If the annoying screeching sound your computer makes whenever it connects to the web makes you beat your head against the wall, you need to get high speed internet. If you remodel your house while waiting for pages to load, you need to get high speed internet. If your ISP dumps you more often than girlfriends do, you need to get high speed internet. I think I have made my point.
High speed internet is necessary for anyone who uses the internet but is even the slightest bit impatient. When it comes to high speed internet, there are tons of providers out there, each offering a different service. When shopping for high speed internet, be sure to check out the providers in your area and compare their offers. Remember to look not only for speed and price, but customer satisfaction rating, reliability, and more. Also, be sure to check for asterisks and fine print, since they are often used to make a deal look better than it is. Depending on your location, the service providers may or may not be available in your area.
AT&T: AT&T has several speeds of DSL available and it is more expensive the fast it is. The Basic DSL (14x dial-up ) is $19.95 per month. Express DSL (25x dial-up or 1 Mbps) is $25. Pro DSL (50x dial-up or 3 Mbps) costs $30. Elite DSL (125x dial-up) is $35. Both the Pro and Elite DSL come with $50 cash back and a free modem. AT&T DSL is available in 22 states across the USA.
Verizon: Verizon also has several high speeds to chose from. The Verizon Starter Plan (25x dial-up or 1 Mbps) costs $17.99 per month. The Verizon Power Plan (50x dial-up or 3 Mbps) is $29.99. The Verizon Turbo (175x dial-up or 7.1 Mbps) costs $39.99.
Qwest: Qwest offers 3 different DSL speeds, again costing more the faster it is. Qwest Connect (1.5 Mbps) costs $14.99. Qwest Silver (7 Mbps) costs $25. Qwest Platinum (12 Mbps) costs $35. Customers get a free modem by signing up with Qwest.
BellSouth: BellSouth has 4 different DSL speeds from which to choose. FastAccess DSL Lite (13x dial-up) costs $14.95. FastAccess DSL Ultra (25x dial-up) costs $32.95. FastAccess DSL Extreme (50x dial-up) runs $37.95. Their fastest option, FastAccess DSL Extreme 6.0 (100x dial-up) costs $42.95.
Embarq: Embarq has several different speeds for their high speed internet. A 768 kbps connection costs $24.95 per month. A 1.5 Mbps plan costs $29.95. A 3.0 Mbps plan costs $34.95. A 5.0 Mbps connection costs $44.95, and a blazing 10.0 Mbps plan costs $49.95. For each plan, you save $10 if you get internet in a bundle with phone service.
Comcast: Comcast offers cable internet service that is 6 Mbps (100x dial-up), costing $19.99 for the first 6 months. After that initial 6-month period, the price jumps to around $40. You can save money by getting a package deal for Comcast to provide your cable TV and phone service. Comcast is available in 47 states.
Time Warner: Time Warner cable (or Bright House Networks) offers 3 speeds for their cable internet service. Road Runner Lite (14x dial-up) is $19.99. Road Runner Basic (25x dial-up) costs $26.99. Road Runner High Speed (100x dial-up) costs $34.95, but comes with a free modem.
Cox Communications: Cox Communications has high speed internet at several different levels. The Essential package (3 Mbps) costs $32.99. The Preferred package (12 Mbps) costs $44.95 per month with the first month free. The Premier package (20 Mbps) costs $59.95 per month.
Charter: Charter Internet specials have two different speeds for cable. The regular speed (90x dial-up or 5 Mbps) costs $44.99 and their faster speed (10 Mbps) costs $69.97 per month for 12 months, plus a $150 rebate. They often offer deals where the regular internet is only $19.99 for the first 6 months and you can get a free modem for signing up.
Mediacom: Mediacom offers their cable at two speeds: 8 Mbps (128x faster than dial-up) for $45.95 and 20 Mbps (350x faster than dial-up) for $59.95. For both plans, the price is for a package that includes high speed internet and either TV cable or phone service.
Wild Blue: Wild Blue offers 2 different high-speed plans for their satellite internet. The Select Pak (1 Mbps) costs $69.95 per month and the Pro Pak (1.5 Mbps) costs $79.95 per month. Both plans come with free installation and a $50-off voucher for equipment costs.
HughesNet: HughesNet offers 2 different high-speed plans for their internet. The Pro plan (1 Mbps) costs $69.95 and the Pro Plus plan (1.5 Mbps) costs $79.95 per month.
Fiber Optic Providers
Verizon FiOS: Verizon offers 2 different fiber optic plans. Basic Fios starts at up to 5 Mbps download speeds and 2 Mbps upload speed for $42.99 per month. Fastest Fios has up to 50 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upstream $139.99 per month.
AT&T U-Verse: AT&T offers 2 different fiber optic plans. U-verse Express has up to 1.5 Mbps download speeds and 1 Mbps upload speeds (price subject to location). U-verse MAX has up to 18 Mbps download speeds and up to 1.5 Mbps upload speeds (price subject to location).
Qwest: Qwest offers 2 different fiber optic plans. Basic has at up to 12 Mpbs download speeds (price subject to location). Fastest has up to 20 Mbps download (price subject to location).
Should I get a self-installation kit?
In the past, DSL self-installation was a nightmare to install yourself but it is now more user-friendly. Telephone companies promote DSL self-installation by shipping you the modem and software. Your home or office usually has phone jacks within reach of the computer for DSL. Since cable has overtaken DSL in popularity, Ethernet jacks should be close too. If no line is available, a new one will have to be installed or the existing line will have to be spliced.
Cable lets you self-install as well. Sometimes, free installation is included in the price, especially if you bundle services with the company. If not, consider getting a self-install kit, even if you're not the most technically inclined. Most include a guide with easy-to-follow steps and all the necessary cables and software.