How to Compare High Speed Internet Service & Prices

By Contributing Writer

Choosing a high-speed Internet service with the rate of speed you want at a great price point is something that everyone should know how to do. All it takes is a basic knowledge of the types of services available and the amount of speed you need to get the best deal.

Types of Available High-Speed Connections

Step 1

Choosing your connection is knowing the difference between the different types of Internet connections. The fastest possible connection is available via a fiber optic connection with speeds of more than 50 Mpbs (Megabytes per second) available in some areas. Fiber optic connections are the most reliable of high-speed Internet services and offer speeds faster than cable. Fiber optic service is not as widely available as the other types of high-speed Internet.

Step 2

The next fastest possible connection can be achieved via a cable connection. A cable Internet connection can reach speeds of 50 Mpbs, and the connection is always on. The connection will require a coaxial cable wall outlet and a cable modem (modems are usually provided by the service company). Most local cable providers will offer a cable Internet connection.

Step 3

Another available type of connection is DSL which stands for Digital Subscriber Line. DSL connections can reach speeds of up to 20 Mpbs. DSL is carried into your residence via an existing phone line and then through a DSL modem. Your phone is still available when you are online due to special filters attached to the line.

Step 4

Another option is wireless Internet. Wireless Internet comes in two available formats--fixed and mobile. A mobile wireless connection can be taken anywhere. The connection is made by connection through phone towers and is usually connected to a computer via a USB card device. The speeds currently can reach 2 Mbps.

Step 5

Also available is satellite Internet. Satellite Internet is the slowest of high-speed Internet services and works off satellites. The fastest speed available from most satellite Internet companies is roughly 2 Mbps. All satellite Internet requires a clear view of the sky; it can also be interrupted by inclement weather.

Pricing and Functionality

Step 1

Fiber optic Internet is generally best for those that require the most reliable connection available and also faster speeds. If you are a heavy Internet user and you download often, stream video and need the fastest speed possible, fiber optics is your best option. Most fiber optic Internet service package speeds start at around 15 Mbps. Pricing plans for Fiber Optic service generally start at around $40 per month; for the fastest speeds, it can easily reach more than $100 per month. Fiber optic Internet is becoming more widely available as providers expand their infrastructure.

Step 2

Cable Internet is also a viable option for those requiring high speeds. Speed packages for cable Internet generally start at around 10 Mpbs and as mentioned previously can reach 50 Mpbs. Pricing for cable Internet is comparable to fiber optic Internet with the pricing on the lower speeds generally starting out at around $30 a month. Cable Internet is also more widely available than fiber optic Internet.

Step 3

DSL Internet is an option for Internet users who require reasonably fast speeds and are looking to save some money. Most DSL providers currently top out their speed packages at somewhere around 7 to 10 Mbps. Pricing for DSL Internet is cheaper than cable; some plans start as low as $15 per month. DSL Internet is widely available and is most likely available in your area.

Step 4

Wireless mobile Internet is an option for Internet users who require a constant connection wherever they go. Most major cellular service providers offer a version of wireless mobile Internet. Wireless mobile Internet is not the cheapest and the speeds are not the fastest; most wireless plans are around $60 per month for 1.5 Mpbs.

Step 5

Satellite Internet is an option for those who live in rural areas. Satellite service plans start out at around 512 Kpbs (Kilobytes per second) and reach speeds of around 1.5 Mpbs. Installation and monthly charges for satellite Internet are higher than cable Internet on average. Satellite is the best option if only dial-up is available in the area.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure your computer is cleared of viruses and spyware.Having antivirus protection could save trouble later.