How to Switch Internet Providers

Mohammed Emran /
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At one point or another, it’s probable that you’ve had to go through the hassle of having to set up a new Internet connection at home. Though it’s not a difficult thing to do, it involves a lot of steps and usually, a long conversation over the phone with an Internet provider that you feel can provide the best service for your home.

But what if despite having gone through the hassle of setting up a new Internet connection that you thought you would be happy with, after some time passes, you realize that the service you have is not providing the best service and it’s lacking in some aspects that you would like to improve.

While you can make another call to the service provider to see what they can offer to improve their service, you might have to switch providers altogether and go through the process all over again.

However, switching Internet providers doesn’t have to be as stressful as it has been in the past. If you know exactly what you’re looking to get out of an Internet service provider, you can narrow down your options and find the best match for your home and your Internet needs.

Think about all the things you want to accomplish with your new Internet providers, such as Internet speed, contract lengths, or the number of devices you can connect at one time without interrupting or delaying service. 

Before switching and risking making a choice, that’s not absolutely the best, always consider the parts of your Internet service that are making you unhappy and see if you can find a better solution with other services or providers.

Consider What Kind of Internet You Want

Before making any calls or canceling your service, make sure you consider all the things that are making you unhappy with your current service. Sometimes, instead of having to switch to another provider, your current provider may be able to upgrade or enhance your plan.

However, if you’re truly done with the service you have and want to switch to a different provider, ask yourself the following questions and make sure that the new service provider can deliver what you want.

  • Internet Speed
    Depending on what kind of Internet service you have available in your area, there may be several options for Internet speed. Always keep in mind that if you have multiple devices and users connected to the Internet, then the speed that the Internet company can offer is of great importance to you.
    The higher the Mbps count, the faster and more reliable the Internet service will be. If you know that you’re in a household that constantly streams movies and TV shows or that needs to upload and download large amounts of data, then the speed of the Internet will determine how productive and efficient the service is for you.
  • Monthly Costs
    A lot of customers want to make the switch to another provider because of their monthly costs being too high for their budget. If your current Internet provider cannot reduce the costs without compromising the service, then perhaps it’s better to look for a service that can still give you the Internet you want at a reasonable cost.
    When doing research about the Internet service companies available in your area, make sure that the costs don’t wreck your budget and compare the services that are being offered with what you have. Is the cost of the new service worth the switch?
  • Annual Contracts
    While a lot of providers might offer great deals to their customers when they initially sign up, it’s important to keep in mind that sometimes the great deals come with a yearly contract (and yearly fees) that, eventually, will make the service more expensive than when you initially signed up.
    If you are nervous about unexpected fees or yearly contract fees you don’t want to be surprised about, this is something that you’ll want to make sure you ask the next provider before signing a contract. 

Be Aware of Early Termination Fees

Remember those annual fees mentioned earlier? Well, depending on what kind of contract you have with your current Internet provider, it’s very likely that you’ll have to pay a fee upfront for terminating the contract with them before it ends. 

Fees can range in price and sometimes can be as high as $300 depending on the company you have the contract with. If you don’t own the modem or router, you will also have to add fees to return the equipment that you were borrowing from the provider and include it in the early termination fee. 

Even if a switch in providers is the best option for you, keep in mind that (unfortunately) the switch will cost you. 

Find Other Internet Providers in Your Area

Depending on your location, the options you may have for Internet providers may be many or very few. If you live in an isolated area near mountains, for example, the options for other Internet providers might not be many. 

However, if you live in a city, it’s probable that you’ll have a wide range of selections in your search for the perfect Internet provider. Remember to choose the Internet provider that most makes sense in your situation and the one that will enhance all the things that your previous service lacked. 

Don’t rush. Research is key in this part of the process.

Allow for Overlap Time

Keep in mind that between canceling your previous service and getting the new one installed, there will probably be some time in between in which you don’t have an Internet connection. 

You won’t be completely cut off from the world since you’ll most likely still have the service provided by your cell phone provider. However, remember that if you don’t have an unlimited data plan, you might run over your data caps on your phone and have to pay extra at the end of the billing cycle. 

Don’t worry too much though, new services can usually be installed within the same week. It’ll be ready in the blink of an eye. 

Before Signing the New Contract

  • Make sure that you have thoroughly considered all the options available in your area.
  • Consider bundling your service for a wider range of options in TV, Internet, and mobile services.
  • Watch out for incentives. The new provider will more than likely be able to present you with an irresistible offer to sign up for new service with them. Just make sure you ask about annual contracts and fees once the offer runs its course.
  • Be polite but firm. You, better than anyone, know what you want out of your new Internet service. Be assertive with your new provider so that you can get the most out of the service.