Scissors cutting a computer wire on gray background (wireless or blackout concept)

5 Cord Cutting Pro Tips

Scissors cutting a computer wire on gray background (wireless or blackout concept)Cord cutting is probably one of the best decisions you could make this year; however, there can be a bit of a learning curve to becoming a cord cutter.

So I wanted to take a minute and pass along my top 5 cord cutting pro tips.

#1 This Is Not Your Grandpas Antenna TV

You may remember your grandparents had an antenna back in the day and may have had 3 or 4 stations. We have come a long way when it comes to over-the-air TV.

Now, on average, cord cutters get 30 channels including the big ones—ABC, CW, CBS, FOX, and NBC—along with a ton of other great channels 100% free! Wondering what you could get for free over the air? Check AntennaRecommendations.com to find out what you should pick up with an indoor or an outdoor antenna.

#2 There Are No Contracts

Often new cord cutters get stuck with the idea that once they sign up for a service they have to keep paying for it. The good news for cord cutters is there are no contracts.

So feel free to jump around and try out different services. Many of them, such as Sling TV, Hulu, DIRECTV NOWAmazon Prime Video, etc all offer free trials.

#3 Take Your Time

The number one mistake people make when they cut the cord is rushing into it. Taking a bit of time before you cancel your pay-TV subscription can help you avoid overpaying. Make sure to set up everything first—from your antenna to streaming players. Test different streaming services before canceling pay-TV.

This way when you cancel your pay-TV provider you are not rushing out to buy any antenna you can find in hopes of watching your favorite show tonight. A little preparation will ensure that when you cancel cable TV you are set for your life as a cord cutter.

#4 Don’t Get Tricked Into Overpaying For Internet

Often when you downgrade to Internet only one of two things will happen. They will do their best to convince you to upgrade your Internet speed to a crazy high level. Or they will try to get you to bundle.

The truth is you really only need 20 Mbps down to get a good streaming experience. (But faster is nice.) So don’t be tricked into the idea that you need a faster speed to stream your content.

They will also try to get you to bundle your service with a phone or TV option. Remember: Don’t get tricked into promotional pricing. They will say anything over the phone but remember when you add services they add fees and often only tell you the promotional rate.

#5 Shop Around For Internet

Sadly your cable company could care less that you have been with them for 10 years. They won’t give you the best deal out there. If you want a good deal you often need to shop around different service providers. I know many think of DSL as slow but for many the speeds of DSL will be the same or close to that of cable TV. Every few years I switch back and forth to make sure I get the best deal. They are always willing to welcome you back and will give you a deal you could never get if you stayed with them.

Do you have a cord cutting tip? Post it in the comments so everyone can learn about it.

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9 Responses to 5 Cord Cutting Pro Tips

  1. Avatar
    gotadimple February 3, 2017 at 1:46 pm #

    If #1 is not an option, request Basic Cable from your provider – it gets you the same over the air channels (about 30 or so) for a minimum charge plus taxes.

  2. Avatar
    LW February 3, 2017 at 10:04 pm #

    Why does anyone still have cable? There are so many services that stream everything for free. And I mean everything. Haven’t had cable for five years now and don’t miss a thing I want to watch.

    • Avatar
      Mark M February 6, 2017 at 10:39 am #

      “There are so many services that stream everything for free. And I mean everything”

      Really? Where do I get my live local sports…not ESPN, but locals like NESN, or other regional sports networks? Get me those and I’m done with cable, but I’m not willing to live without them. That’s why I still have cable.

  3. Avatar
    Don K February 5, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    #1
    Who you calling Grandpa? You make me feel old. It really wasn’t that long ago. Just the other day my son asked me about an old TV that we have in the basement. I explained how, when I was his age, we only had 6 channels (and that was on a good day) and we had to get up and walk over to the TV to change it. He said “man, you’re like a fossil!)
    Anyway, we get 43 channels OTA with my rooftop antenna. Most of the main channels are HD and look better than the over-compressed version of the same channels on cable. I tend to watch some of the sub-channels more often though because they show reruns of shows that I grew up with.

    #4
    I agree that 20Mbps is probably fast enough for most people, but there are also a couple of other factors to consider. At my house, we have 6 TV’s. It’s rare, but we have on occasion had 5 of the 6 streaming at the same time. Each of the kids are watching their own thing, my wife watching a movie, and I’m watching a baseball game.
    Also, make sure that you’re getting the speed that you’re paying for, and getting it all the time, including during peak usage. Many ISP’s will tell you to go to their speed testing website or go to Ookla’s speedtest.net. I’m convinced that the results on these pages are inaccurate or maybe even fixed. Why do I say this? speedtest.net pretty much shows the same speed, give or take a Mb, no matter when I test it. That might make you think that my connection is just good and consistent. But if I try another testing site like testmy.net, the speed varies depending on when I test. It is the slowest in the evenings, especially on weekends, which coincides with peak usage. If I use testmy.net at a time like 3am, I get my rated speed, or maybe even a little higher, but during the day it’s usually lower than it’s supposed to be.

    #5
    DSL is only good if you’re physically close to the provider’s equipment. The more wire between you and them, the slower it’s going to be. I don’t know why they even try to sell DSL in my area. Everyone that I know that has tried it says that it’s very slow and inconsistent. YMMV.

  4. Avatar
    normgregory February 12, 2017 at 6:13 pm #

    Forget the antenna if you live in ‘hilly’ Seattle.

  5. Avatar
    rjdriver February 15, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

    I get over 40 channels with my antenna, but not everyone can count on that. I only use it to watch local news occasionally, and one CBS network series to which I am hooked.

    My advise to potential cord cutters is to buy a Roku and subscribe to Netflix. Only Netflix.. If you are already an Amazon Prime member then obviously you’ll sign in to that on the Roku as well. Spend several months getting used to how these work. One of the biggest changes you’ll find is the inability to flip though the channels, bing, bing, bing with your remote. That’s a nice convenience and losing it takes some getting used to. Streaming video is more like surfing the Internet on a computer. The pace is a bit slower.

    But after you have found some old TV series you missed and watched all their seasons, learned the joys of occasional binge watching, and discovered how well done some of the Netflix original series are, I think you will one day say to yourself, “Gee, its really nice to be to watch these shows with no commercials.” And that may just be the hook that brings you on board fully, the one that makes you examine how much of what you watch on cable you really need.

    Its the reason I cancelled 8 years ago – commercial overload. I am now spending just about the same amount per month that I was on advertiser’s heaven (cable) in 2009, for Netflix, Amazon, HBO and Showtime, but no more commercials. And with HBO and Showtime, there’s no commitment. If the only show you like on HBO is Game of Thrones, subscribe for 2-3 months while its on, then cancel until the next season starts. Same with Showtime. Even if cable were to start offering real a la carte, I won’t be going back. Ever.

  6. Avatar
    Randy Rowe February 15, 2017 at 11:12 pm #

    Make your own bundle with OTA to potentially minimize your streaming service costs, OTA is FREE. Then look at what your REALLY need. Like switching to solar power, downsize first and your wont need 5 services that could cost just as much.
    Look for Internet plans with no data caps in case your household gets very busy with streaming. Then look at some form of free or low cost VoIP phone service. I used to work at a cable and satellite company with access to virtually EVERY channel in N.A. Now I have an antenna that gets me 90 % and I stream On Demand, never live the balance.

  7. Avatar
    Bob Smith February 21, 2017 at 9:45 am #

    Don’t walk away from Comcast, RUN!!