Internet services can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 a month depending on where you're located, your connection speed, and your Internet Service Provider (ISP) policies. However, you can often dramatically decrease your household's monthly Internet bills by taking a few simple steps. Here are some tips to help you start saving.
To select the right plan, you need to know exactly what you're buying. When looking at different Internet packages, remember that bandwidth and speed are two different things. If the Internet were a liquid that came into your house in a large tube, bandwidth would be the width of the tube while the data connection speed would indicate how fast the liquid would be flowing. If you opened all of the faucets in your house, you'd be creating more draws on the bandwidth and the connection would slow down. In other words, if you have a lot of computers drawing from the same Internet connection, your bandwidth limitations may prevent you from achieving the speeds that your Internet provider advertisers.
Internet providers usually advertise speed in megabits per second (Mbps). Most high-speed connections range from 1-15 Mbps. If you rarely use the Internet, choose a slower connection speed. Remember that 8 megabits equal 1 megabyte, so if you choose anything around 8 megabits or higher, you should have an extremely speedy connection. Don't buy more than you need and you'll save a tremendous amount of money.
Bundle your services
Most ISPs offer TV services, and many cable providers also offer phone service. By contacting your current provider's customer service center and bundling your services, you'll save money.
Even if you're already paying separately for your cable, phone, and Internet bills, you're probably eligible for a bundle discount. You might even get free or cheap upgrades.
Extend promotional offers
When you initially sign up for Internet service, you'll get a much better deal than the provider's standard rate. However, your good rate will expire, usually within six months to a year. Read your contract carefully and remember to call your ISP when the promotional period ends. You can usually renew under a new promotional plan, and you'll often save significantly.
While your Internet bill probably isn't your household's biggest expense, it's certainly worth a few minutes of your attention and some research to ensure you're getting the best deal possible.