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Choosing an ISP

Posted By On July 28, 2006 @ 10:47 AM In Uncategorized | No Comments

Q:
I’m thinking about changing my ISP, but I want to make sure I find one that is reliable and can meet all my needs. What are some things I should look for?

A:
Choosing an Web site [1] you can check out to do that.

Another thing you’ll want to ask when looking for an ISP is their modem to customer ratio. If one has a lot of customers, but few modems, you’ll run into trouble that way too. Also, make sure you find out if the ISP is directly linked to the Internet’s backbone, because if they’re not, you’ll have to deal with router switches, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask all of these questions. It’s your money and you need to be happy with your choice in the end.

Next, ask about the ISP’s speed reputation. There’s actually a site you can visit to do a little homework on that before you call any companies. Go here (a CNET Web site), enter in your area code and the type of Internet connection you’re looking for (cable, DSL, dial-up, etc.) and you will get a bandwidth reading in mere seconds. It will give you the scoop on typical download speeds of the ISP as well. You can then compare the ISPs available for your local area and narrow your choices down to the one you think will be best for you.

One last thing you can do to choose an ISP is listen to word of mouth. I’m sure several people in your neighborhood have an Internet connection, so talk to them and see who they use. Just listen around and I’m sure you’ll hear some pros and cons of the different providers in your area. Ask your friends certain questions like: are you satisfied with your provider, how long have you been with them, how often is the service unavailable, are there extra access numbers, how is the ISP’s technical support, etc?

Asking the right questions and doing a little research will help you find the ISP that will meet all of your needs and make your Internet experience so much better!

~ Erin


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[1] Web site: http://search.bbb.org/