If you are struggling to decide on what internet plan to choose for your home, then consider yourself lucky because this article will provide you with the most comprehensive explanation of everything you need to know.
Over the past years, the internet has turned from being a nonessential service into a necessity. It has become impossible for companies, institutions, and individuals to accomplish their tasks without relying on the internet. Now that the pandemic has brought people to study and work from home, many people want to avail internet plans to get through this sudden change in setup.
You are probably tempted to avail the internet plan with the fastest speed and highest capacity heavily advertised by most internet service providers (ISPs), but you should remember that your goal is to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth and that the internet plan you avail is just enough for your required usage.
Internet speed in a nutshell
Anything faster than 25 Mbps is considered an “advanced service” by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). However, given the daily internet usage intensified by frequent use of smart home devices and media streaming, this designated speed is probably closer to the bare minimum.
Consumers also have to bear in mind that fast internet speed is not guaranteed by having high-speed internet plans. Factors that can slow down your internet speed include network congestion, poor router placement, interference from nearby networks, among others.
Knowing the difference between upload and download speeds is also important in considering internet speed. Upload speed pertains to the rate of data transfer from your device to the internet while download speed pertains to the rate of data transfer from the internet to your device.
Most activities performed on your device require more download bandwidth than upload, but it is necessary to consider both. Consequently, most ISPs offer packages with more download speed than upload speed, typically having the ratio of 10 Mbps of download bandwidth per 1 Mbps of upload bandwidth. Following the FCC standard mentioned earlier, most internet plans have download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps.
Know your internet usage
Your internet usage depends on many factors such as the number of devices connected to the network, and the activities performed in said devices. Different devices such as laptops, cellphones, tablets, gaming consoles, smart TVs, and all others connected to the internet require different bandwidths to cover their functions. In addition to this, different activities also require different internet capabilities. The amount of data required to stream videos is different from the amount of data you need to simply send an email or scroll through social media.
In choosing the right internet plan, it is important that you keep track of your internet usage by identifying the devices you use, the activities these devices perform, and how frequently you use them. Keeping tabs on your internet usage will tell you how much internet you really need. With this, you can estimate your average internet usage by referring to the data required to perform each activity.
Data cap: yes or no?
Data cap pertains to the limit (in most cases, monthly) imposed by ISPs on the amount of data you can transfer to and from the internet. Once you go over this limit, you will be charged for the extra amount that you consumed.
Some internet plans do not come with a data cap while others strictly implement them. To figure out which one is more worth it, you can track your household’s data usage through the tools provided by your ISP.
Choosing the right internet plan can be very taxing, but with the right information on hand, you can close a deal that very well fits your needs.