Choosing an Internet Service Provider: The Ultimate Guide

As claimed by the American Customer Satisfaction index, broadband providers received very low customer satisfaction in 2015. According to the report, the consumers are consistently unsatisfied with the coverage and price of both fixed and wireless internet. This only makes consumers more confused about which internet service provider is the best.

There are so many internet service providers available today. But are they available in your area? This is just one of the questions that you might ask before choosing an ISP.

So how can you find the best internet service provider out there right now? Let's find out.

Options in Your Area

Check out the web to know which internet service providers are available in your area.

Fiber optics and cable providers are usually available in the city. But in more rural areas, internet services are limited.

Internet Speed

This is the most important thing people look for internet service. But before choosing an internet plan, you should first consider your browsing habits. If you are a heavy user, then you should really get a high-speed connection plan. Faster internet speed usually cost more. But if you only browse and do light video streaming, then you can choose cheaper plans which are slower compared to the faster one.

Types of Connection

Most households get faster download speeds compared to upload speeds. This is called asymmetrical connection. Downloading is when you use the internet to receive content like online gaming, video streaming or just by browsing through Facebook. Uploading refers to when you send files over the internet or do a video call. This setup works for households because most people download content more frequently than they upload.

But if you are a business owner, you might want to choose a symmetrical connection. You will get the same speed for download and upload in this type of connection.

Internet Delivery Method

To make it simple, internet service from a cable company most likely provide the most reliable and fastest speeds. It also cost more compared to internet service from a phone company over DSL. Digital subscriber lines are cheaper than cable, but a little slower. Satellite internet services have the widest coverage, but they are slow and expensive.

Plans & Packages

Now that you know the internet speed you need, and which ISP companies the availability of ISPs in your area, you now need to look for the best deal you can get.

Here are some things that you should take into consideration:

Promotions

Promotions are usually available to new customers. ISP companies often give discounts to their new customers for one whole year. But make sure that you can pay for the full price once the promotional period is over.

Bundles

A lot of cable companies have bundles consisting of television, internet and phone service. But think hard before signing up for these bulk deals because internet providers tend to lock in their customers with more services.

If you don't see yourself using a specific service frequently, then don't sign up for a bundle. You might end up paying more than you should.

Customer Service

You must look for excellent and reliable customer service when you are getting any kind of service. The problem is that it is so hard to find an ISP with good customer service.

If you will use the internet service for business, then this is really essential. You can't say when you're going to experience connection problems. Still, it would be great if you know that once you report it to the customer service, they would take action right away.

Negotiation

If you are low in budget, then you might want to negotiate prices and services with your internet provider. Bundles do not usually get high satisfaction rating from the consumers, but they can still pay off. Consumers who attempt to negotiate with the ISP usually get a new promotional rate, extra TV channels and faster internet speed.

Conclusion

You would probably end up having two or three choices of an internet service provider. It is now up to you to compare and search for their different deals and offers. You must also remember that smaller companies tend to have faster and cheaper internet service since they only provide their service to fewer users compared to big companies.

Top 10 Internet service provider and Internet service provider websites

We ranked the best Internet service provider websites so that you can find what you need.

Last updated: 2023-12-04

Rank

Provider

Description & Features

Site

1

★★★★★

458 Data points

Internet Providers by ZIP Code - Internet service provider
Internet Providers by ZIP Code - Internet service provider
We keep a database of which Internet Service Providers offer service in a particular area. To keep the database simple, we define each area by its ZIP code. So, to show you the internet service packages you can actually buy, we need to know which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer service in your area.

2

★★★★★

424 Data points

High Speed Internet Access Guide
High Speed Internet Access Guide
Main Types Of Home Internet Providers By Zip Code. Your choices for residential broadband are divided into four main types. Usually, cable or DSL will be available, but other options exist in more rural zip codes. Broadband Cable - Compare Internet / TV / Voice packages from major U.S. cable operators to save money on all three types of service.

3

★★★★★

393 Data points

AT&T Internet Service Deals - High Speed Internet Providers
AT&T Internet Service Deals - High Speed Internet Providers
AT&T high-speed internet was rated number one in customer satisfaction over other major cable internet service providers. 2 That means you’ll receive internet service you can depend on to make connections you can count on. You do your thing, and we’ll take care of the network tech.

4

★★★★

364 Data points

Internet service provider - Wikipedia
Internet service provider - Wikipedia
An Internet service provider (ISP) is an organization that provides services for accessing, using, or participating in the Internet. Internet service providers may be organized in various forms, such as commercial, community-owned, non-profit, or otherwise privately owned.

5

★★★★

337 Data points

Broadband Now
Broadband Now
Find all of the internet service providers in your area. Enter your address to quickly see which of the 2,635 internet providers in the US service your area. The easiest place to research, compare, and shop for internet service in your neighborhood.

6

★★★★

312 Data points

The Best Internet Service Providers of 2019 | Reviews.com
The Best Internet Service Providers of 2019 | Reviews.com
The Best Internet Service Providers. The best internet service provider for you depends on which companies are available in your area and how you’ll be using the internet connection. The unfortunate truth of internet providers is that regional monopolies and natural topography prevent providers from being available everywhere.

7

★★★★

289 Data points

EarthLink
EarthLink
EarthLink is a leading Internet Service provider, offering reliable high-speed internet, safe and affordable. No matter the usage or device, we have you covered. Find the service right for you. Earthlink offers all internet services you need, none of the bundles you don’t.

8

★★★

267 Data points

NetZero
NetZero
NetZero, recognized as the pioneer of free internet access in the late 90s, has been providing high quality, low cost internet services for over 20 years. We have helped millions save money every month on the services they use to connect with the people (and content) they love. Let NetZero help you save money, starting today!

9

★★★

248 Data points

High Speed Internet Services Provider Verizon | DSL & Fios®
High Speed Internet Services Provider Verizon | DSL & Fios®
The forms of internet service that meet this criteria include: cable, satellite, wireless, fiber-optic, and DSL internet. However, what people consider to be “high speed internet” is a relative term that is changing rapidly as home internet providers continue to push technological limits and offer previously unheard-of speeds.

10

★★★

229 Data points

Compare Internet Providers by Zip Code | Plans Starting at ...
Compare Internet Providers by Zip Code | Plans Starting at ...
Monthly costs for internet service is likely one of the main things you’ll want to consider when choosing an ISP and plan. If you’re looking for the cheapest internet service, there are a few home internet service providers with plans starting at $30 or less.Starting prices for internet-only plans from other internet providers typically range from $30 to $50/mo.

Internet service provider videos considered

We analyzed 4,422 hours of the most informative Internet service provider videos. These videos stood out the most:

Useful Internet service provider Resources

Sign up for updates

Would you like to stay updated when new and important Internet service provider related information comes out, or when our ranking changes? sign up today and stay in the loop!

Related pages to internet service provider:

As Seen on the Web - A.I powered insights

This comparison site is made up of our own opinions and views. The ranking is determined at our discretion and is not to be used for accuracy purposes. We can provide this service at no charges thanks to a combination of referral fees and advertising income we receive from various publishers and service providers. These payments may affect our rankings and the score we assign to websites, products, and vendors. Our ratings do not imply endorsement of any kind. This website's information, rankings, and vendor list is subject to change without notice at any time.