Finding the Best Broadband Internet For You

best broadbandThere are many different types of broadband on the market as well as many different options within each type.  Finding the right broadband to meet your specific needs is not something that happens magically or automatically, and certainly not with the help of a salesperson that is looking out for their own best interests.  Instead, it will come from understanding the options, your needs, and how the two fit together to from the right broadband choice for you.  Let’s get started on the journey towards helping you find the best broadband scenario for your particular needs and wants:

Finding the Best Broadband Starts with Assessing Your Needs

The best way to get what you want starts with finding out what you want.  If you let others tell you what you want, then you are almost certain to get what they want, or give them what they want, but not necessary find out what you want.  You need to sit down and take a look at your own priorities in order to find what kind of broadband offering would best suite you.

Start by drawing up a list of things that you do which use the Internet and what kind of strain they will put on a connection.  You want to consider how much strain your activities will place on your connection, for example YouTube and Netflix are capable of drawing 3-4 Mbps of downstream speed just so that you can instantly stream videos in high definition.  These standards may evolve more as time goes on video quality continues to improve.  Measure your application use, cloud needs, gaming wants, and so on until you have figured out just how much you use the Internet and what is important.  Do not exclude the passive uses of the Internet as well, such as tablets, smartphones, and other devices which may be checking for mail, updating photo libraries, caching YouTube content, and so on.

Now it is time to look at other people that might use that connection too.  Again, remember to count their active and passive uses of the Internet.  You want to sum up everyone’s worst case scenario just to be safe.  Keep in mind that the Internet is constantly evolving and there is a very strong trend towards the utilization of additional bandwidth for tasks we are already doing.  Simply put, web pages are getting more media-centric, video and audio are gaining in fidelity, and games and online applications more demanding of the bandwidth as more bandwidth is becoming available on a regular basis.    On the flip side, buying more than you need by a significant margin is never a bargain, no matter how small the price difference is.  If it is not going to register with your senses, it should never register with your financial sensibilities.

How Important Is Each Broadband Aspect

You want to measure your needs for downstream, upstream, latency, and overall reliability very carefully.  Downstream performance is very important for videos, upstream is strained for those that upload a lot of content and/or have a self-managed cloud in house, latency is what gamers live or die by in online worlds, and reliability is often a key factor for those with business needs and/or concerns, but it ultimately impacts everyone to one degree or another depending on severity.

You may also want to take into account support considerations.  Some companies have very good support options while others do not.  How would you feel about getting someone from another country on the phone when you call support in a panic over a broadband outage?  Would you like to pay more for a support package that offered you everything that you wanted support for.  Never neglect to consider support considerations, especially the support for third party hardware as it relates to Internet connectivity.  That support can be truly priceless, especially as people are adopting wireless devices at an alarming rate.  On the subject of wireless technology and 3rd 0party devices, consider the following as well…

The Value of a Broadband Modem

Most broadband providers offer users a modem either at full price, or more commonly, via subsidies.  Either way, buying a modem from the provider is a gr0eat way to save money in the short run.  Modern broadband modems range from bare minimum devices to very complex networking powerhouses, so consider integration to save money, time, and complexity in the long run.