Moving Guide: How to Not Lose a Day of Internet Service

Ashlee Tilford
September 16, 2020

Are you covered up in boxes and weighed down by stress as you prepare for your move? Moving is a busy and exciting time, but it doesn’t come without some stress. Between packing, getting current services canceled, new services added and making moving truck arrangements, it is easy to get overwhelmed. 

We want to make things a bit easier for you. With many people now in work-from-home jobs, losing even a day of internet service can be damaging. Our research shows that 30% of searchers looking for a new internet service provider (ISP) are planning to move in the near future.

We’ve created an easy guide to ensure you don’t miss a beat with your internet service. 

When to Set Up New Internet Service When Moving

If you are a planner, you’ve already either gotten your new internet service up and running or are in the process. If you are a procrastinator, you might have thought about your new internet service, but you most likely haven’t done much more than think about it, yet. Which one are you?

There may be some things that are safe to delay until you get settled into the new place. But if the internet is as critical a part of your life as it is for most of us, getting your new internet set up is not one of those things. To make life easier, we recommend getting your internet service installed and ready at your new home well before your moving day.

Our research shows how long before their move-in date people are looking at internet options:

  • One week – 42%
  • One month – 28%
  • Over a month – 30%

If you’re moving soon or want to switch internet providers for a better deal, check out the Internet Service Data Report to learn more about what to watch for as you switch ISPs.

What Internet Options are Available at Your New Home?

As you begin to prepare for your move, it’s important to research the internet options available at your new home. If you’re moving to an urban area, your internet options may be different than if you’re moving into a rural area. You may be moving to an area where fiber and broadband are common, but you may be moving to an area that only offers satellite internet services. 

Get a head start on finding out what internet options are available at your new home.

What Internet Speed Will You Need?

Now that you know what internet options are available at your new address, let’s talk about your usage and what speeds you’ll need.

  • Email and web browsing only: If you are an email and web browser and have five devices on your network at any given time, you will need download speeds of anywhere from 1 Mbps to 15 Mbps, depending on the number of devices being used simultaneously. 
  • Web conferencing: If you’re like a lot of people and are now working from home, you may need the ability to web conference. Assuming you’d not be running anything else at the time of the web conferencing and were only using one device, you’d need around 4 Mbps. However, if there are other devices in use at that time, the speed needed could go up to 40 Mbps.
  • Standard streaming: For basic email and web browsing, plus standard video streaming, you’ll need anywhere from 3 Mpbs to 30 Mbps.
  • HD streaming: For basic email and web browsing plus HD streaming, you’ll need anywhere from 5.5 Mbps to 55 Mbps.
  • Gaming: If you are an avid gamer, with not much usage other than for gaming, you’ll need anywhere from 4 Mbps to 40 Mbps. Keep in mind that if you are also using the internet for other things, your speed needs will increase. For example, if you are a gamer and stream HD video, you’ll need anywhere from 8 Mbps to 80 Mbps. 

Here are some additional examples including the lowest and highest range of speed needed:

ActivityLowest SpeedHighest Speed
Downloading a movie5 Mbps20 Mbps
Uploading a video2 Mbps25 Mbps
Downloading large files5 Mbps40 Mbps
Email browsing1 Mbps20 Mbps
Streaming video3 Mbps25 Mbps

Speeds Offered for Each Type of Internet Service

The speeds offered by type of internet will always depend on where you are located. You may notice that many providers offer speeds “up to” a certain Mbps. This is because, depending on where you are located, the current infrastructure may not be able to provide the fastest fiber connection, and so, relies on DSL or satellite.

As a general rule, fiber and cable are faster types of internet than DSL or satellite. DSL and satellite are more common in rural areas where fiber and cable are not available. 

Getting New Internet Service Installed

Once you’ve determined what your speed needs are and what options are available in your area, it’s time to shop for a provider. As you’re selecting a provider, you may be considering  self installation to either cut costs or eliminate having someone in your home. Good news! Many providers offer a self installation option. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of professional vs. self installation.

Professional vs. self installation

Some internet providers charge a professional installation fee. Doing a self install eliminates that fee. If you are also trying to limit exposure to non-family members for health reasons, a self install could be a safer option. Providers that offer a self install option also provide instructions for that installation.

Professional installation often comes with a charge, but if you do not have any technical knowledge it may be an easier option for you to get your equipment professionally installed. If a professional installer determines your house is going to require additional wiring to accommodate the internet, they can take care of that for you. 

Before you decide on professional or self installation, speak with the provider you’ve selected to determine if self install is even an option for you and what it will entail. 

Installation and equipment costs

The average person spends $25-50/mo. on their internet service. That is the monthly fee for the service, but what about installation fees and other potential fees? We looked at the installation and equipment costs of a few of our top high speed internet providers to get you an idea of what to expect if you go with professional installation and if you use the providers equipment. 

AT&T Fiber

AT&T Fiber includes installation with their fiber internet service which starts at $49.99/mo. with a 12-month contract. If you use AT&T provided equipment, you will pay $5-10/mo. for equipment rental. 

Xfinity

Xfinity charges separately for professional installation and any applicable activation fees. Installation typically costs $89 and is added to your first bill. If you use Xfinity’s all-in-one router and modem combo, there will also be a recurring $14/mo. rental fee on your monthly bill. 

Verizon

Verizon charges an installation fee for Fios. This fee may be up to $99 and will be included on your first bill. If you use Verizon’s equipment, you will also see a $15/mo. equipment rental charge on each bill. 

Can you use your own equipment?

Many providers do allow customers to use their own router and modem. However, there are some important things to consider. You will likely save money each month on equipment rental fees, but you will not be able to call the internet provider if there is an issue with the equipment. They typically will not offer support and maintenance of customer-owned devices. 

You may also determine you need additional equipment beyond what the internet service provider offers. For example, depending on the type of service available in your area and the range of wifi available inside your home, you may need a Wifi booster or extender. This equipment doesn’t give you faster speeds, but it does project the wifi signal out to a larger range in your home. For example, if your bedroom is too far away from the router/modem to get full speeds, a wifi booster may solve that problem. 

Final Thoughts on Getting New Internet Service

If you’re getting ready for a big move, save yourself some stress by getting your new internet service ready before moving day. Determine what will be available at your new location, what speeds you need, which provider best meets your needs and whether or not you’ll do a self install or let the professionals do it. Then, after a long day of moving, you can settle into your new home and never miss a beat. 

We supplied the data; now, the decision is yours.

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