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Rate Your Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

Things To Consider

Reliability

The type of technology and ISP you choose will determine how reliable your service will be. Most broadband technologies rarely see downtime once deployed, but that doesn't mean they never have issues. DSL connections are subject to interrupted service at a higher rate than cable, and satellite options are among the least reliable internet signals available to consumers. Just as with connection speeds, you will pay higher prices for more reliable services.

Pricing

The general rule of thumb when it comes to ISP pricing is the faster and more reliable the service is, the more expensive it will be. Users requiring higher bandwidth for streaming content or gaming usually look for cable or fiber optic services, but will pay considerably more for those options. Consumers looking to simply access the internet for information or basic tasks, such as email and web browsing, can find very affordable plans using DSL or satellite, but access speeds and uptime are significantly reduced compared to cable and fiber optic offerings.

Customer Service And Support

When choosing an ISP, it is not so much how often your service fails, but how your provider handles that failure; this is perhaps one of the most important factors when considering an internet service provider. Friendly support and speedy remediation go a long way with anyone who is victim of a service interruption, and no ISP is innocent of these types of occurrences. While some companies offer excellent customer service, some miss the mark on key considerations like convenience, response time and professionalism.

Derek Forrest
Derek Forrest is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes hardware news and reviews gaming desktops and laptops.