How do I choose the best Internet service provider?

105 pts.
My internet has ticked me off for the last time and I've been thinking of switching providers, but I'm not quite sure where to start. I was hoping you could give advice on how to shop for the best internet service provider and what the difference is between broadband, fiber optics, cable, and satellite.

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You might be limited and very limited. A lot depends on where you live. In my city there is ONE cable provider (Comcast) one Phone company (Verizon DSL only now no Fios yet) and you might get it via satellite but that is more costly than the other options as it’s a last resort for most who live in remote location where neither of the other two are available. There are other providers in other cities but you cannot get their services unless you live in the city where they provide service. It stinks because the cable internet services in the other cities next to mine are considerably cheaper than what I’m paying. 

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  • Subhendu Sen
    That depends on region to region. As you did not mention, you can survey for the same in your local area. Hopefully there are plenty of internet providers and you can consult with some of your friends/people who are using internet service. Now the differences are not so easy to write here as you asked for many. Please look at here, you can get some ideas:
    140,480 pointsBadges:
  • ToddN2000
    Also when it comes to best, best what? Service, price reliability? I had DSL and it was about $20 mo cheaper than my current cable. The main difference is speed. I still had no problems playing online games with the slower DSL connection, the issue I had was the connection would drop randomly. A real pain. So is more reliable but cost is a bit more. So best cost was DSL best service is cable in my experience.
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  • TheRealRaven
    As already implied, there is no "best"; so there's no way to tell you how to choose it. All there is is "best for you", and you're the only one who can determine that.

    You choose the "best for you" ISP the same way you do it for everything else -- by creating your weighted list of requirements and comparing against the features of the choices available to you.

    Hardest of all can be that providers can easily have faulty databases. A very close friend gave me insight into database maintenance for one of the largest U.S.A. service providers. I'd previously mentioned a couple problems I'd had after my last move with getting first phone service and second some form of broad-band Internet service. Some time later, we were discussing issues he was finding in the provider's equipment and routing databases, how difficult it was to keep everything properly sync'ed with geographic data as politics and laws/regulations changed things in many locations across the country.

    I've worked with some of the world's largest companies since the early 1970s, and insights from him made a lot of things much clearer when they were fitted against my past experiences. Big, complex databases are difficult to keep up to date. That can be especially true for databases that were initially developed for a much smaller company a decade or two (or more) earlier.

    The point for that is that you need to gather opinions from others in your local area. Even if we have access to databases that tell us what should be available to you, there's no guarantee that we'd see valid data. Live experience can be counted on with a weighting perhaps equal to your highest priorities, and we can't supply that.
    35,630 pointsBadges:

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