Read these 7 Low Cost ISPs Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about ISP tips and hundreds of other topics.
Most cheap ISPs don't offer the full suite of ISP services that one might expect. There are a few services in particular that are worth checking before signing up with a low-cost ISP. First, it is very rare for a low-cost ISP to provide Usenet news access, and there are times when virtually everyone can make use of Usenet. Second, inexpensive ISPs will probably also not offer any shell account options. Third, cheap ISPs will usually not provide secure access methods like APOP, SFTP, SSH, and SSL.
Cheap ISPs may or may not be secure depending upon how they are run. When you are comparing ISPs, check for secure access methods like APOP, SFTP, SSH, and SSL. Generally speaking the more secure access methods an ISP offers, the more likely it is to employ secure ISP technology in its standard procedures. Of course, just having these secure options available doesn't guarantee security. It's also important to check user reviews before signing up with a cheap ISP.
The Internet is platform-neutral. It doesn't care what kind of computer you're using; all computers (theoretically, at least) observe the same Internet protocols. Some ISPs though deliberately introduce incompatibilities to force a vendor lock-in. If an ISP requires you to use special software for Internet access, it's generally a bad sign. When comparing ISP providers, check what computers they work with. An ISP should always work with all computer types (MS-Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc.) and if they state otherwise in the small print they are best avoided even if you happen to be using one of the computer types they support.
Usually cheap ISPs are less reliable than their more expensive counterparts. However, being expensive does not guarantee reliability, either. Some of the most expensive ISPs have poor ISP reliability and poor ISP security ratings. Always check third-party reviews before signing up with any ISP, cheap or otherwise. Usually one can pretty quickly rule out the ISPs with reputations for poor reliability.
Be wary of cheap internet service providers. Generally one gets what one pays for, and things are no different in the world of ISPs. Usually there will be a reason the ISP is cheap. It may have to do with ISP reliability, ISP security, ISP speed, or even the scope of ISP services offered. The company could even have inferior ISP technology. Of course some ISPs are overpriced and sometimes there are deals to be found (especially with local ISPs), but buyer beware.
Some cheap ISPs make money from advertising in addition to your monthly payments. This means that when you utilize their ISP services you may get hit with advertisements that they are delivering to you. It also means that in some cases they will sell your personal information to advertisers. Always check ISP privacy policies before signing up with a low-cost ISP. Getting more bandwidth for your dollar is meaningless if it's being consumed by advertisements that you don't want.
Comparing ISPs by price is easy. First get a list of all the ISPs that offer the ISP services that you require. Then look at the prices for each one. Note that if you skip the first step you may end up with an ISP that doesn't do everything you need. Not all ISPs offer the same set of services. You may also want to consider other factors like customer service, ISP reliability, and ISP security. If you're shopping for a business' Internet access, price should be one of the last things to compare.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|