Finding the best broadband deals is hard work. As you go through every provider’s website, each phrases their deals in the most appealing way possible. It is hard to know exactly what it is you are buying or to make a meaningful comparison between them. Then there is always the possibility that you will forget a provider while manually searching and miss out on a range of potential deals.
The best thing you can do is use a comparison site which will bring all the information into one place. This way, instead of the same information being presented in lots of different ways you can make direct comparisons and make informed decisions. You want to get the best deal you can which means getting the lowest price while maximising each of the following categories.
Download and Upload Speeds
Download speeds determine almost every aspect of your Internet experience. From the speeds at which web pages load to your ability to stream video on websites like YouTube or Netflix. When it comes to downloads, higher speeds are always better. For most people, high-speed broadband is good enough but where possible fibre optic provides even better services.
Upload speed is less important than download speed but cannot be ignored entirely. Your upload speed determines your ability to do things like share photos and video online through social media. Upload speeds also factor into your latency which determines the lag you receive when doing anything and is particularly important for people like gamers.
Data limits play a large part in determining your monthly fees for any broadband package. The lower the limit is, the less you have to pay. However, you need to make sure that you always have enough data for your monthly usage. Running out of data and being forced to go over the limit is a good way to be hit by unexpected bills.
If you are unsure what your monthly data usage is, always err on the side of caution. If you stream video on services like Netflix or occasionally download video games it is likely that you would require unlimited data every month. The good news is that many providers have packages that include unlimited data for a reasonable price.
As mentioned, latency or “ping” is the time it takes for any action you take online to have an effect. As such, lower latency is always better. Really low latency is only important for activities that require immediate responses like online gaming. However, even everyday browsing becomes an exercise in frustration if every click is followed by a significant delay so it is always better to opt for the lowest latency possible within your budget.
This is the least important factor when choosing a new internet package. Your equipment and in particular the router is responsible for taking the download speed, upload speed and latency you are paying for and making them available to your devices. This means a low-quality router causes you to receive a worse service than you are paying for. The best way to check the quality of the equipment you will be receiving is to check the reviews.
However, routers can easily be swapped out. There is nothing preventing you from purchasing a better router elsewhere and replacing your standard, low-quality one with it. This way you can take advantage of a cheap broadband deal without losing any of the service quality to your equipment.