If you’re like most homeowners in 2016, you’ve probably noticed that the price of your Internet has continued to rise each year. The cost of Internet continues to grow higher and higher, as major corporations gain more control of national pricing. Although it may seem impossible to cut your monthly bill down to a price that actually seems reasonable, there are ways to cut a good portion of what you pay annually and lower your Internet bill.
Here are five tips to help you reduce the cost of Internet in your home.
1. Identify how much speed you really need
A common reason homeowners overspend on Internet service is that they’re paying for speed they don’t need. On the flip side of this, a lot of homeowners end up overspending on data overages if they don’t purchase a package with enough bandwidth to support their usage. This is why the first thing you should address when choosing an Internet service plan is how much speed you’ll really need.
The amount of speed you need will depends on your intended use. Do you stream a lot? Do you have family that will be connecting multiple devices? Are you a big gamer? Each of these factors will play a major role in determining how much speed you’ll need. You can use a speed generating tool to get an estimate of how much speed you’ll need based on your online activity.
2. Find out how much speed you’re really getting
Once you’ve figured out how much speed you need, you’ll want to check it against the speed you’re really getting at your home to make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for. Many ISPs throttle their customers by providing slower speeds than the speed they signed up for and pay for each month.
You can use a speed test tool to identify how much speed you’re actually getting with your plan. If you find that it is slower than the speed you need and/or slower than the speed you’re currently paying for, call your provider to get the to fix it.
3. Avoid data caps
Although there’s been a long, ongoing debate about whether or not data caps are ethical, as it stands they are present in most Internet service plans, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be getting rid of them any time soon. Fortunately, there are some fairly simple ways you can avoid hitting your data cap each month.
For example, you could start tracking your bandwidth usage, turn down your speed usage for streaming sites like Netflix and YouTube, and restrict browser bandwidth usage. For Chrome users, here are the detailed instructions to control data usage in your browser.
4. Purchase your own router
Most ISPs will try to sell you on the “convenience” of renting a router from them. Although it is nice to have them bring your router to you, it can be pretty costly. Most ISPs rent standard routers for about $10/month. Add that up, and in a year you’ve paid $120 for a router that is still not yours. This is especially troubling when you consider that some routers can be purchased on Amazon for under $20.
Look into your options and purchase a good router that will suit your household’s needs without breaking the bank. PC Mag offers an excellent guide that can help you compare pricing and capability for some of 2016’s best routers.
5. Don’t be afraid to negotiate
Last but not least, you should never be afraid to negotiate with your ISP to get a better deal. Whether you choose to haggle the day you sign up or after a year when they try to hike your service charges up, negotiating could save you quite a bit per month which would add up to some serious annual savings. Digital Trends provides a solid guide to help you navigate the sometimes tricky waters of negotiating for a better deal on Internet.
So there are five easy ways you can start saving on your Internet bill. Have a question or suggestion? Comment below!