How to Choose Your Broadband Internet Service Provider

Broadband internet is fast approaching dial up connection in terms of the medium through which most households in the UK and other developed countries access internet. Whether, it is used to download and sharing music, watching the latest movie trailers, communicating with family and friends via web chat or/ and downloading favourite movies already released. Many of these households would not be able to without broadband, as it has become the focal point of entertainment. Find out here how to get free broadband internet.

There are numerous considerations to make when choosing which service provider that will best fit.

Speed

If you are one who wants to get the best out of your internet service and hate waiting when downloading large music and video files then speed should be your uppermost concern. A fast service that provides up to 8mb/s should allow you to download these files in a flash. A large movie file of around 500MB can be downloaded very quickly. Not all service providers offer up to 8MB just yet. Even if they did there is no guarantee that you will receive these speeds, as it would depend on the distance between you and the nearest exchange.

However, as the unbundling of local loops gathers pace, speeds of that magnitude should become realistic. With faster speed it inevitably means greater bandwidth, which would improve everything from the quality of video that is viewed, and the voice of internet phone calls will be much clearer and smoother thus avoiding any glitches.

Bandwidth

This is another really important factor to be considered because if you download a lot of music and video then you will need a lot of bandwidth that is offered by your service provider. If it is limited then you will soon find you quickly run out of space after downloading a few big files and need to wait until the following month to download again or pay more for extra bandwidth.

A lot of companies out there are often generous with one or the other in terms of speed and bandwidth. Some firms that offer a lot of speed restrict bandwidth, which is fine if you use the internet a lot but do not download much. Other firms have no restrictions as far as bandwidth is concerned but offer much slower speeds, so there is basically a trade off. But you should be able to come across one or two that are quite generous in both departments.

Cost

Since competition in the broadband market is quite fierce, one would assume they would all charge a similar price, but this isn’t the case. Most of the service providers vary either of one of the above components mentioned above, speed or bandwidth and charge a different a price on that basis.

Customer support

This is always a very important aspect to take into consideration when choosing your broadband supplier because there are some companies that on first glance seem reasonably priced but are very inadequate when it comes to customer help. Not only do they provide a very poor email help service but have premium number help lines. To make matters worse, it takes them ages to sort out the problem out by putting you on hold. This is often a deliberate ploy because the phone line acts as an extra source of revenue for the company and hence they offer the service slightly cheaper than rivals to persuade you in taking up their offer. Some companies are more expensive such AOL, but they provide a free help line and are very good with their customer support, usually very responsive and quick to resolve any problems that may arise.

Cable or ADSL

This is quite an important decision because it is likely that whichever option you decide it will affect your telephone. The problem with cable is that not all areas are served yet. Cable broadband is offered directly via a cable that is attached at the back of the modem, whereas the DSL connection receives the signals via a BT supported phone line and connects to the phone socket. You will need a filter (splitter) to enable you to use the phone and internet at the same time. There is a general feeling that cable connection runs more smoothly and there is less interference in the line resulting in efficient speeds.

Length of contract

This may not seem an extremely important decision when signing up for a broadband service but committing to a minimum 12 month contract is not always ideal because ending the contract early results in coughing substantial amount of money because there is often a contract waiving fee as well as the value of the remaining months left of the year contract.