What is an Internet Service Provider?
An Internet service provider (ISP) is an organization that provides services for accessing, using, or participating in the internet.
What are Internet Speeds? (Download & Upload)
Internet speeds are typically defined in terms of megabits per second (Mbps) for downloading and uploading data:
- Download speed. The speed at which data, including files, web sites, pictures, music, and movies, is being delivered to you from the Internet
- Upload speed. The speed at which data is traveling from you to the Internet
How much internet speed do I need for streaming?
In general, to stream most videos in standard definition, you’ll need internet speeds of at least 3 Mbps. You need at least 25 Mbps for 4K streaming video on your computer or Ultra HD enabled devices.
For instance, the minimum internet speed recommended for streaming Netflix is 3 Mbps, but recommended speeds vary by the quality you want to view.
- To stream videos in standard definition, at least 3 Mbps is recommended.
- To stream videos in HD, at least 5 Mbps is recommended.
- To stream videos in HDR or 4K, at least 25 Mbps is recommended.
Fiber vs. Cable Internet
There’re two major available internet connections. These are fiber and cable. Fiber and cable internet connections differ in their structure, functionality, reliability, and even speed.
The download speed of cable network ranges from 10 to 1000** megabits per second (Mbps). Its upload speed range is 5 to 50 Mbps. This broadband speed is sufficient for most small-scale businesses and homes.
The cable network speed can accommodate some heavy downloading, video streaming and gaming. However, since it is a shared network, whenever the traffic is high, the network speed is slower. You can expect up to a 25% reduction in speed during peak-use periods.
Fiber-optic internet services is faster compared to the cable network with a speed of not less than 250-1,000 Mbps in both directions. Many people can access the fiber network at the same time without affecting the overall performance. This makes it ideal for high demand use that needs to stay constant, even during peak periods.
** Adjusted article number. Replaced 500 with 1000 as download speeds with cable can actually reach 1000
How can I lower my current ISP bill?
This would mainly apply to the large providers but when you’re getting close to the end of your contract or promo you can expect your monthly bill to go up as they will remove any credits and promos that were applied.
The first step is to know what you want.
- Do you need a bundle? (TV, Internet & Phone)
- If you have TV do you use it in all areas of your home?
- Do you need the top download and upload speeds available?
- Do you have a large number of users and devices in your home actively used?
- Do you intend on downloading and uploading large files on a regular basis?
Next have a look at your options. If you’re just looking for internet you can shop around for prices and then when you go to your current provider you can tell them your options. At this point they know you’re serious and want a better deal.
When ready call up your current ISP and ask for “Retention Services”. From here let them know you want a better deal before your package expires and that you’ve been looking around at your options.
Keep in mind that you can always call back to chat with someone else so if you feel you’re not getting anywhere with an agent just be polite and that you will call back another day. They keep notes of calls so they can see that you’re serious when calling back that you want a better deal or to at least extended a package.
When negotiating a better deal you can use the follow to help adjust prices:
- Internet speeds
- How many receivers you have and need
- TV Packages
- HD or SD Channels
- Do you need a PVR/DVR? (to record)
If looking into just internet and you do not need the fastest speeds out there then have a look at other cable internet providers that can offer big savings for the same service.