Internet Service - Which is Best For You?
Choosing which broadband high-speed Internet service you have in your home can be rather easy if you simply nail down what providers are available at your particular geographic location and you understand if performance or price is your primary decision criteria. Here are some questions, tips and facts to get you started:
1) Get it from the Cable Company: Do you currently have cable or is it available in your neighborhood (e.g., Comcast, Time Warner Cable®, Cox Communication or Charter, etc..)? If so, it is highly likely that they offer several high-speed internet and options over the same cable that they deliver television programming on.
2) Get it from the Traditional Telephone Company: Using the phone lines that come into your house and connect to your phones, from companies like Verizon, GTE or your smaller telephone company, you can get a service called Digital Subscriber Line service, or DSL. Over the past few years, most providers have upgraded their outside equipment in order to offer DSL to even more rural areas.
If you happen to live in a more populated area where the traditional phone companies have invested in the latest technologies, you may have fiber optic facilities (instead of copper wire) in your neighborhood, in which case that traditional telephone provider may offer the latest in high speed broadband Internet service, like Verizon's FiOS® or AT&T's U-Verse, for instance.
2) Get it from the Cellular Telephone Company : If you have cellular signal at your house, you may have that option for your Internet service. Examples are Verizon 3G Mobile Broadband or AT&T' BroadbandConnect. These services, however, are more geared toward mobile use and therefore are not nearly as affordable or robust for residential, regular use applications as the others listed above.
3) Get it from a Satellite Dish: If you live in a rural area where there is no cable or telephone company to provide the above options, you can still get high-speed broadband service using a satellite service like HughesNet or Wild Blue.
So, if you know what facilities and providers are available in your area, the choices become a little bit easier since some options are ruled out immediately. Typically speaking, if you are interested in the fastest possible speeds as a priority and cost as a secondary, the fiber optic services from Verizon (FiOS®) or AT&T (U-Verse) will be the best. If you do not have that available, but you do have cable high speed broadband in your area that will be the next best. DSL service would be your third choice, and satellite Internet is a last resort when none of the above is available.
If your primary concern is cost, DSL will likely be your best choice when considering a single service -- meaning just broadband Internet on a one-to-one cost comparison. If on the other hand you are able to consider changing your television service (and perhaps, but not necessarily your phone service too), then a bundled offer from the cable or phone company may give you the best overall cost, and therefore the lowest effective cost on the broadband high speed Internet portion as well. See our Television Page for more about that.