A common decision when it comes to choosing an ISP is whether or not to use cable internet providers, or to opt for one of the many alternatives to traditional cable service. Many people consider cable to be burdensome, since you’re essentially tied to a physical cable for the duration of your service, and many cable companies have a bad reputation for customer service and their products. Choosing between cable and its alternatives is simple when you know what to look for. Here, we’ll discuss price, reliability, the options, and why customer service should be an important consideration when choosing a new ISP.
Advantages of Cable Internet
Cable internet is, for the most part, reliable, though certain companies have been the subject of scrutiny for poor connections. A physical cable will connect to the router and modem supplied by your cable provider, and this line connects to the main line that joins entire neighborhoods to a single provider.
Cable internet is usually quite fast as well, with companies like Spectrum offering services that reach 400MBS download speeds. If you’re looking for speed and reliability, cable usually meets both requirements.
Cable internet is also quite affordable, provided no hidden fees or charges are included in your service agreement. As long as you pay your bill on time and in full, your internet should remain affordable. You can find plans anywhere from around $20-$90, depending on your needs. Most cable companies also offer business-class internet, but the cost of such service will depend on your business’s bandwidth and speed requirements.
The Problem With Cable Internet
Cable internet has had more than its share of complaints in the last few decades. Cable ISPs are well-known for poor customer service, faulty equipment and deceptive advertising, and finding ways to charge more for the same service over time. Whether it’s hidden fees, service charges, lates fees, or installation fees, one of the most frequent complaints about cable internet is the hidden costs associated with it.
Additionally, even the largest of the cable ISPs are known for their poor customer service. Spectrum, once known as Time Warner Cable, has been sued by previous customers several times, and, according to TrustPilot, the company’s average review is only one out of five stars (this comes from over 1,200 reviews). 92% of the reviews speak poorly of the customer service, equipment, speeds, and prices of this cable provider, causing many to search for a better alternative.
If you’re looking for a new ISP, find the fastest internet provider in your area by using online tools like Internet Advisor. You’ll get to compare prices, reviews, and services quickly and easily in order to make the best choice.
Alternatives to Cable Internet
There are several alternatives to cable internet, and if you’re fed up with poor service and speeds, you may want to consider these. As the internet continues to change and technology advances, we’re certain to see even more alternatives popping up in the market. For now, consider these few as good alternatives to traditional cable internet.
Not everyone likes the idea of mounting a satellite to their roof, but satellite internet is perhaps the most readily-available alternative to cable internet. While the speeds are around the same, you may find that satellite internet is a bit more costly, and many people find the satellite dish to be a distracting and ugly aesthetic.
It’s important to consider the fact that satellite internet is usually a bit slower than cable internet, and also comes with data caps; that is, you’ll only be able to utilize your internet until you reach the data cap. Cable internet is usually free of such caps, so you’ll have unlimited use of the internet during your service period.
Some providers offer internet via hotspots. This popular option means your internet service is also mobile, so you can get fast speeds on your devices even when you’re not at home. Services like FreedomPop actually offer free service packages for up to about 500MBS per month of service.
Google is dipping its feet into the internet market with Google Fiber; an ultra-fast internet service available in select cities. This new advancement is part of Google’s venture into phone and internet service, and it’s exciting to see where this service will take the future of the internet. Check availability to see if you can get this service in your city!
The Bottom Line
Cable internet may have its advantages, but with a poor customer service record, fluctuating prices, and an almost monopolized market, many are looking to switch from the traditional ISPs and instead look into alternatives. These alternatives are viable options currently, but as the technology improves, we’re sure to see new services arise in the growing market; hopefully with a focus on high-quality service and products.
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