The quality of your internet service provider (ISP) can have a huge impact on your internet use. Particularly the speed of your connection especially if you are frequently downloading large items such as films. Different types of ISP can also vary greatly in cost. All ISPs will market their services as broadband but this is a generic term and it is worth considering the merits of each of the four main types of connection.
An ISP which offers a DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) connection operates over normal telephone lines. It may not offer the faster download speeds but the speeds are normally consistent. Many users find the download speeds perfectly adequate as they can reach 25 megabits per second but the location of the user can result in slower speeds depending on their distance from the ISP. DSL is often one of the cheapest broadband options as there are a number of ISPs which offer it so it is a competitive market. You should definitely shop around if DSL is your preferred option.
This is often offered as a package deal by ISPs along with TV and telephone services. Considering 120.6 million households in the U.S. watch cable TV (click here for the statistics), this is obviously a popular choice. It operates over cable TV wires and your location has no impact on the quality of service. The main advantage of choosing an ISP that provides cable broadband is the speed which can range from 3 – 100 megabits per second. The only disadvantage is that because a user shares their broadband width with others in their area, the broadband speed can slow dramatically at times of high use such as the evenings.
This is a less common option but you may find it provided by ISPs in rural areas where it is not possible to offer either a DSL connection or cable. It is an expensive option and I would therefore only recommend considering it if you have no other ISP options.
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Fiber Broadband is the most advanced form of internet connection available. It offers the fastest download speeds of all types of broadband. It operates over fibre optic glass tubes and can provide download speeds of up to 300 megabits per second. The only disadvantage is that it may not be available in all areas.
Other Points to Consider
Once you have identified the type of broadband service that you want and have found some suitable ISPs, there are several other points that may help you make your final decision. Some ISPs limit the amount of data that you can download per month. It is also worth checking if your modem will be provided or whether you will have to buy it. Many ISPs will offer extras or incentives to get you to sign a contract but make sure you really want those extras.
A good ISP will provide a reliable internet service with download speeds and data allowances that fully meet your needs at a price that you can afford. So do some research, see what is available and that will help you to choose a good ISP that will meet all your needs.