What to Look for in a High-Speed Internet Provider
November 15, 2023 Category: Residential Services
Today, Canadians have many options for high-speed Internet providers, and settling on one can feel like a big commitment. How will you know if you’re getting the best value for your money? Will the provider you choose meet your needs and the needs of your home or business now and in the future?
In this guide, we give you a step-by-step plan for choosing the right high-speed Internet provider for you.
Figure Out Who Services Your Area
Even nationwide high-speed Internet providers don’t serve every area. In a country like Canada, where there are many rural areas and small communities, your first step in choosing a high-speed Internet provider is to narrow it down to those who operate in your area.
There are a few ways to go about this: you can start by googling “internet providers near me” for the websites of providers. Also, ask around local businesses and residents, especially those who have recently moved there, as they will have done much of this research already. If you are new to the area, your real estate agent can help with a list.
Identify Your Needs
Your choice of a high-speed Internet provider and plan will depend on how you will be using your Internet service. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you identify your needs:
- How many people will be using the high-speed Internet service?
If you live alone or with one other person, your needs will not be the same as if you live in a multigenerational home with several adults and older children. With more people, you will need higher speeds from your provider.
- Will multiple people be using your high-speed Internet service at the same time? Will any of them be using multiple devices simultaneously?
Consider the routines of the day in your home or business. A home with small children who are at school during the day won’t need the same kind of service as a household with several adults who all work from home. Similarly, a business that operates entirely online will need higher speed service than a roadside diner, even with the same number of employees.
- What will you be using your high-speed Internet service for?
Check-in with every person who will be using the service to see what they use it for most. If you are simply checking e-mail and browsing the Internet, you won’t need the kind of speed that you would need in a household with five adult gamers, a software development company or a multimedia studio.
Determine the Optimal Speed for Your High-Speed Internet Service
Internet service speeds are measured in Megabits per second (Mbps) or Gigabits per second (Gbps). Once you figure out how you’ll be using the high-speed Internet service, you can choose an optimal speed, keeping in mind that faster speeds are generally more expensive. Here are some general guidelines you can use to make your choice:
Basic (0-5 Mbps)
- Best for basic tasks such as browsing the Internet, reading e-mails, and engaging on social media.
Moderate (5-25 Mbps)
- Ideal for streaming videos and downloading small files, although you may experience some buffering delays.
Fast (25-100 Mbps)
- Great for HD video streaming, online gaming, downloading large files, and for multiple users or devices.
Very Fast (100-500 Mbps)
- Perfect for heavy usage such as professional gaming and downloading large files instantly.
Ultra-Fast (500 Mbps – 1 Gbps)
- Suitable for homes with many connected devices and users with intensive internet needs.
Superior (1 Gbps and over)
- Competent to handle such resource-intensive and data-heavy uses as sending professional media files, competitive gaming, complex data tasks, and extensive cloud operations.
It can be tempting to sign up for the highest speed available, but remember that while you can always upgrade your service if it’s not meeting your needs, you are unlikely to downgrade it if it’s more than you are actually using.
Compare Prices and Terms
Compare the high-speed Internet providers on your shortlist on these criteria, as well as any others that are important to your specific needs:
- Price, including any additional monthly fees and taxes.
- Installation and setup costs.
- Cost of renting or purchasing equipment, if any.
- Data caps (this may be relevant to households or businesses with heavy usage).
- Cancellation and upgrading fees.
- When and how you can make changes to your service.
- Add-ons such as security software, cloud storage, or smart home integration.
Ask About Future Proofing
Internet service is constantly improving; whether these improvements will make it into your home or business will depend on whether your provider is investing in technology and infrastructure to meet the future needs of its customers. A provider with a good track record of evolving and adapting to change is a good bet, but you can also check their website for press releases about service upgrades in your area.
Evaluate Their Customer Service
If you’ve ever had to take a day off from work waiting for a “real person” to talk to about a problem, you know how important customer service is. To evaluate the high-speed Internet providers on your list, try calling them to see how responsive and thorough they are when you ask them questions. Read online reviews and ask other customers how the company has dealt with problems in the past.
Check on Their Environmental and Social Responsibility Practices
If these issues are important to you, read the company’s value statements. Browse around their website to see what sorts of community initiatives and events they participate in, which environmental and sustainability initiatives they have undertaken, and what causes they support.
Looking for a reliable, responsive and responsible high-speed Internet provider? Execulink Telecom has been supplying Ontario households and businesses with communications services for almost 120 years! We now offer both residential and business high-speed Internet options as well as voice and networking solutions for businesses, television packages, and mobile phone plans for businesses and individual users. Contact us today to talk about our services and service bundles.