Times are certainly changing, and the way we work is also changing. With current events causing shops and businesses to close, many employees are finding that they now must complete their work from home. For those that have only a subpar internet connection, now is the perfect time to find a better provider who can meet your needs and deliver great services without breaking the bank!
Below, we’ve put together a list of what you should look for while shopping around for a new internet service provider (ISP). From the speeds and reliability to price and additional features, we’ve got you covered!
Look for Plans with High-Speed Data
When you’re working from home, you need a high-speed connection no matter what time of day it is. If you already have a particular provider in mind, look first at the speeds offered in each package before making a decision. After all, your normal office will usually have speeds that are sufficient for you to get work done without dealing with lags or slowdowns, and you want to make sure the provider you choose can match that same service you’re used to.
Besides being frustrating to deal with, slow internet also reduces productivity because you’re constantly waiting for pages and documents to load. A high-speed internet connection will help you not only ward off distractions that come from waiting and waiting for things to load, but it will allow you to work even faster because there’s nothing holding you back.
Check Each Plan’s Upload/Download Speeds & Compare
Though most people will never have to go back to the days of dial-up internet, there are still some providers that just aren’t up to par with what the latest technology in internet services can do for you. Keep in mind that there are many different types of internet now, from DSL and cable to satellite and fiber, and every provider (and each of their plans) will offer different speeds.
For working from home, the average download speeds recommended are generally between 20-25 Mbps. This might not seem as fast as what your office internet speeds, but remember – offices need higher speeds because there are many people using at the same time. However, when working from home, you won’t have to deal with others clogging the bandwidth, and therefore will already have a faster connection that makes video conferencing, downloading documents, and completing your daily tasks quicker and easier.
When choosing between two providers, always make sure to compare the upload and download speeds with the price of each plan to get the most bang for your buck.
Learn About Contract Terms and Bundling
Before signing up with a provider, find out either through their online resources or a customer service representative what the terms of their contracts are. Sometimes, a provider can try to slip additional fees into your contract that you may not realize you’re responsible to pay for until that first bill arrives. Educating yourself on their policies will help you a ton in the long run so that you are in the know every step of the way. For example, some providers allow customers to experience their service free for the first 30 days, after which you can cancel if you’re not satisfied, but others have you locked in for 12 months no matter what.
There are also many providers out there that have great bundling packages where you can either mix and match services or choose from one of their existing bundles that may include phone, TV, and/or voice. This can make paying your bill and managing your services a lot easier, and usually, bundles save you money by including other services in your contract.Check Out Any Special Features Included Who doesn’t love perks and fun features?! Though they’re not always a necessity, finding out what else is included in the price besides your basic internet service is important to use in your comparisons with other providers. For example, do they include free installation or 24/7 customer service support at no extra cost in case you run into issues with completing the work you need to do? Are there any data caps that will affect you if you have to work a full 8-hour day from home and then want to relax in the evening with a movie? Finding out where you’ll be sparing costs and where you’ll be incurring costs is important to know about before committing to a provider for 12 months.
Read Customer Service Reviews
Almost everyone today goes straight to reviews when they want to hear the truth about what a company is really like. However, it’s important to keep in mind that most people leaving reviews are upset about something, and therefore we don’t often see reviews left by people who are just satisfied with their service. Reading customer reviews on more than one website is a great way to see what different people are saying and to try and find a good mix of good and bad reviews to compare.
Additionally, listening to your own gut is key – if the majority of what you are reading is negative, call and speak to a customer service representative to experience their customer care for yourself. After all, you want to be able to work during the day from home and then enjoy your favorite means of entertainment at night without running into issues. Speaking directly with a provider can give you the confidence to make a decision that’s right for you and your work-from-home needs.