Four Red Flags to Look for When Shopping for Home Internet

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Four Red Flags to Look for When Shopping for Home Internet

Home internet service is no longer just an afterthought. It's just as essential as any other utility, like power or water service.

The internet provides endless sources of entertainment, news, productivity, and connection to friends and loved ones worldwide, so it just might be the most important feature of your home for some family members!

Many communities have multiple home internet service providers to choose from, and you may even receive regular ads in your mailbox or see them on billboards across town.

But with all the various companies and their marketing materials, technical jargon, and incessant statistics about internet speeds and prices, it can be confusing to know how to choose the best home internet service.

At Kaptel, we understand that choosing internet service can be frustrating. We try to provide straightforward, clear information so you can make the right choice for you and your family.

To assist you, we’ve put together a list of four “red flags” to look out for when shopping for home internet. By conducting some research and performing your due diligence, you should be able to find internet service that suits your family’s needs.

Red Flag #1: No Upload Speeds Listed

While internet service providers’ download speeds appear exceedingly fast in their internet ads, you’ll often see no information about their upload speeds.
Despite its importance to home internet service, many ISPs treat upload speed as an afterthought.

Good upload speeds are essential for transmitting data from your devices to other servers. This includes tasks like email, gaming, or online video conference calling.
Poor upload speeds are almost always to blame if you’ve ever been frustrated by frozen screens during online video conferences on Zoom or Skype.

And many ISPs (especially larger national companies) do not prioritize strong upload speeds and don’t advertise their slower upload speeds, either.
So when you’re conducting your research, be sure to check out the upload speeds as well as download speeds. And remember that fiber-based ISPs provide much faster upload speeds due to fiber’s higher bandwidth. 

Red Flag #2: Data Caps and Limits

 No matter how much an ISP brags and boasts about its internet download speeds, check if its plans include a data cap. A data cap is an overall limit on internet usage, set explicitly by your ISP. Because some ISPs utilize older technology, which has less bandwidth to spread among their customers, data caps are set and enforced to ensure that no single customer gets too much data per month. This can lead to the dreaded slowdowns some customers experience toward the end of the month.

To avoid this problem, select an ISP that employs faster internet with higher bandwidth, like fiber. But whatever you do, check to see if the provider has data caps—and if they do, look for a different provider!

Red Flag #3: Bait-and-Switch Pricing

Another red flag to look out for is too-good-to-be-true pricing, which is merely an “introductory” price. But then, your bill is suddenly higher after the introductory rate expires.

Reputable internet service providers will stay relatively consistent with their prices and are upfront about their internet service costs and fees. Keeping pricing reliable and within customer expectations is almost as crucial as offering consistent, stable internet.

Red Flag #4: Long Waits to Speak with a Customer Service Agent

Perhaps the simplest and most important test a consumer can make when choosing an ISP is to pick up the phone and call a company’s customer service team.

Then, monitor how long it takes to get an actual human being on the phone. Unfortunately, many larger providers cannot handle the volume of customer calls or respond promptly.

Conversely, local fiber providers are small enough to have a well-trained and personal customer service staff to meet their customer’s needs. So pick up the phone and test it out for yourself! Kaptel also has an easy online chat feature, so you can get help quickly.
 

These four “red flags” will help you avoid the pitfalls of home internet service.

So think about them while you’re doing your homework. And as always, you can easily reach Kaptel’s friendly and knowledgeable staff members who can answer any of your questions or concerns about home internet service. So feel free to reach out to them!
 
 

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  • Maria Lambert