What should I consider when choosing an ISP?
Thursday, June 11th, 2009
Choosing an Internet service provider
When comparing Internet service providers, you should consider a variety of factors about each potential ISP. Decide which of the following factors are the most important to you before making your final decision.
Monthly cost – Set a budget on how much you want to spend on your Internet service. Cost can range from a few dollars a month for the cheapest dial up service to hundreds of dollars for the top-of-the-line Internet service connection.
Internet speed – For some people who work from home or otherwise spend a lot of time on the Internet, speed is very important. For others who use the Internet rarely, speed may not be an issue. Dial-up is the slowest type of Internet service, while cable and DSL are much faster.
24-hour support – The Internet service provider should have a 24-hour customer service line with technical support. If they don’t, strongly consider another provider. Some companies only offer live support during business hours.
Customer service response – Call the customer service line before you sign up for the service to ask some basic questions. How long did you wait on hold? How do the representatives treat you during the call?
Billing options – Find out if you can pay your bill with automatic monthly deductions from your checking account or credit/debit card. Can you pay and review your bill online? Do they charge extra if you want a paper copy of your bill?
Email addresses – Many providers give their customers a free email address. How many email addresses do you get per account? Do they offer free virus protection or spam blockers?
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