Best Home Internet Deals for September 2022
While the availability of home internet has certainly come a long way in the last couple of decades, you might be unaware of whether your current ISP (internet service provider) delivers the best possible speeds and services. Rural areas have been especially hard hit, and while rural broadband initiatives have made notable progress in providing affordable high-speed internet, satellite internet providers are sometimes the only game in town. It is an expensive game at that. Learn more about the best home internet deals and start enjoying better and cheaper internet as soon as possible.
How Do I Determine if my Current Home Internet Service is Worth the Cost?
Before you start shopping around for a new ISP, you should take the time to determine if your current ISP is delivering on the terms of its contractual agreement. If your service plan purportedly guarantees you access to a minimum level of bandwidth, home service visits, a technical support hotline and so on, you should get what you are paying for. While the quality of technical support and home repair services can best be evaluated by the consumer on a case-by-case basis, there are several ways that you can test if your bandwidth reflects the cost of service.
Four statistics are critical to understanding whether your ISP is delivering on its terms of service: Upload Speed, Download Speed, jitter, and ping. Although Upload Speed and Download can be understood as the rate of Mbps (megabits per second) that determines how quickly you can upload or download files, jitter and ping may be a little less familiar. Jitter refers to any disturbances regarding the delivery of data packets on your network and is the ping measured in how long it takes for a signal to be sent and received.
Several free tools are available online to measure your current bandwidth statistics, including fast.com, the Google Fiber Test, Backblaze.com, and many others. If you discover you are getting less bandwidth than you are paying for, you should record or screenshot the data and contact your ISP's customer service department. Given that several class action lawsuits have been filed over various ISPs overpromising and underdelivering on their advertising claims, you should be able to get them to see reason. Should this be unsuccessful, you will at least have concrete data which you can use as a basis of comparison going forward when shopping for cheap internet.
How Do I Save Money on my Current Home Internet Service?
A cheap Wi-Fi setup is relatively easy to purchase and acquire because you do not need much to cover an average home, apartment, or residence. Depending on the devices in question, you can often purchase a Wi-Fi router and an extender for less than the monthly bill for your ISP. If you are currently renting your modem and router from your ISP, it is almost certainly less expensive to purchase a cheap Wi-Fi router or other equipment rather than paying monthly equipment rental fees on top of your existing service charges. It is also highly advisable to take the time and review your monthly internet bill and see if there are any strange or unexpected costs to bring up with customer service.
Although you might be inclined to go with a national ISP when searching for a cheaper internet option, some of the best internet deals available can be found closer to home. Since rural broadband expansion has created hundreds of potential new customers for ISPs to compete for, it may well be worth going with a provider in your local area for both convenience and proximity. In addition, depending on your financial situation, you may also qualify for an internet service subsidy such as the Affordable Connectivity Program, which offers U.S. residents up to $30 per household per month and $70 per household per month for those on Tribal lands.
It is wise also to consider whether bundling your internet, phone, and other services together under a single provider or eliminating unnecessary services is the better option. While some customers interested in cutting cords are perfectly happy with just paying for internet services, some companies offer discounts for bundling services together, giving you the convenience of handling everything through one organization.
Similarly, if you are interested in fully switching to a new ISP, it is well worth shopping around and seeing who is offering the best sales promotion or signup deal to make it worthwhile. For example, many companies provide internet sales, discounts, free subscriptions to popular streaming services, VISA gift cards, free installation for your new cheap Wi-Fi setup, and so on.
It is also worth thinking about whether you really need your current level of bandwidth or if you could get by on a cheaper internet service plan. Unless your lifestyle and occupation lend themselves to requiring the fastest possible internet speeds at any given time, you can probably get away with a cheaper internet deal. It does not take much bandwidth if you just use the internet for online retail shopping or a basic email account. You may find you can save yourself a considerable sum every month.
These methods and techniques will help you ensure you get the best ISP services for the least amount of money possible. Make sure to investigate whether a given earth-bound or satellite ISP provider is capable of servicing your home to avoid disappointment.
*The opinions reflected in this article are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect any official positions or claims by Acer Inc.
About Dan VanPatten: Dan is a full-time technology writer with interests in gaming, gadgetry, and all things PC tech related. He writes about a variety of topics including technology news, product reviews, and software. His experience stems from years of writing & producing content for technology newsletters & publications.