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What to Look for in an Internet Provider: Nine Factors to Consider

Many people need reliable internet but have no idea what to look for in an internet provider. In this post, Telco Solutions, the premier business fiber internet provider, explains what to look for when considering potential services.

1. Availability in Your Area

Before looking at packages, see what’s available in your area. While most providers offer multiple services at competitive prices, they can’t cover the entire country. Normally, services in rural areas are more limited than those in metros.  

2. Internet Speeds

The internet speed is more important than the amount of data in a package. Those who remember the days of dial-up can attest to how long downloads took. To download the average movie with that technology was almost unthinkable because it would have taken too long.

3. Cost and Contract

It’s sometimes difficult to compare offers from different suppliers because the companies vary their packages and add-ons. It is, however, critical when considering what to look for in an internet provider. You need to first determine what your budget can manage and then analyze the contract in depth.

Be sure to read the fine print of very cheap packages because they will likely have strict restrictions.

Also, when considering what to look for in an internet provider, it’s worth thinking about what you need. Are you going to open a few emails and little else? Then you don’t need a very expensive package.

If, on the other hand, you live in a five-person household with everyone surfing the web and streaming content, you need a robust package of data.

Your needs also dictate what internet speed to look for. If you want to watch Netflix, for example, you need enough bandwidth so that the shows don’t buffer endlessly.

Finally, consider the contract terms themselves. Do they lock you in for two years, or can you opt for a month-to-month plan? The latter is usually more expensive but may be worthwhile if you’re taking a provider for a test drive.

4. Data Caps

Data caps are becoming less of a feature as internet connections advance, but some companies still impose limitations. Streaming a movie can easily use up 2 GB of data, making it quite data-intensive. Learn about the caps so the provider doesn’t throttle your service or cut it for overuse.

5. Type of Connection

The next choice to make is the type of connection. There are several available, each with its pros and cons.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

A DSL is one of the most common options and is usually best for those on a limited budget. The plans are typically affordable, but there is a catch. The speeds you can attain depend on how far away your provider’s nearest tower is and how much interference there is between.

The further away the tower, and the more interference there is, the lower your speeds. DSL can also be spotty at times of high demand.


Cable is quicker, as it runs through copper wires rather than digital signals. However, the connection tends to slow down during peak use periods. So, if you and your neighbors are all streaming simultaneously, you’ll all experience delays.


Satellite may be a little pricier and slower than your other choices, but in some rural areas, there is no reliable alternative.

Fiber Optic

Fiber optic cables are the latest advance in internet technology. They’re the fastest method and the most reliable. However, the fiber rollout is incomplete in every area, meaning you may be unable to access it.

Also, you generally pay a premium for this service.


Many rural areas have cell phone towers, meaning you can access relatively quick, reliable internet. The costs may be a little higher, depending on your chosen plan. The upside is that you have connectivity even if you travel.

6. Reliability

Reliability is critical if you don’t want to miss that important email or a season finale. There are few ways to check reliability other than to read reviews or to speak to people in your area.

It’s important to see if there’s a guaranteed up-time and how the provider deals with accidental damage. For example, what if a storm knocks out a tower? Fiber optics are the best option here because they are the most resistant to damage.

7. Security

Your connection’s security is another critical factor. Check the provider's history when it comes to protecting your data.

Have they experienced any breaches, and if so, how are they fixing them? A reputable provider will, at the very least, encrypt your connection to safeguard your private information.

8. Equipment

You need a modem or router to connect to the provider’s network. If you have one, you must check that it suits your needs. It’s pointless to sign up for a high-speed package if your router can’t handle those speeds.

Some companies include a device free with your contract. Otherwise, you can usually purchase them as an add-on.

9. Customer Support

Even if you’re tech-savvy, you must know you can rely on a knowledgeable support team. How does the company support its clients when they have technical difficulties, and does it do so across channels you use?

A company that only offers online support may not work for you if you want to call in. Moreover, online support is only useful if the internet is online.

A reputable company will usually offer a selection of options that include:

  • Instant messaging
  • A telephonic support center
  • An email option
  • App support

Check the customer reviews for the company to get a feel for how good its service is before you lock yourself into a contract.

Contact Our Team

Now that you know what to look for in an internet provider, it’s time to see how a provider should treat you. Telco Solutions rolls out the royal treatment for all our clients, ensuring they get the optimal internet speed for businesses and homeowners.

Call us at (800) 546-9810 to discuss your custom solution.

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With over 75 years of combined experience, the TelcoSolutions team has a wealth of knowledge in the telecom sector. We have seen drastic changes occur throughout this time, and have made it our priority to stay ahead of the curve to be able to offer our clients the right solutions at the best prices. We are able to do this by leveraging the 180 providers in our portfolio to find the correct solution for our individual clients. Customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to us. Through our dedicated account management team, we ensure that the installation, on-boarding, billing, and customer service are all accounted for and run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Our experienced professionals and desire to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction are what set us apart from our competitors.

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While initially focused on the United States, TelcoSolutions has expanded to being able to offer solutions around the world. Our relationships with 180 providers allows us unprecedented access to offer voice, data and cloud solutions globally.

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