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What to Look for When Choosing a Broadband Provider

By Edited Feb 13, 2014 0 0

There are many different variations to take into consideration when choosing the right broadband deal to suit your particular needs. Rather than go into it unprepared it is much better to understand all of the different aspects rather than commit to a contract and then discover that for example; the connection is not fast enough or the data transfer allowance is too low and you find yourself paying extra for going over. Here we present the key considerations when choosing a new broadband provider.

Broadband Speed and Why it is Important.

Measured in megabits per second (Mbps) the speed of your broadband will dictate what you can do with it. This is particularly important for people who stream TV or films online. If your speed is too slow, viewing pleasure will be constantly disrupted as the programme stutters and buffers data before resuming. It is recommended that for streaming TV online you need at least 3mbps download speed or for HD streaming around 6mbps.

There are a few other reasons why speed is important. If you use VoIP applications for communicating with your friends or holding video conversations, the faster download speed you have the better your experience will be.

One thing to remember is that the speeds quoted by the broadband companies are not the actual speeds you get. Within the speed statement you will normally find two little words; “ up to” which is a fairly indistinct statement about the speeds you will get. In ADSL broadband that is delivered through the telephone network, the further you are away from the exchange, the slower your speed will be. You could ask for an average speed in your area or if you can find someone that already has the service you are considering, speed testing their service will give you some idea.

Data Allowance

Your data transfer allowance is another important aspect when selecting the best broadband package to suit your needs. Many of the more expensive packages have unlimited data transfer but this tends to come at a price. If you do not stream a lot of films or TV online or do a lot of downloading you may find that you can get away with a restricted data transfer allowance at a cheaper price. You need to be careful with this because charges for going over the data transfer allowance will be quite heavy. If you assume for example that downloading or streaming a film is going to take around 2 gigabytes of your allowance this should give you some idea.

Length of Contract.

Contracts usually range from one month up to 18 months. You should be aware that a contract is a mechanism used by the providers to tie you in to a particular service for a length of time. This means that you are precluded from any cheaper deals that come up with the same provider of that can be accessed by switching to a new broadband provider. The contracts will have a financial penalty for early withdrawal. That is not to say that it never pays to leave the contract early and take a cheaper deal but you should do your sums carefully.



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