5 Things to Evaluate Before Selecting an Internet Service Provider

Internet Service Provider

People choose to have the internet at home primarily for entertainment purposes. It could be for video streaming, social media, communication, dating, etc. 

Choosing an internet service provider (ISP) may be easy when it’s for your home. But it’s more complex when choosing one for businesses. 

Businesses have to use the internet for different reasons, such as VOIP, email, credit card processing, etc. It’s difficult to imagine a business these days that can function without an internet connection. 

Not all internet service providers may be able to fulfil all your needs though. So, you should do enough research before choosing an internet service provider, whether it’s for home or for work.

1) Availability of the Connection

The availability of the internet depends on the location of your home or business. You may struggle to have an adequate connection in rural areas. 

Generally, there are two types of internet connections to choose from – High Availability and High Speed or Broadband. High Speed or Broadband has cables and DSLs that provide a high-speed connection, but it compromises on quality and reliability. It’s a cheaper alternative. 

On the other hand, High Availability offers a choice of T1s and Fiber Optic connections. T1s are older and less popular, whereas a Fiber Optic connection uses an Ethernet cable or Metro E to provide good connectivity. 

Interruptions in your internet connectivity may occur due to extreme weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances. To minimize the frequent interruptions, you should choose an internet service provider that can offer guaranteed uptime with a Service Level Agreement. 

Also Read: Cyber Security: Better Information Helps to Decrease Risk, Reduce Employee Stress

2) Speed of the Internet Service Provider

For home use, high-speed internet is necessary to ensure that there’s no interruption in video streaming, home-based work, and social media usage. For businesses, it’s even more vital. Sometimes demand may rise and your internet service provider should be able to handle the load. 

Bandwidth defines the speed of your internet connection. The bandwidth may be as low as three to six megabytes per second on a DSL connection in rural areas. On the other hand, other areas in the city may get 1,000 Megabytes per second. 

The higher the megabytes per second, the faster your internet connectivity. Some ISPs may claim to provide anything between 100 and 1,000 megabytes per second. Checking with your neighbours will confirm the truth. 

3) Cost Based on Speed

You want to select an internet service provider that has a good balance between the speed of the internet and the monthly cost. Although the cost will be pretty similar for all providers, you have to look into the speed and cost structure of different ISP companies in your specific area. 

When you’re running a small business, you may not be willing to spend too much on the internet. You’re just looking for an internet connection that’s reliable, available and fast. 

On the contrary, large businesses have to spend a lot to ensure their staff has access to high-speed internet during working hours. Interruptions may be costly.

If you’re unsure about which ISP to choose from in your area, take advice from your neighbours and friends in the area. A quick search on Google may also be helpful. 

4) Cybersecurity

You need to feel secure when you’re browsing and working on the internet, whether it’s at home or at work. When you’re connected to the internet, you’re dealing with private information that you don’t want to be accessible to the public. 

Some people may have malicious intentions. Hackers can compromise your privacy by hitting you with a virus or malware that may cause a crash, or steal confidential information from your desktop. 

To prevent this, you should encrypt your internet connection for safety. Find out as much as you can about encryption, and also ask your ISP for information about the system they have in place for your privacy. Also, you need to Know some technical controls which can reduce cybersecurity risks.

5) Reliability of the ISP

The internet service provider that you choose must be able to provide a high-speed, secure wireless connection to your household and business. Additionally, the ISP must prove its reliability during downtime and network errors. 

You don’t want to continue to pay an ISP company that continually faces network failures and connection interruptions. It’s not good for your business and not for your budget either. 

The Service Level Agreement is a contract with proof of the reliability of the internet connection. However, connection failures are bound to occur sometimes. In that case, the ISP can prove how reliable it is through their customer service. 

How fast the company fixes connection failures says a lot about their competency. Businesses can’t run without an internet connection because they have to meet deadlines. 

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that the internet is an essential part of our daily lives. So, choose a provider that’s cost-efficient and hassle-free. Don’t get distracted by various offers and be sure to read the fine print before making a commitment. 

Happy surfing!

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