We live in a world where technology is ever-evolving. As a result, there is a boom in telecommunication technology too. Mobile carriers and internet companies are using this opportunity to lure customers with the best wireless plans. Who wouldn’t want an internet plan with no cable management? If you are planning to buy a cheap Wi-Fi plan, here are a few questions you need to ask.
How to choose a cheap Wi-Fi plan?
Here are a couple of ways you can get Wi-Fi plans for cheap:
- Reducing bandwidth
Dropping your bandwidth speed can reduce the bill by approximately $35, depending on the carrier. A bandwidth of up to 18 Mbps should be sufficient for email, web browsing, music, and HD streaming.
- Bundling services
This can work to your advantage because bundling TV, phone, and internet services can help you save a couple of dollars every month. But be aware of the upsell as the carriers might try to lure customers by offering an extra channel and bandwidth at an additional cost. This would increase the overall costs of a Wi-Fi plan.
- Buying your own router instead of renting
Carriers and ISPs (Internet Service Providers) from across the country might charge up to $15 a month for renting their equipment. Using their services regularly might cost you more than $200 whereas, the cost of a top-rated router might not be more than $200.
How to choose a Wi-Fi router?
If you have enrolled for a cheap Wi-Fi plan which you are going to use for at least two years, then it is recommended to invest into a top-rated router. Here is how you should choose a Wi-Fi router:
- Buy from a retailer that allows easy returns
While you’re trying to find the best Wi-Fi router, there might be instances where you might want to return the router because you’re not satisfied with its range of coverage or the bandwidth.
- Wi-Fi standards matter
The newest routers support 802.11ac, which is the latest in Wi-Fi standards. Routers using this standard can support Gigabit bandwidth, which is faster than the earlier 600Mbps limit.
- Number of bands
Dual-bands are a thing of past as manufacturers have started to roll out tri-band routers. Initially, the two frequency bands- 2.4GHz and 5GHz limited the frequency spectrum due to the dual-band feature which limited the bandwidth when connected to numerous devices. Tri-band routers spread the frequency spectrum, easily allowing the users to connect a maximum number of devices without compromising the bandwidth.
How to choose the best Internet service provider?
Following factors will help you choose the best service provider:
- Data caps
Some companies put data caps on user’s downloads. Avoid carriers and Internet service providers that put data caps because if you frequently stream movies and TV series online, you might need an ISP offering cheap Wi-Fi plans.
Some Internet service providers offer wireless routers with their Wi-Fi Plans. If you are looking for cheap Wi-Fi plans, then look for those providers that don’t offer hardware with their services. This will also give you the freedom to buy a router with technical specifications as per your requirements.
- Contract terms
Many ISPs require their customers to sign a year-long contract, whereas others let their customers sign a monthly contract. Monthly contracts give the users the freedom to switch ISPs if they are not satisfied with their current internet plan.
- Type of technology used
While selecting a cheap Wi-Fi plan, the type of technology used by your ISP plays an important role. For instance, an ISP using satellite technology will offer less bandwidth as compared to ISPs using fiber optic technology.
What is the difference between mobile hotspot and tethering?
It is important to know the difference between mobile hotspot and tethering as both are wireless technologies used to connect to the internet:
- Offered by many telecom providers, a mobile hotspot involves using a device that allows a computer user to be connected to the internet. The mobile hotspot offers wireless connectivity to a computer system. It communicates with mobile towers through radio signals.
- Tethering is slightly different as the user connects their internet-enabled smartphones to a computer system wirelessly or through cables.
- While ISPs offer cheap Wi-Fi plans in the form of mobile hotspot plans, there are no such plans offered through tethering.