Each and every one of us are on a never-ending quest―and it's not the quest for love. We are talking about finding the perfect, yet cheapest ISP. The next question that quite automatically arises in your mind is, what is ISP?
ISP stands for Internet Service Provider, and is a company that provides Internet connectivity for home and business users. A connection can be of more than one type, it can be the conventional modem dial-up to DSL, or it can be cable modem broadband for T1 or T3 lines.
These days there are Wireless Internet Service Providers or WISPs that offer wireless LAN or broadband connections to users. ISPs are now offering more than just the basic Internet connection; services like email, web hosting, and access to software tools are also routinely offered.
Types of ISPs
To talk about the most common types of service providers would be talking about dial-up, broadband, cable, and satellite. Dial-up is one of the most popular types, because it was one of the first. This type of connection is good when all you use it for is checking mail, as the speed is very slow.
Satellite too, is not the best if what you want is high speed Internet. But it is the best bet when you are in a rural area, and technology is not at its best. Broadband is fast becoming the most popular type. This is because not only is it faster and more efficient, but also because it is more cost-effective.
All that is needed for broadband is a network interface card or Ethernet connection. ADSL is a variation of broadband for home users. It works on a landline connection but at a much faster speed. The price is competitive as compared to broadband and cheaper compared to dial-up.
How to Choose a Cheap ISP
Most ISPs offer different deals depending on the type of usage. There are different deals for business―large and small―and different deals for home users. And as with everything else, there is competition. You need to choose well, and choose something that is inexpensive. Here are three tips to help you out.
Cost of Service
So, the whole point of choosing a cheap ISP is that it should be cheap. You need to find out how much it is going to cost you and whether or not it is cost-effective for you according to your usage.
What most service providers do is increase the advertised price a few months after you have taken the connection. Check for such conditions before finalizing any service provider.
This is one of the most important things while selecting an ISP (apart from cost). Depending on what you are going to use the Internet for, the speed you need will vary. Are you going to be watching movies online or downloading music, or are you ripping books, or just checking emails?
For higher speeds, broadband and satellite connections are suitable; dial-up is slower and best for checking emails. Speed also depends on your computer; older machines cannot support high-speed Internet.
Besides offering Internet service, ISPs also offer different services and features. Free web storage, web hosting, and email accounts are some of the things they offer. But there could be hidden costs involved, so read the fine print carefully. Also look for their customer service; a good ISP should have a good support service.
So, while you are looking for cheap ISPs, do not overlook the speed and overall quality and service they offer.