Choosing your ISP Service

The choices and prices for network service continue to proliferate. Many options are bundled with other services that rely on the same internet connection. Here is some useful information about high-speed service, medium-speed service and budget-level service...

  • High speed cable or fiber optic service (FiOS): Businesses, even small ones, have frequent need for high speed data communications to work with remote business partners or back up their data to remote sites (the cloud).
    • The highest speeds are priced at a premium and usually offer capability that exceeds business usage. They are most useful to businesses that make use of back-up storage or secure storage in the ‘cloud’ or situations where multiple users are streaming high definition video or movies. The high speed requires computers that are capable of handling communications responsively...typically a multiprocessor computer or phone.
    • Speeds go from 35 Mbps up to 100Mbps and are typically faster on downloads than uploads. The upload speeds matter if you expect to make use of data backup and restore services via the ‘cloud’.
    • Since you pay a premium, you may hope that the vendor will be more responsive to handling technical difficulties but that is not always the case. Vendors are more responsive if they believe that your service is part of a business operation and you deal with the vendor’s business service group.
  • Entry level cable or FiOS service: Businesses or home users who are looking for value in communications service should consider entry level cable or FiOS if available. Many conveniences can be had at this level and service is frequently bundled with inexpensive phone service and TV service; however, each of these add-ons can be obtained competitively if you shop around and understand how the vendors work.
    • The entry level service for cable or FiOS is more than capable of providing responsive connections for email, social media and supports streaming video and movies if there is only one or two users. This usage pattern can be comfortably handled by many older or refurbished computers including those designed for Windows XP as well as one or two cell phones operating on wi-fi.
    • Speeds typically run about 10 Mbps download and 2 to 5 Mbps upload.
    • These speeds are required for television or streaming video service and are comfortable for internet browsing and occasional video downloading. The upload speed would be somewhat uncomfortable for data backup services to the ‘cloud’.
  • ’High Speed’ DSL service: Where economy in price is a requirement, DSL service is often a workable solution. This is frequently bundled with basic cable and phone service in bargain TV service provider ads.
    • With or without TV service, the internet speeds are fine for email, social media and a single user who may wish to download TV shows via the internet from time to time. Newer computers will not make this service run faster.
    • Speeds typically run about 4 Mbps download and .5 to 1.5 Mbps upload.
    • Service at this level will still be capable of providing usable wi-fi support for cell phones if they are not heavily data dependent.

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