Choosing the right home Internet service provider is a much more serious decision than it was several years ago. As we have all become more dependent on our home Internet services, it is important to find a company that can offer reliable and dependable service that meets the demands of your entire household.
There are several options out there for home Internet service for you to choose from and many different types such a cable, DSL and the new fiber optic option. In this article, we will look at two of the top competitors for high-speed Internet service, Spectrum Internet and AT&T DSL Internet.
Which is the Best Option for Home Internet Service Overall?
|Price||Starting at $40 a month|
Starting at $45 a month
|Data Cap||Starting at 300GB||No hard cap|
|Speeds||5Mbps – 1GB||Up to 100Mbps|
|Extra Fees||$99 Installation|
$49 installation fee
|Contracts||1 Year||None Required|
Overall the best option for home Internet service in terms of price, reliability, and availability would have to be AT&T DSL. They offer a broader range of packages in terms of speed, and their plans start out at a slightly lower rate than Spectrum Cable for the same download speeds. However, if data caps are a major concern for you, Spectrum Cable is a good choice for just a few bucks more you can enjoy fast speeds without the hindrance of AT&T’s 1TB data allowance.
What Features to Look for When Choosing a Home Internet Service
There are a few things that you should look out for when you are deciding on a new home Internet service provider. You should think about how often you and your family members use the Internet daily. Do you only use it for general tasks such as checking your email or surfing social media websites? Or do you use it for all your TV viewing, online gaming, and photo sharing needs? Do you only have one computer at home, or do you have multiple devices that are connected to your Wi-Fi constantly?
Whether you are a light online user or an avid streaming addict, there is an Internet plan out there for you. But you should make sure that you only pay for what you need and that you are getting the optimal amount of speed for the price.
Some of the features that you need to look for when you are choosing a new Internet service include:
- Download and Upload Speeds
- Bandwidth Limits
- Bundle Offers
AT&T DSL offers download speeds that are between 5 Mbps and 1000 Mbps. They have a 1 TB data cap per month and their plans start at just $30 per month. With each plan, you get a Wi-Fi Gateway and the peace of mind of 99% reliability to stream, surf and download. AT&T DSL is available in most areas and offers their DSL services in many rural areas where Cable or Fiber Optic services are not offered. They also have bundles available with ATT Wireless services and DirecTV satellite TV added in for one low monthly cost.
Spectrum Internet offers plans with download speeds that are 100, 200 and 940 Mbps. They have no data caps and their plans start at just $44.95 per month for 100 Mbps. You have the option to bundle your Wi-Fi with TV and home phone services to save even more. Enjoy Time Warner Cable TV packages and reliable home phone services all at a low monthly price.
Which is More Important, Upload or Download Speeds?
The download speed is the rate at which your data is transferred from the Internet to your computer or device.
The upload speed is the rate that the data is transferred from your computer to the Internet .
Most Internet connections offer much faster download speeds than upload speeds. The reason is that most general Internet usage consists of downloading such as streaming content or loading websites than uploading, such as attaching files to emails or posting photos on social media. A good standard for home use would be 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds.
There are very few cases where a consumer would require faster upload speeds than what is generally offered. Usually, this is a need for businesses who share information, files and large documents via email.
The importance of upload and download speeds depend on the needs of the user. But overall, download speeds are far more important than upload.
Overall AT&T DSL general download speeds should be at 100 Mbps while the upload speeds average at around 1.4 Mbps.
The general download speeds for Spectrum Internet ’s standard service is between 60 to 200 Mbps and the upload speeds are on average around 10 Mbps.
Should I be Concerned About Data Caps?
Data caps are very common among Internet service providers and most companies do have them although many of their customers aren’t aware of it. Data caps or data usage allowances are designed to help keep Internet services affordable for the broad range of customers using the Internet . It also helps to eliminate sluggish Internet speeds during peak hours.
AT&T DSL has a 1 TB data cap per month. That is a lot of bandwidth allowance and typically most users do not go over that limit. But if you are a heavy Internet user and use your service for streaming all your TV shows or favorite movies, you may want to be concerned about data caps.
To put things into perspective, Netflix uses around 3GB of data per hour. This means that you could watch more than 333 hours of Netflix shows in HD per month. That is just over 11 hours of HD video per day. While that may seem like a lot for some, if your entire household watches streaming content and that is your only TV option, it is very possible that you could go over AT&T’s 1TB limit.
If you go over your data limit with AT&T, you will receive a notice letting you know that you will not incur any additional fees or charges for exceeding the monthly data amount. They will provide a total of seven notices before any additional charges will occur. After that, you will have to pay additional fees.
Spectrum Internet does not have any data caps which provides users with the freedom to stream and play online games as much as they want without any restrictions. It is a great option for those heavy Internet users as well as businesses that require a large amount of data use per month.
Spectrum Internet vs. ATT Wireless: Which is the Most Affordable Option?
Considering which deal is the best isn’t as easy as looking for the option with the lowest price. You also must look at the quality of the Internet package, the speed, and extras that will make your experience worthwhile. Fees and post-contract price hikes are a couple more hidden areas that you should pay attention to before you make a commitment. While the introductory price may be low, you could end up pay much more than you Intended after one or two years have passed.
Bundling options can also add more value to your Internet service and save you money in the long run. Most people end up saving at least $10 for each service that they bundle, which can add up to around $20 or $30 in savings per month overall.
AT&T DSL starts at $40 per month for 100 Mbps while Spectrum Internet starts at $44.99 per month for 100 Mbps.