Finding the best internet service provider to suit your needs can be tough, with so many different ones competing for your business and each offering various phone and broadband deals and options, and making claims about offering the best speed, price and customer service.
One of the first things you should do to check if you are receiving the best ISP possible is to conduct an online broadband speed test. This will allow you to check how fast your connection is compared to other connections in your local area, and make a decision based on this speed.
If you decide you are unhappy with your service, then consider using an independent broadband comparison tool to narrow down the choices to the best providers for your based on price, speed, contract length and even customer satisfaction.
What kind of user are you?
If you are unsure as to what you need from an ISP, ask yourself how you use the internet and tailor your search accordingly.
Make sure you consider what the fastest broadband you need is; you will probably find a home broadband speed of 1 or 2 Mbps is fast enough if you simply want to browse the internet and send emails.
However, if you want to take advantage of more data-intensive tasks, such as downloading films, watching online TV such as BBC iPlayer or online gaming, you need faster speeds.
Many ISPs will put a cap on the amount of internet data you can download and upload. A capped home broadband service may cost less in basic line rent, however if you want to watch TV online, use YouTube, download large files and send large emails, an unlimited broadband deal is a far better option.
For instance, 1GB a month is enough for about two hours of normal surfing a day and around thirty music downloads. However this does not include online TV or video which can increase your broadband usage massively, for instance a film download is typically between 1.5 and 2GB.
Many ISPs will hammer you with extra costs if you go over your limit. Often you will see an extra £2 added to your bill for every GB you go over, so making sure you are covered is financial sense.
Length of contract
Finally, many ISPs will insist that you sign up for a year or even 18 months. Therefore you may be tempted by a one-month contract offer, but be aware that you will usually have to pay for broadband equipment and connection upfront in these instances.
Most importantly remember to do as much research as possible into the best broadband deals, as mentioned previously many providers will sign you up for at least one year, therefore if you choose the wrong deal for you, it may cost you a large sum of money. Instead, take your time and take advantage of all the advice available online to assist you in your decision.