If you are in the market for new Internet service, selecting the type of connection is a starting point for comparing providers. Your area may offer DSL, cable or fiber optic Internet. When deciding which type will work best for your needs, consider pricing, the way you use the Internet, convenience of installation and technology.
DSL uses your existing telephone line to provide Internet service without interrupting your phone calls. Users connect a computer modem using your phone port to receive signal. DSL service is faster than a dial-up modem and slower than cable broadband Internet service. Speeds range from 128 Kbps to 3 Mbps. As of the time of publication, prices range from about $15 to $25 a month depending on the plan you select from your provider.
Broadband cable Internet uses a cable line to provide internet service to a cable modem. Broadband speeds are faster than DSL. The average provider offers 5 Mbps to 15 Mbps over the cable line. The price for a lower end broadband service averages about $40 per month, as of the time of publication. Some providers will offer a reduced rate if you subscribe to multiple services. For example, you may qualify for cheaper rates if you have cable TV and broadband service with a single provider.
Fiber-optic cabling delivers the fastest Internet speeds on the market. Speeds range from 12 Mbps to 50 Mbps. Installation of fiber optic cables to your home will be required. The starting price for the average fiber-optic Internet plan is approximately $50 per month, as of the time of publication. Many companies provide competitive package plans for new subscribers and those with multiple services such as phone and Internet.
Choosing Your Service
If you are unsure of which service to choose, consider how you use the Internet. For the light user that surfs the web from time to time, DSL may be a good selection. If you download high-resolution pictures, music, or transfer files on a regular basis, you may want to select a cable broadband service. For those who download movies or do online gaming, fiber-optic Internet would be beneficial.
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