Happy woman at cafe using laptop

Please Shop Around For Internet

Every time I talk about Internet options I hear “I have no other options” or “there is DSL, but DSL is slow.”

Hold on! Ninety percent of the time I talk someone into looking around, the ones who said there are no other options find out there are, and the ones who said DSL is slow find out it’s a lot faster than they remember.

DSL has come a long way and switching back and forth between cable Internet and DSL will give you the best possible deals.

Shopping around is most important when you are looking at downgrading from a bundle to Internet only. Cable companies especially seem to hate giving any type of discount to someone who wants to downgrade. For example, my local cable company will charge a new customer $29.99 for 100 Mbps down, but customers who downgrade to the same plan pay more than double at $70 a month.

Take a moment, do some research, and do not discount DSL. I often switch between DSL and cable TV. You may be surprised to see AT&T DSL in some areas even offers a 1 Gbps option and 100 down DSL is more common than you may think. Don’t want to go with AT&T or Centurylink maybe look into some of the smaller DSL companies like Toast.net.

So take time and do so research every year, because it could save you hundreds. Even if you want to stay where you are knowing what the other ISPs offer can help you argue for a better deal.

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  • Gerry Allen

    In our town, CenturyLink offers 20 Mbps for $61 per month. Spectrum (nee Charter) offers 66 Mbps for $70 per month. Toast, AT&T and others are not offered in this zip code. So, really no competition.

    • Still look at switching back and forth or even the threat of it can get some companies to pay you less. 20 Mbps is more than enough to be a cord cutter.

  • Elizabeth

    Cox has a complete monopoly in the apartments where I can live since AT&T doesn’t offer DSL here. I’m stuck paying $60/mo + fees and taxes. And that’s after I threatened to cancel and they gave me a discount.

  • briscuit

    Anyone familiar with the new service Layer 3? They are advertising in my area now, other wise COX as it sewed up.

    • Nathan John Ganiere

      heard of it but last I knew it wasn’t available here

  • Lynnneez

    I pay $150 to Comcast for 200 Mbps down. I can downgrade to the next lowest level for existing customers to 50 mbps for $99. Nice pricing structure they created…. You would think that living in Silicon Valley would provide me with more options, but it doesn’t. I can go ATT, but their 45Mbps option, which is the highest they have, actually provides about 8-10 down, which no matter what anyone claims, is not enough to stream. It’s just enough to buffer my fire tv into uselessness.

  • Vegas Steve

    Cox was (is) gouging the people here because it was the only option (still is for many). When I started with them, I was getting 50Mbps down for just under $50, 4-5 years ago with a 200GB loose cap. Now, it’s $80 for the same service with a 1TB cap. Centurylink went by my house with fiber last year. I just got service from them… $60/month for life, 100Mbps down with no cap. Why did I wait a year to do this? lol No one should wonder why people hate cable companies.

  • dugants193

    Only option here is Spectrum, DSL not available in my town. Fiber optic was run 200 feet from my house. They won’t go to my house because it is to far from there route. So again the only option is Spectrum at $65 for 60 Mbps down.

  • Land Chainsaw

    Luke, I appreciate what you are doing, but throwing out a number like “90 percent” without REALLY looking at the empirical data hurts your credibility. You must only speak to people in major cities…. Everyone within an hour drive north, west and south of my location has two options, cable and DSL, and DSL speed still depends upon how close you are to some switching station. In rural areas, the telephone companies do not invest in what is necessary to improve DSL, so even in a “tech-savvy” town like mine is supposed to be, our homes are either stuck with being gouged by Comcast (and believe me they know they are the only game in town) or poor DSL. It’s true… For streaming, I only have one option and I have to pay for it.

    • You are right about one thing there are many people who can not get high speed internet or have options. There are over 321,400,000 people living int he United states so if just 10% of them don’t meet what I talked about here that still leaves over 32 million with out options. Yet the vast majority of Americans do have options.

      • Daniel Darnell

        An article on DSLreports.com just a few months ago showed that 40% of american’s actually had no good second choice for a broadband ISP and that DSL was still not a choice for many. It’s far more than 10%. Broadband in the US still is god awful compared to the rest of the world.

