People are usually on the lookout for cheap deals on the Internet,
and, that is no different with ISPs (Internet Service Providers).
It can be difficult to categorise and compare ISPs by how 'cheap'
they are: due to the number of features which differ with each service.
However, difficult, does not mean impossible. However, let's begin
with the basic's, and explain why comparing ISPs is difficult and
convoluted: to start with, many 'cheap' broadband services come
packaged with other services, such as TV and telephone. Therefore,
at present, July 2013, there are three types of ISP services you
can compare for how cheap they are:
- Broadband, Phone and TV
- Broadband and Phone
- Broadband only
Generally speaking, broadband access is cheaper when you purchase
it with more services: so, it's cheaper when you purchase broadband,
phone and television services together. Also, when comparing broadband,
it is wise to compare the first year cost and the cost after the
first year. Many ISPs are cheaper per month for the first year.So,
let's look at the features provided by ISPs - in order to be able
to compare their cost. There are three important features to note
down when looking at a contract offered by an ISP,
- Contract length
- Monthly Usage Limit
- Download Speed
The contract length of most ISPs is usually 12 or 18 months; however,
the monthly usage limit and speed provided by an ISP will vary greatly:
making it somewhat difficult to compare ISP services like-for-like.
The higher the monthly usage limit and the higher the download speed,
the higher the monthly cost of an ISP (on average). Therefore, while
an ISP may appear 'cheap' - £2.99 per month - it is cheap
because the monthly usage limit and download speed will be low.
So, in reality, only if you know the exact monthly usage limit and
download speed you want, can you really proceed with comparing ISPs
and find the cheapest service for your needs.