Have you moved to a new place recently and are now looking for a new broadband connection? Or perhaps you are unhappy with your ISP and are now looking to switch to a new one. There are many, many kinds of broadband service providers out there offering a vast array of broadband plans. Chances are, the perfect broadband plan for you is out there just waiting to be found. Finding it will, of course, take some work and research, but we think it will be worth your while in the end.
Your location will play a major role in the kind of broadband plans you have access to. In Australia, for example, the major types of broadband you have access to Naked Broadband, ADSL2+ and Mobile broadband – and each type has a distinct set of advantages. If you live in an urban area, you will have access to a greater variety of broadband plans than if you live in a remote area. But at the stage internet technology is at currently, you can probably expect a fast and reliable broadband connection no matter where you are.
If you’re looking for a new broadband plan, here’s a short guide to help you choose the right one:
Get the Right Type of Broadband
Your broadband plan should cater to your needs. ADSl2+ plans, for example, require you to have a phone line to work. This means that you will have to sign up for a phone line as well as the broadband plan at the same time. If you use your phone a lot, this might work out for you. However, if you need are on a budget and want broadband without the phone line, consider mobile broadband or Naked DSL.
Mobile (wireless) broadband is a good choice if you want mobility and want access to internet on the go. Mobile broadband may be slower and have higher latency than a wired connection, however. Mobile broadband, for example, isn’t good for playing online games because of high pings.
Naked DSL may be right for you if you don’t want to pay for a phone and want fast, stable internet. But what if you want to make phone calls? Some Naked DSL providers will let you make phone calls through VOIP. This means you get to make calls, but don’t have to pay a monthly rent for the phone line.
In Australia, iinet provides this kind of Naked DSL service.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider while deciding to opt for a new broadband connection.
How fast do you want your broadband to be? Fixed broadband is almost always faster than mobile broadband. ISPs often have faster plans for business owners because of their greater (more speed) needs. This makes business broadband plans more expensive than home broadband plans.
You can find out how fast your current broadband is by taking a speed test.
Your next consideration should be the amount of data you are going to consume per month. If you are a heavy user (you download lots of movies) or you have a big family, you will need a high volume data plan. The only way to find out how much data you need is by tracking your data usage over a period of months.
Are you going to stay where you are for a long time or will you move a lot? Some ISPs require you to sign a contract for a period of time, while some don’t. Signing up for a contract is usually much cheaper in the long run. Usually, the longer the contract the cheaper it is. If you’re commitment phobic, you may want to stay away from contracts.
How much are you willing to pay per month? Do you have to pay for the modem or will your ISP provide it? Read the fine print carefully and keep an eye out for additional costs, like installation fees.
Contract based plans will help you save money in the long run – you will be surprised at how much you end up saving. Some broadband providers will let you download more at night than during the day, so be on the lookout for that.
The right broadband plan for you may, in fact, even be a combination of fixed broadband and mobile broadband. You can sign up for a high data fixed broadband plan and a low data mobile broadband plan. This will give you the benefits of both types of broadband and you will have a backup connection as well. Of course, only you can decide what the right broadband plan for you is!
Featured image: Sean MacEntee via Flickr