Selecting a broadband provider today can be extremely confusing, with a huge amount of providers offering an even greater selection of packages and pricing options. As with most things in life cost is key, however you still need to make sure that what you choose is going to suit your needs. This guide has been put together to help you make the right choice when you are ready to enter the market.
How is Broadband Provided?
Broadband today is delivered using the 3 following connection methods-
• Over a standard telephone line (a copper wire connection)
• A digital TV cable connection (over a copper wire or fiber connection)
• Through a digital satellite service (dish)
Why use a broadband Provider?
Broadband providers deliver a much faster service than a traditional dial up internet connection and they are generally much cheaper to user as the connection they provide is always on, with no costs for the amount of information you download or the time spent downloading..
How fast can providers deliver broadband?
Broadband providers can deliver at speeds of between 1 and 50Mb. In actual download time terms this means and a typical music album can be on your PC in around 1 minute at it’s slowest and just over a second at the full 50Mb speed. If you’re more likely to be downloading movies an average 90 minute film, around 700Mb in size, would take 15 minutes at the 1Mb speed or a blistering 14 seconds at 50Mb.
What speed should I decide upon?
If your a low to medium user, that is you access the internet daily and when you do connect your picking up emails with standard size file attachments or your just web browsing with the odd download then an entry level broadband provider service at the 1Mb-2Mb service speed is going to provide you with a service that is perfectly adequate, even in today’s larger data file size environment. A broadband provider delivering this service would even be able to offer you with a VoIP package deal to enable you to run you telephone calls over the connection at this same time without to much trouble.
If however you’re considered to be a high internet bandwidth user then you will need to consider something a little meatier and faster from a broadband provider. High bandwidth applications in use today include HDTV (streamed to your PC), online multiplayer Internet gaming, Audio (live streaming of high quality sound), Voice (allowing multiple telephone conversations), large data files (downloading films, or other large files such as those for design work, greater than 500 MB). If you fit this category then you should look at a broadband provider that can provide an 8Mb connection speed and above.
Which Broadband Provider?
Once you have decided which category you fall into above the best and fastest way to choose the right broadband provider is by using an online price comparison service, that are too many to list but they are easy to find as the competition is great, simply type in “Broadband Provider Comparison” into your search engine and check the results, try a few sites to see if they give you the same or similar results after you have inputted your information. Most of these sites will just ask you to provide a post or zip code for your address as they use an online checker to make sure broadband is available in your area, and often what speed they can provide at your location as speed is dependant upon how far away you are located from the local telephone or cable exchange (not relevant if you are planning to choose a satellite broadband provider service).
Check also to see if any hidden charges are in the small print as some indeed some may charge connection fees each time you fire up the service, while others put a limit on the amount of information you can download during the period of one month. If you go over the specific limit, then you may have to pay extra or worse, wait for the next month to arrive, though this less common now, thankfully. Check also the cost of the broadband providers support, particularly if you are a beginner. Some companies charge as much as 70p a minute using a premium rate number, which can quickly mount up if you have a problem.
Broadband Providers Summary
Broadband Providers are here to stay, the connections now widely available, very fast, reliable and due to the demand by bandwidth hungry consumers the costs are now very competitive, it you are not yet connected a good time to start looking is right now!