5 Tips in Choosing Your Broadband Internet Provider

By Daniel Gubalane on Dec 08, 2016

‘Your Internet Usage’

These days, we use the internet for just about anything – from research, entertainment to even mundane tasks like buying the groceries.

While the Philippines hasn’t caught up to the rest of the world completely when it comes to internet speeds, it doesn’t mean that the facilities already available aren’t worth the money you pay.

Broadband
A modem for broadband internet connection.

What you plan on using your connection for matters greatly when picking your broadband provider, and once this has been established, it makes it that much easier to pick the best broadband provider for your needs.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors you need to consider when making the choice.

As a User

Person using a laptop

No two connections are equal, both in terms of price point and speed. Some connections might be pricier than others but have slower speeds. You’ll want to figure out what you want the internet for before you select from the myriad options available.

You’ll also need to know whether a particular package or provider actually services your area to avoid inconveniences. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the categories.

The Basics

If you just want a connection at home that’s stable enough to access e-mail or social media, then low-price stable broadband connections are your go-to.

These usually come with a set amount of connectivity every month that you cannot exceed, and you won’t be wasting money on a connection speed that you can’t maximize. Starting with a basic package lets you determine how much bandwidth you actually need as a user, and most providers will be happy to give you an upgrade midway through your subscription in which downgrading is a no-no.
For beginners, a 4Mbps to 8Mbps connection is ample.

High-Speed Streaming and Gaming

Netflix marathon
Netflix marathon

If your Netflix and Spotify subscriptions have wholly replaced your TV watching and music listening habits, then you’ll want a connection that allows for heavy downloads without compromising speed.

You’ll want a broadband provider that includes unlimited downloads, and higher bandwidth allocations. This way, your videos and music don’t end up buffering just as you get to a good part in the show, or as the beat drops on your favorite track.

Gamers in particular require high-speed connections to reduce lag as they play online, or as they download updates to their games. It’s also highly ideal that their devices (barring handhelds) are connected directly to the router.

As heavy users, it is recommended that they subscribe to providers with speeds above 10Mbps.

Family Use

A household will almost certainly require a high-speed connection outfitted for heavy use, especially if it has students. The younger members will require the robust speed for research or entertainment, and the elder members of the family may be inclined to work from home.

Like those who’ve supplemented cable television with online streaming subscriptions, a household will require speeds of up to 16Mbps at least for it to be workable.

The Topic of Downloads

Downloads
Downloading files using Opera.

Whatever the need, all broadband internet subscriptions come with a maximum cap on their download space every month. Providers will show you your maximum download limits per month, usually in relation to the speeds available to you.

For your minimum needs, like browsing websites or e-mail, you’ll need a 2GB download limit. A 40GB download limit, or an unlimited download capacity will give you access to on-demand TV, streaming, and online gaming. Note that you might want the higher download limit especially if multiple devices in your household are connected at any given time.

It should be noted that broadband products that feature high-to-unlimited download capacities and extreme speeds (typical in fiber-optic connections) work best for people who are constantly online or have very demanding applications.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of other factors that you may want to consider before committing to a broadband package. You’ll also want to figure out whether you’ll want cable or a landline with it, or whether you plan to be wholly wired or on wi-fi.

Whatever your choice eventually is, always remember to keep your anti-viral and anti-malware programs updated to avoid data loss.

About the Author:
Kyle Kam is from MoneyMax.ph, a financial comparison website aiming to help Filipinos save money through diligent comparisons of financial products. Follow him on twitter @undisputedkyle.