Compare Internet Providers & Plans

Compare internet providers and plans in your area

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As you compare internet providers, you're undoubtedly noticing something - the array of options, not to mention the terminology, can be overwhelming. Do you need DSL or fiber optic? What exactly is "broadband" anyway?

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Even if there's only one option in your area, you still want to do an internet service comparison. This means deciding between the different speeds and costs, and deciding what your household really needs. I've put together an overview of the options to help you figure out exactly what you're dealing with.

Comparing Internet Providers Connection Types

What Is Broadband?

You've probably seen many different types of internet connections, including some rural internet options like DSL, advertised as "broadband." That's all changed now. In January 2015, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) made a bold move by redefining broadband internet, which we delve further into in another one of our articles, as having a download speed of 25Mbps (megabits per second), and upload speed of 3Mbps. These numbers are up from the previous standards of 4Mbps download and 1Mbps upload.

The reasoning is complicated, but all you really need to know in terms of your high speed internet comparison is that unless you're subscribing to a 25Mbps plan, you're not getting true high-speed broadband internet service according to the new standards.

The good news is that whether or not your internet speed is defined as a broadband connection, the vast majority of households don't need anywhere near those speeds to handle their daily online activities. And if you do need high-speed broadband internet, now you know what to look for.