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In today’s modern, plugged-in world there are few things more important than a good internet connection. There are many different options for broadband plans and ISPs (internet service providers), so how do you choose which is the best option for you?
The value of different plans also depends greatly on your geographical location. This means that when comparing different broadband plans you need to consider not only their terms and features, but also where you live.
Here’s how to compare your options to choose the best broadband plan in your area.
The Differences in Broadband Availability
Not all broadband connections are created equally. Connection speeds vary greatly across the UK, and not just from urban to remote areas. According to the UK Office of Communications, broadband speeds vary greatly between different urban areas, with low speeds and coverage persisting even within some parts of major UK cities.
This means when investigating options and choosing the best broadband plan you, the first step is to consider where you live.
How to Check Broadband Speeds in Your Area
There is a great deal of information online regarding broadband speeds and availability in different areas. Doing some internet research is a great place to start to work out the kind of broadband service you can expect in your location, and the maximum speed you can expect to receive.
You can check the actual speed of your internet on sites like speedtest.net – which is a good way to see how your connection’s actual speed compares to that promised by your ISP, as well as tracking how the speed varies across different times of day. There are also a number of other great sites such as Speedcheck.org, or this one, which allows you to check the various ISPs available in your area and see which offer the fastest broadband speeds.
What to Look For in a Broadband Plan
Before you can start looking at the various options available in terms of broadband plans, you will first need to set your budget. After all, there is no point considering a plan if you simply can’t afford it! There are many different options when it comes to broadband plans, which vary greatly in terms of price.
Before you start talking to ISPs or even spend too much time looking at plans, it is a good idea to have a clear picture of your budget. Consider not only how much you can afford to spend on broadband, but also what is a reasonable cost for the kind of service you want.
The speed of your broadband plan is important, as this will determine how quickly you can navigate pages, download files, and stream video. As mentioned, your geographical location greatly influences the speeds that are available to, but this is also strongly influenced by your ISP and their own infrastructure.
The first thing you will notice when comparing broadband plans is that they advertise a speed range for their services, often in the form of “up to” a certain Mbps (megabites per second). Keep in mind that this figure is the maximum speed allowed on the network, so while this gives an indication, there is no guarantee that you will receive this speed regularly. Dig a little deeper by asking the ISP specific questions about their speeds, and checking customer reviews and feedback.
When comparing internet plans, you have two main choices: a plan with a data usage allowance, or an unlimited broadband package. With set data allowances, once you have exceeded your monthly limit your service will either be suspended or slowed greatly until the next billing cycle starts. Unlimited packages have the obvious benefit of not needing to worry or curtail usage, but tend to be significantly more expensive. Nevertheless, if you need broadband for business, remote work, or like to stream a large amount of video, unlimited is probably the way to go.
The other major factor to consider is connection stability. Having super-fast broadband isn’t much use if the connection is frequently dropping out or suffers regular downtime. When comparing broadband plans, investigate the stability and reliability of their connection. What infrastructure do they have in place to make sure their services are not interrupted? What reputation do they have online, and testimonials from other customers? Companies like M247.com offer services which include firewalls and DDoS Protection which mean you can expect a reliable connection.
Choosing the right broadband plan is an important decision which can make a huge difference to your work and your lifestyle. Make sure you do your research to find the best plan available to meet your needs.