Seekers of the best broadband around have questions, as well they should. After all, finding perfect (i.e. the best) of anything is not something that happens by accident. It is only through methodical searching, thought, and assessment that we can really figure out what the best of anything is, and even then it is all relevant. Therefore, take this best broadband FAQ as a starting point and while we hope it answers all of your questions, we hope it evokes even more and sets you on a collision course with the answers!
Question #1: What Is the Best DSL Broadband Type? Cable, DSL, Fiber, Wireless, or Something Else?
Answer #1: It all really depends on you. Each of these services meets a specific type of needs that different users have. In general DSL is great for gaming due to its wonderful ping times, but that is not to say that it is better for you as a gamer than anything else. Fiber optics are blazing fast, and cable modem technology is not too far. Wireless is great for those on the go, etc.
At the end of the day you are going to need to take a good hard look at where you use the Internet, how you use the Internet, and perhaps even why you use the Internet. Once you have done this reflection, you should be ready to start evaluating the relative strengths and weaknesses of different types of broadband technologies.
Question #2: What Speed is the Best Broadband Speed for Me?
Answer #2: That is another good question, and another one that is literally impossible to answer without looking at your own needs. Look at all the ways you use the Internet both actively and passively to see how much data you use and in which way. Find the worst case scenario and buy the most affordable package that meets your worst case scenario needs unless there are other factors such as the type of modems, modem features, or support considerations involved.
Question #3: Do I Need a WiFi Modem Router Combo?
Answer #3: That is a good question, and again you need to ask yourself how you plan on using your data. You might have an existing WiFi device or plan on buying another WifI device in the future, but most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will not troubleshoot third party devices…at least not for free! You are usually better off periodically upgrading your device and letting the carrier subsidize it for you as you save cables, time, headache, and even electricity in the long run 99.99% of the time.
Question #4: What About Ports on my Modem?
Answer #4: You may be getting tired of hearing this, but yet again this really just depends on you and how you plan on using your broadband connection. If you have 3 wired devices, then you want to look for a modem with at least 3 ports on it, preferably with the fastest modern Ethernet standards. Getting a modem with older ports is sort of pointless, and is usually a good indication that the ISP is not paying close attention to trends and is willing to shoot itself in the foot with a shortsighted gesture like crippling their modems with local network connectivity from yesteryear.
Also note that a number of devices that are currently relying on Ethernet are starting to evolve wireless capabilities. Ethernet may be completely obsolete in a few short years in nearly every situation where data security is not a legal huge issue.
Question #5: When is the Best Time to Buy the Best Broadband Plan?
Answer #5: We are back to the cases of ‘it all depends on you and your needs.’ Sorry! But the truth is that it really does vary. For example, if you need a connection so fast that it does not yet exist, then you need to upgrade every time your provider has something new to offer you. If you need the greatest value, that is still a good time to buy as a new king of the hill drives prices down on lower tiers of service.
Question #6: Can I Save Money on the Best Broadband Around?
Answer #6: Sure you can! You have to know how to shop for the best broadband around though.