8 Key Considerations When Choosing a Broadband ISP

By Sam Jones, Guest Staff (For guest posts see Terms ) A number of broadband internet service providers (ISPs) are always trying to get y...

By Sam Jones, Guest Staff (For guest posts see Terms)

A number of broadband internet service providers (ISPs) are always trying to get your business. Do not jump on the latest bandwagon simply because you get attracted to the low price or the impressive marketing claim. Consider several important factors before you decide which ISP to choose.
Here are eight factors to take into account when selecting a broadband internet service provider.
  1. Number of ports. It does not mean that once the telecommunications circuit is in place, you can hammer away and get your online work done. Many ISPs optimize their network performance by blocking certain ports. For example, one ISP may not let you use Telnet. Another ISP will selectively block another port and so on. Read the ISP’s policies to find out if it blocks certain ports and research how that blocked port can affect your overall user experience.
  1. SMTP allowance. Some ISPs reduce unsolicited emails by blocking SMTP ports. For example, the old Ma Bell companies blocked all traffic to mail servers via SMTP port 25 except Ma Bell’s own email traffic. Always check with the ISP if it allows open SMTP port 25 traffic.
  1. Uptime. Your ISP’s circuit must work properly. Otherwise, you will become dependent on backup or redundant services. Uptime commitments are essential and must play a major role when deciding which ISP to pick. What are the details to look for in the service level agreement? There has to be a stated and measurable uptime target and not only a percentage of an operational guarantee. A declared target is better than a 99% guarantee. There also has to be a wording that specifies contingencies when the service fails.
  1. Downstream and upstream speeds. You will most likely get quoted the “best effort” disclaimer when you pointedly ask the ISP about downstream and upstream speeds. The solution: ask other subscribers nearby about their experiences.
  1. Technical support. Depending on your internet needs, you must always factor the availability of an ISP’s technical support. Know how the ISP stacks up against its competitors when it comes to responding to outages. To find out, compare the field response policies of different providers.
  1. Local or national brand. Small and local ISPs are much more likely to provide hands-on technical support than nationally known brands. Although smaller ISPs do not provide as many services for the same price as well-advertised ISPs, the level of support they give to their customers can far outweigh that limitation.
  1. Quality of equipment. Research or ask IT professionals which modems are problematic and which are of high quality. Because the ISP simply deploys or leases the modem that it supports, you may not have a choice over which model to use for your home or your business. Always look at the quality of the ISP’s equipment as one of the deciding factors when choosing among different service providers.
  1. Price. This is usually your key consideration when selecting an ISP. When looking at the price, be sure to compare apples to apples. Weigh the costs of buying equipment or renting one from the ISP. In addition, examine the long-term arrangement and possible penalty fees for canceling the service.
About the author: Sam Jones, the author, has been looking into broadband packages and actually what is broadband to try and make sure he gets the perfect deal.

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Chiprang-Blogging, Technology and Lifestyle Blog: 8 Key Considerations When Choosing a Broadband ISP
8 Key Considerations When Choosing a Broadband ISP
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http://www.chiprang.com/2012/11/8-key-considerations-when-choosing.html
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