According to a survey conducted by Internet Advisor (a dedicated online directory of ISPs across the US), many Americans pay about $75- $100 monthly for high-speed internet. Paying $100 every month even for a high-speed connectivity plan can be frustrating, primarily if the quality of service provided by your ISP is poor. Since you have to earn every dollar, you’d naturally want to cut down unnecessary expenses, including an expensive internet plan.
If you’re looking to save money on your monthly internet plan, then you can try out the following practical ways:-
Decrease your connection speed
If you’ve opted for a high-speed internet plan, there’s a good chance you’re paying for a connection speed you don’t need or use. Your ISP, like all other ISPs, aggressively promotes high-speed plans (offering 100Mbps download speed or higher) for expanding its customer base. But in reality, most individuals and families can easily do without such a program offering a superfast broadband connection.
Nevertheless, before you decide to contact your service provider for downgrading your plan, you need to figure out the speed you require. Keep in mind that you should be only concerned with the download speeds delivered by your internet service provider (glance through the different plans offered by your ISP).
Download speed refers to the velocity (measured in Mbps) or the rate at which digital data is transmitted to your home network. ISPs, by and large, advertise the download speed of their different plans instead of the upload speeds as the majority of their subscribers spend more time downloading data. You can consult an Mbps chart or table for having a fair idea of the download speed you need.
For instance, if you’re using 1-3 devices (smartphone, tab, and desktop) for online activities like gaming, HD video streaming, surfing, and emailing, you’ll need 30Mbps download speed. On the other hand, a download speed of 70Mbps will suffice if you use 4-7 devices for music and HD video streaming, emailing gaming and browsing.
Once you realize the minimum download load you mostly need, you can get in touch with your ISP to negotiate for an appropriate plan. Alternatively, you can shop around for a service provider that promotes lower-priced plans with download speeds you’re looking for. AT&T, Xfinity, Spectrum, and Cox have Wi-Fi/broadband plans that are amongst the cheapest out there.
Have your modem and router
Like most other users, you must have taken the modem and router on rent from your ISP at a nominal monthly charge. Yes, it works out much cheaper to rent a modem and router from a service provider than buying them outright. But the rental slowly and gradually adds up over the years in case you’re thinking of sticking with your service provider for the next 3-4 years.
You’d be better off buying your modem and router instead of renting the internet hardware from your service provider. You may have to pay $10-$15 every month for renting the internet hardware, regardless of whether you choose Verizon or Comcast. So if you continue to pay the rental for saying the next 2-3 years, the total outgo works out to $240-$360.
On the other hand, you’ll be able to buy a quality modem-router combo for much less than $190. Ensure to return the rental hardware to your service provider once you install your modem-router combo. At the same time, make sure your ISP removes the rental accounting head from your invoice, thereby allowing you to save about $18-$20 per month.
Check your bill for hidden costs
More than 97% of customers never bother to check the fine print relating to billing details in the invoice they receive. Carefully go through the internet bills you have received in the past couple of months and try to figure out every invoicing or accounting head. If you research online on specifics or details beyond your comprehension, you’ll discover that you’re paying for items you don’t need.
Your service provider adds these nebulous items to your invoice every month to earn a bit extra. But if you take the entire customer base of the ISP into consideration, that little additional amounts to quite a sum. You can always contact your service provider and ask them to delete those account heads in your subsequent bills.
Opt for a combo package
You bet you might be able to save hugely by bundling your cable TV and internet. If you decide to opt for an internet/cable combo package, you can expect to save up to $1,000 in two years provided you already subscribe to cable TV. Choosing a bundling plan of Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox or AT&T DIRECTV and U-verse lets you save anything from $15-$40 per month.
Before selecting a bundle package, ensure to compare and contrast the bundle services with that of your existing TV and streaming services. If you find that the bundle provides you the same functions as your current TV or streaming services, then its much better to opt for the former.
Compare and contrast offers of different competitors
In case you live in a large city, you stand to benefit from the fierce competition amongst different ISPs for gaining more customers. So if your agreement is about to expire, you should go ahead and compare plans of all the ISPs in your area. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that almost all ISPs have plans with low rates, especially for new customers.
There are several other ways to lower your monthly internet bill apart from the ones listed above. For instance, canceling your smartphone data plan and banking entirely on Wi-Fi and looking for subsidized plans if you’re registered under specific federal assistance programs.