Millions of Americans use the internet in one form or another every single day.
We rely on so many different devices not only for our communication, entertainment and shopping, but to perform our work and school duties as well. Because technology has been so deeply woven into our society over the past few decades, it only makes sense that most modern homes are equipped with some sort of internet access, whether using a home router or cellular device.
However, it is also no secret that internet can be expensive. Different internet services providers (ISPs) across the country will charge different rates for various speeds of internet connections, and it is your responsibility to pay them for the level of internet that you want or need. This article will aim to ask the question of how much you should be spending on internet and provide some easy tips for how you can start spending less on it today.
When it comes down to it, not everyone is entirely knowledgeable about their internet and how it works. Unless you are interested in computer science or another data-related field, chances are pretty high that you trusted the ISP of your choice to set everything up for you. This is fine for the most part, but you may be missing out on a few important details that may be less than ideal for your situation.
Related Article: Lowering Your Living Costs
To start, your internet might actually be too good for what you need it to do. Internet speeds, as discussed below, are incredibly important factors to consider that many individuals let go over their heads. In reality, these technical details play a huge role in how much you are paying for internet every month. By learning what kind of internet you need to fulfill your daily tasks, you can take some steps to lower your internet bills accordingly.
If you feel as though you are paying too much for internet service every month, then one of the first things that you should do is get a frame of reference for how much others pay. Efficient price shopping is not limited to products. While usually the biggest fault of an ISP is their potentially poor customer service, some companies aim to take advantage of those who do not know any better and charge them way too much. In order to not let this happen to you, you should:
Then, once you have more information, you can try to haggle with your ISP for a lower price if necessary. Do not be afraid to threaten to leave them, as they will likely want to hold onto your business. This can be a great way to get extra deals when you may not otherwise. You can also see whether or not your ISP is working in conjunction with a phone or TV provider and offer a bundle plan. This can allow you to pay less on each individual service, while still getting multiple media options.
Internet speeds are important but they can be a bit of an enigma to the average internet consumer. Not everyone needs the fastest download speeds for their everyday email and social media needs, but many American internet users do not really know how much faster their internet is than the minimum. On the other hand, those who play in-depth online games or need to run multiple applications at once may need to have faster speeds than they are currently getting. The speed that you will need depends on:
Regardless of your needs, learning from your ISP what you are actually paying for is the first step. Then, you can properly find out whether or not you need to adjust those existing speeds.
Finally, if you would really like to take internet matters into your own hands, then consider making a few technology purchases. Specifically, you can buy your own internet router and modem, as opposed to renting them from your ISP. This will not only prevent you from needing to pay your ISP for rental charges but also you will eventually be saving money once you have had your internet for about a year and still do not need to pay for those extra monthly charges.
Additionally, if you find that dealing with a home router is too much of a hassle or monetary drain, then you can always opt to stick to a mobile internet plan. Many Americans have made the conscious decision to pay their mobile carriers more per month in order to access bigger data plans. Some providers even provide unlimited internet access for a base rate every month.
While there are some obvious limitations to only using cell data, such as the lack of big monitors or printing capabilities, there are also many perks. With a cell phone, you can take your internet and personal information with you at all times, which is a very attractive option for some. No matter what form of internet access you choose, make sure that you are only paying for what you need. By making smart decisions with regards to your ISP, you can lower your monthly payments to a level that comfortably fits your budget.
Related Article: Tips for Saving and Tracking Spending