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Tips For Choosing the Best ISP (Internet Service Provider) in Your Region – Part 1

Hi!

Internet is growing at fast pace globally as it offers important services at very low cost. Who ever it may be – student, teacher, scientist, freelancer (like me), housewives and  working professionals and companies etc., almost everyone needs Internet connection. Some of the important reasons why demand for Internet connection is  growing fast are:

- Quick Information availability (Use Google or any other search engine to find the required information that is online, It’s very powerful!) – Fast Communication (email, text or voice chat and video conferencing facilities are available online to help people keep in touch) – Business (It’s easy to run business online through web site, blog and its advertising through social networking etc.) – Time Saving and Convenience (Shopping, bill payment, trip planning and tickets booking and banking transactions etc. can be done at any time without going anywhere) – Entertainment (Music, videos, games etc. are all available online)

and many more….

The demand for online connectivity by individuals and companies has led to good growth in ISP segment. With the multitude of ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) offering different types of Internet access connections and features, choosing the best one has become a difficult task. The tips in this article are aimed to help you in choosing the right ISP for your needs.

Depending on the region where you live – remote,village, town or a big city, town, metro, it may be easy or difficult to find a good ISP. If you live in a village, the chances of getting variety of ISP’s are less whereas the chances of getting a good ISP as per your choice and best rates are more in a big town, city and metro.

An ISP means Internet Service Provider – A Company that has the networking infrastructure (RAS, digital lines, Authentication server, DNS, routers, switches, Internet connectivity  via satellite links, leased lines etc.) to help you connect to the Internet and use various Internet Services.

I am not going to cover the tips for choosing the best Internet connection type in this post but will cover them in a post separately.

Some of the famous international ISP’s (in random order, not according to their services or size etc.) are AOL (America Online), Comcast, Sprint, BT (British Telecom), MCI, China Telecom Corporation Ltd. Some of the well known big ISP’s in India (in random order) are – SIFY (Satyam Infoway), MTNL, Tata Internet Services, Bharti Airtel and BSNL.

You should prepare a checklist on paper and assign points to each of the given below criteria when you are doing the task of selecting the best ISP for your Internet needs.

The tips have come from my experience of using the Internet connection from last 13 years (earlier dialup and now mostly broadband) and also working with an ISP for more than 3 years.

Choosing the best Internet Service Provider Tips For Choosing the Best ISP (Internet Service Provider) in Your Region – Part 1

Choosing the best ISP out of several available can be a difficult task, specially for the newbies who are using Internet connection for the first time or have very less experience. The following tips are aimed to help you in choosing the best ISP:

Professional Reputation Of the ISP

Find the ISP’s available in your area by researching for them online and offline – Internet (use cybercafe),  newspapers, magazines etc. Check ISP’s web site addresses, physical addresses, contacts, services and agreement terms. Check their websites and see if they are professional, updated and provide the correct facts and information everywhere without any discrepancies. Also go for the old, professional and reputed ones.  Don’t forget to check the feedback of the ISP customers from the Net via a search engine like Google and also take reviews from  your friends, colleagues and relatives living in the same area as yours for their personal feedback.

If most of the customers are complaining about the unprofessional attitude – poor services and support of the ISP in the area you live then you should not go for that ISP even the research shows that the Company is providing good service in other areas. Sometimes, a local ISP operating in a particular area might be the best choice, but do take the feedback for the same.

Support Quality, Free or Priced and Its Access

Getting quality support is one of the most important criteria for choosing the right ISP. Imagine an ISP who has incompetent technical staff not aware of the solutions to the various problems related to networking, hardware and software that their service customer might face. In case you are using this type of ISP for running your business, then you are going to have major problems. Also imagine an ISP that doesn’t have toll free support lines, offers only limited time support and charges you for every support issue. Some occasional networking (links failure, network traffic routing, cabling etc.) and server (hardware and software) problems at the ISP’s end are bound to happen sometimes. At these problematic times, if you don’t get quality, timely and free of cost support, you can be in real trouble making guesses and doing unnecessary troubleshooting at your end and paying for ISP related issues. Make sure that the ISP has sufficient toll free lines easily accessible at any time; dial their support number at the peak time (mid day) to make a general inquiry to check the quality of response. If you don’t get a quick response by phone or unable to reach their support professionals due to problems at their end (lines busy, executives busy for long times, promises to leave number for a callback which never happens), then you can yourself imagine the support after you pay them.

You can also email or SMS (if available) the ISP to check about their support services.

Using these techniques will give you the real confidence that the ISP company will provide support after you buy Internet connectivity from them.

Ability To Provide The Volume Of  Your Internet Usage And Services Required

If you are going to use your Internet connection for your personal usage doing occasional browsing, email, listening music and chatting then you can manage with the Internet connection with fixed monthly usage time and download usage. And, if the primary usage of yours Internet connection will be for business purposes, then consider buying unlimited monthly connectivity that will let you access Internet for whole  month (24 hours x number of days in the month). In both the cases – personal and business Internet usage, go for a broadband connection (at least 256 Kbps in download speed).

The volume and services needed by you will help you in choosing the respective ISP. Normally, most of the ISP’s provide limited usage connections that are low priced as compared to unlimited connection packs.

If you are going to watch videos and download and upload big files from/to the Internet, then you must buy an Unlimited Broadband Internet Connection (without any limit on the volume of download and upload) as you will easily exceed the low quota of upload and download set by ISP’s in the limited connection options.

If you are a frequent traveler, choose an ISP that offers Internet services globally either directly or indirectly through some other company.

In case of a company, the decision should be made on the maximum number of users accessing the Internet simultaneously and the volume of the download done by them at the peak time spread across the whole year. For example: if the peak download done by 40 simultaneous users in one hour is 600 MB then the organization should buy 2Mbps Internet connection (max download of about 900 MB per hour). The type of Internet connection – ISDN, leased line, cable modem, wireless  or satellite that best suits your organization (small or big) is not covered in this post but will be covered soon.

Sometimes, you don’t have much variety of choice in selecting an ISP as you don’t have so many ISP’s offering services in your area. In that case, choose the one that ranks best for the yours selection criteria and others in this post.

There are some more tips for selecting the best Internet Service Provider (ISP) that I will write in my my next post of this series.

Did these tips help you? Let me know.

Happy ISP searching.

Rajesh Mago

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    Tags: how to choose an ISP, how to go for a nice ISP company, opting for the right Internet Service Provider (ISP), tips for selecting the right ISP

    This entry was posted on Monday, December 22nd, 2008 at 1:20 am and is filed under Internet, Networking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

    One Response to “Tips For Choosing the Best ISP (Internet Service Provider) in Your Region – Part 1”

    sedax December 25th, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Perfect work!Keep posting
    :)

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