5 Ways to Get Most From Your Internet Service Provider

Are you getting the most from your internet service provider? Most of us couldn’t imagine life without our internet connection and it’s easy to stick with the same internet provider or plan without realizing your connection could be slowing you down or costing you more money than it needs to.

Following a few simple steps could help you get a better connection or pay less for your internet service or even both.
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1. Is your internet provider throttling your speed?

Some internet service providers apply what they call a ‘fair usage’ policy which allows them to control the internet speeds of heavy users so that those who use lots of data get penalised by slower speeds, a process which is known as bandwidth throttling.

Before signing up to a high speed internet service provider check to see if they have a fair usage policy as if you are a heavy data user, such as someone who downloads lots of movies or online games, then it might be worth considering an alternative provider. If you don’t download lots of movies or games and a just a regular internet user than bandwidth throttling won’t be a problem (most providers that do throttle speeds only do so to the top 5% or less of data users).

2. Are you paying for more than you need?

It’s easy to get tempted in to signing up to a really fast internet connection, particularly if you are a gadget lover who always wants the latest and best technology. If you download lots of movies and online games then a faster connection would be beneficial and the extra speed can justify the extra expense.

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However for many people an average speed connection of 4Mbs – 10Mbs will be easily adequate and will be more than enough for watching online video clips on YouTube, emailing, downloading music and other regular internet activity. The same applies to data allowances, there’s no point paying for more data allowance than you need so work out what you need and pick a suitable plan.

3. Have you checked what speeds different ISPs deliver in your area?

Most internet service providers (ISPs), quote a maximum speed though this is rarely what you will achieve, this is particularly true of DSL providers since the further you live from the exchange providing your connection the slower the speed since speeds deteriorate as they travel along copper lines.

Fiber optic services however lose only a very small amount of their speed over distance so these could be a better option if you live a long way from the exchange supplying the connection. Again this is something you can check with the ISP before signing up with them.

4. Are you due an upgrade?

If you signed up to your internet provider more than 2 years ago there’s a good chance that for the same price your provider now has a plan with higher speeds. If you spot a better deal with your provider for the same price as your current plan (even more so if you are out of contract), then it’s worth contracting them to see if they can upgrade you at no additional cost.

5. Could you save by bundling TV, Phone and Internet?

If you pay for phone internet and TV services separately then you might be wasting money. Lots of providers offer two or sometimes three of these services as a bundle which is cheaper than buying all of these services separately. An added advantage is that you only have one bill to pay and one company to contact if you have any problems or technical issues with your TV, phone or internet service.

Guest author Richard Patterson writes on BroadbandExpert.com, which offers information on all types of high speed internet providers and connections including DSL, cable, satellite internet,  3G, 4G, LTE WiMAX and other wireless technologies.

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.