  • HiroRoshi

    Some might be surprised how well 5M can work for streaming, even 2-3M with lower quality video. I have Google Fiber Gigabit but they also offer 5M for free with no caps in KC and know several with it. It works fine for streaming with essentially all streaming services. Is a hassle if also needing to download files while streaming but still very doable in light user households who stream one at a time. But watch for caps with DSL.

  • Andrew Webber

    I have had CenturyLink (12mbps) for 3 years now. Every 12 months they want to take my bill of 29.95 to 59.95. I complain and threaten to leave and sure enough I get 29.95 again. Sometimes just threatening does the trick. I had cable internet prior to centurylink and did the same thing and it worked.

    BTW I have been a cord cutter for 3 years now and have had Sling, PS Vue, and DTVN during that time and it has all worked with just 12mbps. You don’t need super high speed internet to stream.

  • Aridon

    One other thing people can do is call up the cable company, cancel and see if they offer you something. If you’re nice to the person they’ll usually work with you a little so long as you’ve gotten a bill without a discount on it. If you call while still receiving discounts their options can be limited.

    Anyway, if you don’t like the offer, cancel. Soon as your current service gets turned off, call back under your room mate or wife, use your wife’s maiden name and sign up as a new customer.

    We have done that for years with Xfinity without issue. We simply alternate accounts under her maiden name and myself. Never had an issue. Once the new account is setup, they transfer you to tech support that adds the mac address of your owned modem and you’re back up and running.

  • bobEveryman

    My only option other than Spectrum ($64.99 for ~65mbps) is CenturyLink, and they will only offer me 3mbps (not 30, just single digit 3mpbs!) for ~$35? I haven’t looked at their pricing very much, as 3mbps is much too low for any home usage.

  • Jack Astor

    How can I shop when I only have one option for high speed internet.

    I guess Flyover Country getting screwed again.

    I pay $100 for 60 mbps from Spectrum.

  • charles perry

    HMM….does your cable company’s name rhyme with Bombast?

  • BigO

    We have TWC (Spectrum) for internet, and I have shopped around multiple times (AT&T / Toast / EarthLink). But, all are around the same price, and some of them have caps. As such, we have stayed with Spectrum.

  • Michael Rhoden

    Options are great..unless you have no options at all. All we have are old copper lines…att dsl…something they dare call.. EXTREME DSL…something they dare call 6mb which rarely goes to 5 and goes down to kbps when it rains. Tech comes out and says hey i got it fixed..next day same old thing. Cable stops two miles from the house. ATT’s magical rural initiative is in alabama but, of course, not available in our area. It’s not like we don’t have a road filled with homes..no one gives a crap.

  • Rob Hawkins

    After reading this I finally got the nerve to call Charter, did everything you’ve written about, name the competitor, the price, that I couldn’t afford the current price. First they offered 10 off, I asked if that’s the best they can do and that the competition is another 10 less than that. Said that I’ve been a very loyal customer and would like to stay with them. Finally offered me 44.99. I’m so happy, thanks!

  • Mike Thaler

    How much is this going to cost? Is it a viable home alternative?
    AT&T says they recently tested LTE-LAA technology in San Francisco where they observed peak speeds of more than 750Mbps. For now, only Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ phones will work with the new 5G network. AT&T says more 5G Evolution devices will be coming in the coming months.

    The goal with 5G does not stop at your cell phone. The final goal is home internet something Verizon is betting heavily on. The idea is to put a router inside your house and turn it into a traditional WiFi signal. This would for the first time give real competition in the home internet market.

    5G will cut the time of rolling out fiber internet speeds from years to months. In the past to improve internet speeds companies had to run fiber to each home in a town. Something that is very expensive and time-consuming. Now they can just upgrade their cellphone towers and in a few months, a town can be covered in fiber speed internet. To prepare for this new 5G home internet Verizon, for example, is spending over a billion dollars to run more fiber to their cellphone towers.

  • Daniel Darnell

    That’s not my experience. I’d say one out of ten people I see actually has decent DSL speeds. I’m one of the lucky ones but the truth is DSL for many is still awful and stuck at low speeds. Not everyone but too many and around 40% of american’s from what I last lead have no second good choice for an ISP. I agree to shop around but let’s face it, you have a good shot of having no solid second option.