New Zealand gets more competitive daily with our telecommunications companies constantly changing and upgrading plans to try and get our business. So selecting a broadband or internet service provider (ISP) can be tricky. What are the most common things to think about and look out for when looking for a new service provider? What are the most common pitfalls? Today, we’ll go through a few of the most common factors when selecting a new ISP.

What are you going to be using the internet for?

This is a common missed first step in the entire selection process and the most common cause for complaint. Think about how you’ll be using the Internet. Do you only check email once a month? Or do you live in a household of four, all of which play online games? Depending on your needs, your requirements for a) speed and b) broadband data will vary greatly. If you’ve already got the internet, you could probably find out the amount you use from your current provider or from logging into your account online. In terms of speed, do you or your family/flatmates often find the internet too slow? Do the websites you visit take a long time to load? Ask the people you live with, this will often give you a good idea.

What’s the internet or broadband availability in your area?

Internet availability will often change depending on where you live. For example, if you live in central Auckland, wireless internet may be a great choice but not so good if you live in a rural area. Depending on the number of options, you will want to take a look at each provider to see what plans they offer. Some, such as Woosh, offer a tool on their website that tells you what products are available depending on where you live.

Hot tip: Ask your neighbors what internet provider they have and if they are happy with them.

Internet service will change with each provider depending on where you live. So asking people that live in the same area is the best bet to figuring out the best internet service provider for you. Also try searching online for customer satisfaction surveys, such as Canstar Blue, to see how happy customers are with their service.

What about when things don’t go so well?

Great customer support is essential. There will always come a time when you’ll have to call the dreaded IT helpdesk. This can be very stressful especially if you’re working late into the night. Check their opening hours, after hours support and, if possible, check online for feedback.

Selecting the right package

Do you need a landline phone? Do you want an internet only plan? There are plenty of options and these days, most of the major internet providers will take care of your home phone and landline. Is this what you want? Here’s a quick overview at time of writing:

Landline phone with Dial-Up packages

Some providers will actually give you dial-up for free. It’s nothing fancy and not much good for more than checking email but if that’s all you need, it’s the cheapest option. Note that even browsing certain websites will be quite slow.

Landline phone with wired ADSL broadband packages

One of the most common options. You get a landline number and wired broadband. Most people would find this option suitable for everything they need online including playing online games, watching videos and video conferencing. The only variable would be how much data you use each month.

Wireless broadband with/without wireless phone packages

Only available in major cities currently, wireless broadband is a cheaper alternative. It’s suitable for internet browsing and checking your emails. But not the best for things like Youtube, online gaming and Skype. If you want, you can replace your landline phone with a wireless phone as well. This is a great option for those looking to save money.

Naked broadband with/without wireless phone packages

A relatively new option, you can get a wired ADSL internet connection which means fast reliable internet but without the landline phone. Some companies offer a wireless phone connection as a replacement. You would use this option if you needed fast internet but didn’t use your homephone that much, perhaps your flatmates most often use their mobiles for calling.

Connection hardware and software

Many ISP’s give their subscribers free wireless internet routers with their broadband packages. If you have multiple computers that will be working off of the same line, these can be very convenient. Remember to provide protection for your computer. Virus protection software is available to keep viruses that come from corrupt email attachments, file downloads and suspicious sites from infecting your computer. Usually, security software is included with most packages.

Final word

Eventually, we’ll all have to make a decision on a new ISP. Remember our guide and you’ll hopefully avoid a lot of confusion and disappointment down the road! This guest post comes courtesy of Woosh, a Broadband and Internet provider in New Zealand.

For a complete list of ISP’s in New Zealand, check out internet service providers.

How to choose a Broadband or Internet Service Provider, 4.5 out of 5 based on 4 ratings

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