What Is an Internet Service Provider?
An Internet Service Provider, or ISP, is a company that provides homes and businesses with an internet connection for a fee. They will offer a range of packages at various price points, often containing additional services such as web hosting, domain name and email services.
Your ISP is not fixed, and you can change it at the end of your contract. Typically, a contract runs between one to two years and incurs a cancellation fee if you end it early. It is recommended that you shop around and compare the prices and deals ISPs are offering, changing providers may bring new upgrades, a stronger connection, and a more affordable price.
Which Internet Provider Is the Best?
According to NI Business Info, there are over 100 internet service providers in the UK, each with its own packages, deals and prices. So, how do you choose between them? Deciding requires careful consideration. Currently, four top brands dominate the market in the UK. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best for you, your family, or your business. To make a sound decision that saves you time and money, you need to consider some critical factors.
Factors To Consider When Choosing an Internet Service
In this guide, we’ll explore the top five aspects you need to consider when deciding which internet service provider is right for you and your needs.
When beginning your ISP comparison journey, we recommend narrowing your search by using a broadband coverage map to check which providers cover your area. Not all providers have national coverage; some provide for fixed or focused regions. You may also live in an isolated town or village where broadband coverage is limited to one provider. Either way, starting here can save you hours of time and energy.
Once you have a list of providers with coverage of your area, we’d suggest asking people you know, like your neighbours, who they use and if they’d rate their ISP. Some of their answers may surprise you, and some big household names may not receive the praise you’d expect. That’s why we suggest not immediately crossing off any less well-known ISPs, as you may find later that they’re a much better option for your area and needs.
In order to gain a complete understanding of the reputation of your short-listed ISPs, we’d advise using a combination of the following:
- Trusted review sites like TrustPilot or Google Reviews.
- Trusted product comparison sites like Go Compare or Which?
- Their branded website and social media reviews and comments.
- The opinion of friends, family and people in your area.
When listening to reviews, it is crucial to consider whether the opinions of previous or current customers match the company's advertised values. For example, is that sentiment echoed by customers if their brand prioritises affordable prices? Discrepancies between their outward appearance and ratings can indicate issues you may encounter in the future.
Products & Service
Different internet service providers are known for various products and services and knowing what you are looking for can help you to be even more selective. Think about the following:
- Do you use lots of different streaming services?
- Do you require a family package?
- Do you use multiple devices at the same time?
- Are you a student?
- Are you a business?
- Do you want a landline or phone package included?
- Do you regularly play video games?
Examining how you use your internet connection can help narrow your shortlist and prioritise ISPs providing packages that suit your needs.
According to the Office for National Statistics, in the UK, hacking offences doubled in the year ending March 2022, which resulted in large-scale data breaches and compromised email and social media accounts. When it is as simple as accidentally clicking a link in an email or downloading a dodgy file, internet security is an essential factor when choosing an ISP. So, if you haven’t got a strong security set-up already, it might be worth considering looking at packages that include one as part of the price.
Additionally, picking a fibre optic package naturally offers an extra level of security, which is worth bearing in mind. The data signals with fibre broadband are sent via pulses of light and don’t use electromagnetic energy, making it much harder for criminals to capture sensitive information.
Download and Upload Speed
Our final top tip is to make sure you think about the internet speed you require. Depending on the size of your household or business and how you use the internet daily, it can give you an idea of the speed you will need in your package. For example, if you typically use your internet for online shopping or streaming films, you don’t need breakneck speeds, so paying for a more expensive package won’t be worth it. However, if you regularly game via consoles or your computer, you will need faster speeds, especially if you play online. It is always worth doing a speed check in your area to see what speed you can get with each ISP.
We’d also recommend, if you can, choosing fibre optic broadband. It is much faster than traditional broadband and offers quicker download speeds as the data signals travel at the speed of light and don’t degenerate over long distances like in copper cables.
Trusted Internet Service Provider Solutions with Glide
At Glide, we are a market-leading internet service provider with award-winning, flexible fibre broadband solutions available for homes and businesses. From dark fibre to dedicated fibre, we have an infrastructure to meet your needs and requirements with 10 Gbit/s speeds and low latency in 100 towns and cities across the UK. Don’t worry if we aren’t in your area yet. We plan to expand to national coverage, including all those hard-to-reach places.
For all our customers, we offer high-quality, ultra-fast and reliable fibre broadband to meet your demands, with great package prices and all-in-one-place billing options for landlords and letting agents. Regardless of what you’re looking for, our in-house customer service team is always on hand and available 24/7 to help by providing world-class user support. Interested? Book a call today to find out how to stay connected with our team at Glide.