When choosing a good cable internet provider, most people tend to focus on the speed, amount of data offered in the plan, and the cost. However, there are various other factors that you absolutely must keep in mind. These factors can make a significant difference in the service you receive and long-term sustainability of your choice.
Does the Cable Internet Provider Require a Contract?
Interestingly, many cable internet providers will offer you services without the need for signing a contract. While this may seem like an unnecessary hassle that you would want to avoid, getting a contract has its advantages. That’s because the contract will clearly outline the fees, terms and conditions, and other information you should know. Having a clear-cut view eliminates the possibility of nasty surprises down the line. Here’s some of the important information you might want to look out for:
- The Terms of the Contract: Check the contract for the term it specifies. Some companies may offer you services for more than 6 or 12 months without the need for a formal agreement. Getting cable internet outside of a contract can allow you to terminate the service if you aren’t quite happy with it.
- Money-Back Guarantee: Good companies are likely to stand by their services and offer to provide internet with a cash-back assurance within a fixed time interval. Accordingly, you can test the services during that time and decide if you want to continue with the company on a long-term basis.
- Price Hikes: The contract will let you know about the price hikes you can expect and the time intervals at which the company will levy them. This piece of information allows you to work out your monthly expenses well in advance and you can decide if you want to continue to get services from the company if you have to pay higher charges down the line.
- Activation Fees: Check if the contract includes an activation fee. Some providers usually do include them.
- Early Termination Fee: In case you foresee moving in the near future, check the contract for mentions of an early termination fee. This information is essential in case you need to cancel the subscription before the term is up.
What Equipment You’ll Need for a Cable Internet Subscription?
Talk to the cable internet providing company about the equipment you’ll need. Here are the possible options:
- Typically, you’ll need to get an Ethernet cable and modem.
- Should you opt for satellite internet services, the company might include the installation of the satellite dish and any other cables you need to set up the system.
- Some cable internet providers may include the modem in the start-up kit while others may require you to pay a monthly charge or rent for using the modem.
- You might also want to check if the company will ship the equipment to you for a charge or free of cost.
- Depending on the provider you’ve chosen, a wireless gateway is another piece of equipment you might need. This gadget will bring you both internet and TV services.
What is the Installation Process for Cable Internet?
Now that you have the equipment sorted, you’ll also need to work out how to install and set up the internet service. Most companies offer you these options:
- Check if the company provides a warranty and free after-sales service on the installation of the internet equipment within a certain time interval.
- You have the option of installing the equipment on your own or hiring the services of a professional handyman to take care of it for you for a charge.
- You can schedule the installation time online according to your convenience.
Given that efficient and thorough installation can help you avoid problems in the long-run, it is advisable to get the professionals to deal with it for you.
Can You Manage Your Cable Internet Account Online?
Make sure the cable internet provider has an interactive website so you can perform all account-related functions online. Of course, most companies offer you this service. These operations can include:
- Updating contact information
- Viewing bills, making payments, and updating payment information
- If you have opted for a satellite internet service, you can check for the bandwidth available to you on the provider website.
- Viewing email accounts
How Good is the Performance and Speed Levels of Your Cable Internet Plan?
Different internet providers offer you a choice of plans and data usage packages. Check for their plans before you make the final choice. Here are some of the options you may have:
- Unlimited data usage or slower internet speeds once you cross the allotted slab.
- Alternatively, you may have to pay added charges according to the amount of data you use.
- These plans may apply to satellite or 4G internet services.
You can look forward to various performance levels such as:
- Standard High Speeds - Download speeds of up to 10Mbps
- Performance High Speeds - Download speeds ranging from 26 to 50 Mbps.
- Consistent Bandwidth Service with No Throttling: You will have unlimited bandwidth usage.
- High Speed Plus - Download speeds ranging from 11 to 25 Mbps
- High Performance: Download speeds ranging from 51 to 100 Mbps
- Extreme Performance: Download speeds of over 100 Mbps
- Extreme Plus Performance: Download speeds of over 250 Mbps
What Kind of Support Does the Company Provide?
Good customer support is one of the main features you should look for when choosing a cable internet provider. Check for the available support channels in case you need to contact the company with issues. For instance, see if they offer support over the phone, by email, live chat on their website, and social media pages support. You may not need these services in the normal course but they should be on hand if the need arises.
- The cable internet service provider should have a phone number you can call.
- The service provider should have live chat services on its website.
- The internet company should provide you with an email ID where you can contact them for support.
- You should receive a ticket number for the complaint when you register it.
- The company should have at least one 24/7 dedicated support helpline you can contact.
- When needed, you should be able to talk to a trained tech support agent who can help you with technical issues.
- The internet company should have social media pages where they take complaints and queries.
What is the Procedure for Signing up for a Cable Internet Subscription?
The signing up procedures involve your contacting the service provider you’ve chosen and getting the optimum plan along with the equipment needed. You can search online for internet providers in your area and find a phone number, website, or retail store that has the information. You could also check out sites like CompareMyRates that give you the detailed information you need of all the companies in your area so you can compare them and make the right choice. Know that you won’t need to go through credit checks to get an internet connection. Here are your options:
- Call the service provider you like best over the phone and sign up for the service.
- Should you choose to sign up with a service provider online, you can log onto their website and study their plans and choose the one that best matches your needs. You can use the online tool to sign up or find a physical location you can visit.
- Visit the retail store of the authorized dealer and sign up for the service. They will provide you with all the information you need and guide you through the installation procedures.
What Addons Should You Expect with your Cable Internet Subscription?
Most internet providers sweeten the deal with additional perks, discounts, and other add-ons. Make sure you check the add-ons offered by each company before making your choice. While these add-ons may vary according to the type of internet you’ve chosen, they can help you make significant savings. Here’s how:
- In case you opt for satellite internet, you might be able to avail of the free usage zones where you can use the internet and not have the usage added to your monthly data limit.
- In case you opt for the 4G mobile broadband service, you might receive an internet package at no extra charge.
- If you opt for cable internet, you could get discounted bundles by choosing their TV and phone services also.
- Companies may offer you bonuses from time to time.
- Your internet service provider may offer you the facility of using a free of cost email account.
- Some companies offer you Wi-Fi Hotspot Access so you can connect to the internet from any location.
Does the Company Provide Guides?
When you log onto the internet service provider’s website, you’ll likely find information about their products and services in addition to other details such as:
- Instructions on how to deal with any technical issues that might arise
- An FAQ page that typically answers any other basic queries you may have
- Troubleshooting page that will walk you through the procedures to follow in case you face specific problems
- User guides and manuals that direct you to the setting up and installation processes
- Forum where users pose questions and answers and interact with the representatives of the company
- Blog or articles page that gives you detailed information about the services that the company provides
Examples of the Best Cable Internet Plans in Canada
To help you learn how to choose a plan, here are examples of some of the best cable internet plans in Canada: