5 Ways to Get A Better Internet Connection
Need a change? Here are 5 tips for switching internet providers.
When it comes to internet service, some think they just have to live with slow speeds, outages, price increases, and data caps. That may be true for some, but 99.9% of people in the US can choose between two or more internet service providers.1 And if the one you have now isn’t doing it for you, here are five tips for ditching spotty internet service.
1. Avoid contracts
Some internet service providers make you agree to keep their services for a set amount of time—usually a year or two—and hit you with an early termination fee (ETF) if you break that deal. Yes, even if the internet service isn’t living up to your expectations.
The best way to avoid that sticky situation is choosing an internet plan without annual contracts. Opting for month-to-month service gives you the freedom to switch whenever, giving you more control over your options if you need to move or just aren’t satisfied with your Wi-Fi.
If all that sounds like a dream, check to see if you can get Google Fiber in your area . In addition to its contract-less plans, this superfast service also offers high speeds, fixed rates (no hidden fees), and unlimited data.
2. Get your new provider to pay off ETFs
If you’re stuck in a contract but still need to switch, find a provider with a program like Spectrum’s contract buyout or T-Mobile’s Zero cost to switch reimbursement—both can help you out with up to $500 toward early termination fees when you sign up for certain internet plans or bundles.
Additionally, Spectrum and T-Mobile are both month-to-month, so you can cancel your internet service at any time without stacking up even more fees.
3. Take advantage of deals, coupons, and promotions
Internet providers want your business, so they offer perks and discounts on internet services to new customers—just to sweeten the deal. Time it right, and you could score free installation, gift cards, equipment, and all sorts of things.
Right now, Optimum and Suddenlink Communications offer new customers a $50–$200 prepaid Visa gift card, up to 12 months of HBO Max, free equipment rental, and free installation when you sign up for a qualifying internet plan.
4. Opt for self-installation
Internet installation fees are sometimes unavoidable, especially if you want a whole new type of internet service (like fiber). But many homes in the US already have the necessary cables to establish service. If you have cable TV lines or a landline phone, you can DIY installation for cable or DSL internet, respectively.
If you don’t have available wired connections to internet networks already, there is another way to avoid installation fees. Services like T-Mobile Home Internet and Verizon 5G Home Internet don’t require cables or satellites or other complicated equipment. When you order service, the provider sends you a gateway, which acts as your signal receiver, modem, and router. You just have to plug it in to set up.
5. Pick great customer service over the lowest prices
Most interactions with your internet provider are unpleasant—they usually arise from issues with speeds, outages, equipment, or billing, which are frustrating enough already. Internet providers as a whole have a bad reputation when it comes to customer support, but some are definitely better than others—and that extra attention to customer service can be invaluable when you’re having internet troubles.
According to our annual customer satisfaction survey, great customer service can make a huge difference. One internet company dedicated to its customer service is EarthLink—it’s been ranked the best internet provider by its customers for the past two years. And even though its speeds and prices often don’t match the value offered by competing providers, Earthlink customers consistently report being more satisfied with their internet services, speeds, and even payments than any other provider.
Author - Rebecca Lee Armstrong
Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.