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Cheap High Speed Internet

What to look for in cheap high speed Internet.

High-speed Internet is all around us these days. Although the options are much greater than even just a few short years ago, it still pays to do your homework when shopping for cheap high-speed Internet. Here’s a few tips to pay attention to when looking for high-speed Internet on the cheap side:

Check all providers. While this may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised how many people choose the first provider that comes along claiming to be the cheapest. There are dozens of providers out there these days, many of which many not heavily advertise. Lack of major advertising can be a good thing, however, as they often pass the cost savings on to you.

Check provider reviews. Reputable sites like freelist.com, theispguide.com, and reviews.cnet.com provide a wealth of accurate, up-to-date information about cheap high-speed Internet providers. Sites like CNET even allow you to type in your address or phone number to obtain a listing of providers in your area. Don’t just take the provider’s word for it; see what the professional reviews and other consumers have to say about them as well. Good customer service is a must. You will regret ignoring this fact when your Internet connection goes down when you need it the most.

Check with the BBB. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has long been known for its database of nationwide businesses and any complaints that may have been lodged against them, serving as a background check repository of sorts. In recent years the Internet has made it much easier to check on a company’s reputation. They even have a certification program businesses can participate in as proof of their commitment to customer service. Check out the customer service history for the cheap high-speed Internet providers in your area by navigating to http://www.bbb.org.

Compare offered connections. Not all megabits-per-second are made equal. High-speed Internet providers offering cheap packages using a variety of technologies such as ISDN, DSL, cable, satellite, wi-fi and fiber optic. ISDN is an aging standard, although sometimes it is the only choice offered in some areas. DSL technology is a very common technology used these days that is rapidly becoming available everywhere due to the fact that it works on the same wires your traditional land-line telephone does. Cable is high-speed Internet offered through the same coaxial cable through which you receive cable television. Satellite Internet is transmitted either through a two-way satellite dish or a one-way dish for downloads and a land-line telephone for uploads. While this connection can be quite fast for downloads, the response time for uploads can be annoying, especially for gamers and people who need close to real-time responses. Wi-fi is a more terrestrial approach to cheap, untethered high-speed Internet. Fiber optic is one of the newest players on the block, and by far one of the fastest. While not the cheapest, it is certainly worth looking into if it is available in your area. Cable Internet would be your next best cheap option. DSL tends to be slower the farther you are from the phone company’s main switch, while fiber optic and cable do not degrade in signal quality because of distance. ISDN should be avoided if possible. Satellite is great for those who are located in remote areas and other areas that do not offer traditional wired connections. Wi-fi can be better and more portable than satellite where it is provided, but typically isn’t cheap.

Be aware of speed differences. While all providers tend to advertise a certain about of megabits-per-second in their cheap high-speed Internet packages, rarely are these speeds guaranteed. Often times actual speeds are much lower than claimed, especially on the upload side. Most providers will advertise a high download speed while playing down the fact that their upload speed is but a fraction of what the advertised download speed is. For consumers this generally isn’t a problem, as most tend to download much more than they upload. Business users and hard-core gamers may need to take precautions, however. General web surfing activities can get away with connections as slow as 512kbps or even 256kbps on the download side. People who play online games, download a lot of files, stream media or participate in VoIP calls and remote control sessions will want to aim for the 1 to 4mbps range. If you must choose DSL as your Internet method, talk with the phone company’s technical support team and ask them how far you are located from their main switch to get an idea beforehand what sort of quality you can expect from their DSL connection.

Cheap high-speed Internet is plentiful in most urban regions, and is steadily gaining ground in rural ones as well. There should be plenty of options for you to choose from. Taking the above advice into consideration before diving in will help to insure your web surfing activities on a cheap high-speed Internet connection don’t become painful.

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