Are you paying too much for Internet? The more bandwidth, the higher your browsing costs. If you’re not using all that bandwidth, you’re throwing money away. Different bandwidths have different price ranges, and it may make more sense to upgrade or downgrade. In general, you want to upgrade if you’re going over your bandwidth each month and incurring charges, and downgrade if you rarely use all of your bandwidth.
What is Broadband?
Lifehacker recommends you first research the different types of Internet before subscribing. Definitely avoid any dial-up services, as these are too slow and quickly becoming outmoded. The fastest Internet connection services, also known as broadband services, are cable, satellite, DSL, and fiber optic. Basically, broadband is any high-speed Internet connection.
Not all ISPs are Created Equal
If you find your Internet costs to be too high, it may be time to look into another ISP (Internet Service Provider). ISPs aren’t created equal, and some have higher rates for Internet than others. Comparison shopping is absolutely necessary to ensure you’re getting the best price.
ISPs don’t always break down their offerings by bandwidth. The most trustworthy companies are transparent, and give you detailed information about the packages they offer. A great example of this is CenturyLink Internet. On the site http://internetofferstoday.com/, CenturyLink offers a 5-year price lock, but there’s no charge, so you can upgrade, downgrade, or switch ISPs without penalties.
How ISPs Punish Customers for Overusing their Bandwidth Allocation
There’s three ways an ISP may punish you for using more than your bandwidth allocation. They may charge you overage fees (this is common on mobile data plans). They may throttle your services (this is when they slow your speeds significantly). Or, they may charge you surcharges or penalties. Before subscribing to a service, do diligent research to determine how they manage their data caps.
Monitor Your Internet Bandwidth Usage
To avoid extra fees, you’ll want to monitor your Internet bandwidth. There are apps designed to monitor this usage, including GlassWire. GlassWire is a firewall application for Windows, and it’s free for everyone. It monitors your network activity in real-time, as well as it keeps a close watch on your bandwidth usage. If you feel your ISP has made a mistake in regards to your usage, you can use screenshots from this app as proof of your actual usage.
A second location to monitor your usage is on your ISP’s website. Login to your account, and look for a data usage meter, or an area titled “My Usage.” How to Geek reports that there’s a downside to this method because it may not be updated frequently. Outdated information could result in unexpected overages. It’s best to monitor with a third-party application, and compare its results with what your ISP has recorded.
When to Upgrade, Downgrade, or Cancel Your Service
You should upgrade when you need more bandwidth. Lee Hutchinson, a contributor for arstechnica.com, pays extra for business-class broadband in his home. Because he’s frequently online this was the cheapest method for him because it treats him to unblocked ports, static IP addresses, no throttling, additional technical support, and a number extras, including free domain name registrations.
You should downgrade when you’re paying for something and not using it. Monitor your bandwidth usage for a month, and determine if you’re using near the full amount. If not, make the switch to something cheaper.
You should cancel your service if you find your ISP is too costly when compared to similar companies. You should also cancel if you find your ISP has been deceptive or malicious. In these cases, you should also report the ISP to the Better Business Bureau.