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5 steps to choose a new Internet service provider

Choosing an ISP can be daunting for some people and may end up costing you. Don't set your first impression on the price. The price should be an overall assessment of the ISP.

1. First determine if you want broadband or dial-up. I recommend using broadband instead of waiting for a long time to load the page.

2. There are four main types of broadband connections:

• DSL / ASDL [connected to your phone line]
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  • Wired/fiber [high speed is also connected to your phone line or TV, not available in most parts of New Zealand]
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  • Satellite [waves from satellite to PC, sometimes slow]
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  • Wireless [wireless connection from home to base station]

3. Location. Can you get broadband in your area? Some areas still cannot connect via ADSL or wireless

Residential: Determine your needs. This will help you choose a connection plan.

You are a gamer, movie or TV on demand, teenagers and multiple computers. Are you online often? If so, you will need a high speed connection and large bandwidth or data capacity. If you just check your email and post comments on Facebook, Bebo and Twitter, you may need less bandwidth or data licenses and want a high speed connection.

Business: Identify your needs. The commercial ISP plan should be based on:

– Business type [graphics service business requires a lot of data transmission, hardware storage may require a small amount of data transmission]
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  – Business size [small business, small number of employees, may require a small amount of data subsidies, large companies have many employees who need a lot of data]
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  – Email account [large companies need more]
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  – Multiple locations [if your business has many offices, you should have an ISP]

5. View the services included in the package, which should include: installation, anti-virus and anti-spam protection, data backup, account management, 24/7 technical support and customer service.

Things to consider

If you already have an ISP, you need to make sure that you have not violated any terms and conditions before changing your service provider.

– Learn about their ISP or advice with family and friends. Also check the comments of potential ISPs.
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  – You need a reliable and secure network. Some ADSL providers have experienced slow connections because there are many people on the Internet at any given time.
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  – If you need an all-in-one service, check your ISP's services, including Wed development and design, web hosting and domain registration, and data storage.
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  – How much are you willing to pay for monthly Internet services and installations?
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  – Does the ISP need to know if it connects to you through hardware?
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  – Does the ISP charge for the upgrade package?
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  – Do you need a landline?

Before signing any agreement, you should:

1. Understand the terms of the contract or service agreement
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  2. Understand all the fees you need to pay
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  3. Know the package you want to pay
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  4. Understand the ISP's contact information

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