a faster connection.It is also important to note tat speeds may vary depending on your location and the internet network you choose.
Data usage: How much data do you plan on using each month? Most broadband plans have a data cap, which is the limit on how much data you can use. If you go over your data limit, you may be charged extra or your speeds may be throttled.
Price: How much are you willing to pay for home internet? Broadband prices can vary depending on the type of connection, speed, and data usage. Some plans will also require you to pay an equipment fee for your router or modem. Make sure to compare plans from different providers to find the best deal.
Contract: Are you willing to sign a contract? Some broadband providers require a contract, while others offer month-to-month plans. Contracts typically last 12 or 24 months and may come with an early termination fee if you cancel before the end of the contract term.
The answer to this question depends on how you use the internet. If you only use the internet for basic tasks, then a lower speed may suffice. However, if you plan on streaming video or gaming, then you'll need faster download speeds.
Below are the minimum speeds recommended for various online activities:
Web browsing and checking email: 1-5 Mbps
Streaming video: 5-10 Mbps for standard definition; 10-25 Mbps for high definition
Online gaming: 10-25 Mbps
Streaming music: 5-10 Mbps
Now that you know what to look for in an ISP, it's time to start comparing the many broadband providers on the market. Use the chart below to compare the top internet providers available in your area and find the best deal for your needs.
Provider Minimum Download Speed Data Cap Price
AT&T 300 Mbps Unlimited $55 per month
Comcast Xfinity 50 Mbps 1 TB $19.99 per month
Verizon FiOS 200 Mbps Unlimited $39.99 per month
Charter Spectrum 60 Mbps Unlimited $49.99 per month
Frontier 9 Mbps 500 GB $45.00 per month
Cox 25 Mbps 1 TB $19.99 per month
Viasat 12 Mbps Unlimited $49.99 per month
HughesNet 25 Mbps 15 GB $64.99 per month
CenturyLink 40 Mbps Unlimited $50.00 per month
EarthLink 12 Mbps 500 GB $55.00 per month
We know that choosing an internet service provider can be a daunting task. There are so many factors to consider, from speed and data usage to price and contract. But don't worry, we're here to help. Here's our top picks of internet plans.
If you're looking for a great value, then AT&T Internet is a great choice. For just $55 per month, you'll get speeds up to 6 Mbps and a data cap of 1 TB. That's enough speed for basic web browsing and email, and the data cap is generous enough for light internet use.
If you want a more amped up package, the provider also offers and unlimited data plan with speeds reaching 500 Mbps for just $65 per month.
Frontier Communications is one of the few providers that offers some of the fastest speeds available. Frontier offers maximum speeds of 2,000 Mbps (2 Gbps) in some areas. That's fast enough for even the most demanding internet users. And best of all, Frontier doesn't have a data cap, so you can use as much data as you want.
For the best overall value, we recommend Comcast Xfinity. Xfinity's Gigabit speed plan offers ultrafast speeds with prices starting from $70 per month, meaning you'll get fast, uninterrupted connection to stream, work from home, transfer large files easily or game online.
For the best customer service, we recommend Verizon FiOS. Verizon is known for its excellent customer service, and FiOS is no exception. If you have any problems with your service, you can be sure that Verizon will be there to help.
Did you know, the cost of internet increases every year?
So, shouldn't you consider saving some extra money by bundling your internet plan with another service, like TV or phone?
Bundling your TV and internet service, for example, can save you a lot of money on your monthly bill, and it's a great way to get all the services you need from one provider.
Some of the best TV and internet bundle deals are:
AT&T Internet + TV: $80 per month for speeds up to 300 Mbps and over 140+ channels.
Comcast Xfinity Internet + TV: $90 per month for speeds up to 2 Gbps and over 260+ channels.
Verizon FiOS Internet + TV: $100 per month for speeds up to 300 Mbps and over 145+ channels.
What is the best time of year to sign up for internet service?
HomeLinkd Tips: The best time of year to sign up for an internet service is during the winter months, when there are fewer people using the internet and providers are more likely to offer discounts and promotions. So, if you're looking to save money on your monthly bill, consider signing up for service.
When it comes to major internet providers in the US, HomeLinkd knows what to look for and how to find the best internet service for your home. We help you find the best deals available in your zip code at the most competitive prices.
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