You may have seen that internet service providers want to cram as many free items and extras into their broadband agreements as possible. These are frequently items that you didn't realize you needed or desired until you saw them advertised. These add-ons are put onto plans to entice you in and make one company's plans look better than the competition's.
The only thing is that all of these freebies and extras might make choosing an internet service provider more difficult, not easier. Choosing a broadband plan used to be as simple as checking out which ISPs were available in your region and then signing up with the one that offered the fastest speeds at the best price. However, as the broadband market has evolved, internet service providers have discovered that they must incentivize their bundles in order to maintain and attract new users. Add-ons come into play in this scenario
Consider this scenario: you were a MediaOne customer who used your @mediaone.net email address for everything. After MediaOne was acquired by AT&T, your address was changed to @attbi.com without warning, and you had to sift through your contact lists and online profiles to adjust your address or risk losing essential communications. Then, a little more than a year later, @attbi.com addresses became @comcast.net ones, and you had to repeat the process. You may have lost a lot of money if you used your email address for commercial reasons and it was printed on the company's tangible materials.
When internet service providers combine or you switch ISPs, having to update your email address on all of your accounts and with all of your contacts is a total nightmare, so when it comes to email addresses offered by internet service providers, you're better off saying thanks but no thanks. There are so many fantastic free email providers out there that linking your email address to your ISP is pointless.
If you want to live dangerously and haven't backed up your devices with a service like Carbonite due to the cost, you might be eligible for free or cheap cloud storage when you switch internet service providers. You are secured against software crashes, hardware issues, human error, weather-related issues, viruses, and the loss or theft of one or more devices if you store your data in the cloud. You can't beat the peace of mind that comes from backing up not just your laptop, but all of your devices. Even better, your ISP's cloud backup service may be less expensive than other data security providers' while also covering more devices.
Password managers create and securely store very strong passwords for a single user, allowing them to log in to devices, websites, and apps without having to remember several passwords. You just need to establish and remember a single master password when you set one up, so you can choose something highly secure rather than recycling simple passwords for different logins (which isn't especially secure) or creating a password that's incredibly easy to remember (and super easy for a hacker to crack).
Bottom line, there are many highly rated free password managers out there; therefore, don't allow this add-on to influence your decision to switch internet service providers.
The primary responsibility of an internet service provider is to provide connectivity. Because these services share infrastructure, several providers also offer telephone service or cable television. Anything added on top of that is considered an add-on. These add-ons can be completely free (such as basic antivirus and firewall software) or come with branded email accounts. Other add-ons, such as premium customer service, Wi-Fi hotspot access, or on-demand film packages, come at a cost, though they're usually discounted (or represented as cheap) for broadband subscribers. These are the extras that ISPs offer to try to persuade you to switch to their plans when service and pricing aren't enough.
Are they, though, useful? Many of the exceptional add-ons promoted by internet service providers aren't totally special. We'll look at some of the most prevalent freebies and extras in this blog post and tell you which ones are worth switching providers for.
It's one thing to get a free modem and wifi router, but what about a free laptop or tablet? Who can say no to that? Some internet service providers have experimented with campaigns that offer free hardware to new users who sign up for particular longer-term agreements. Unfortunately, what appears to be too good to be true frequently is, that the free laptops and gadgets that customers receive in exchange for upgrading to a more expensive premium plan or signing a two-year contract are frequently of poor quality.
One caveat: if you truly require a specific device (such as a tablet for a child who is required to have one for school), moving internet service providers to receive one for free may be worthwhile if the plan is no more expensive than what you're paying now and you were considering switching anyway.
Warranties are being used by some internet service providers to persuade new consumers to sign up for broadband. When you consider how many individuals let warranties lapse or have older equipment, it's hardly surprising. Most manufacturer and extended warranties expire after a year or two, but ISPs' hardware protection policies include PCs, tablets, TVs, and other devices for the duration of the service plan.
Keep in mind that any hardware protection plans you come across will be optional, not included. However, if you have a lot of gadgets at home and the total cost of the internet plans you're considering is modest, a cheap lifetime repair and replacement plan is a nice bonus.
Most internet service providers now include some type of free antivirus software with their services. Typically, any software included in your broadband service will be nearly identical to the free consumer version of the software available for download. This implies that it will have limited functionality and support. On the other hand, some ISPs charge consumers a fee for premium antivirus software. These can be installed on various devices and include live, 24/7 assistance capabilities that may be useful if you are the victim of a cyberattack.
Consider paying for your ISP's paid antivirus product if you feel you need extra protection or if you have a home-based business where data security is critical. When picking between internet service providers, don't be tempted by free antivirus software if you're a casual user. Free security software like Avast or Kaspersky will provide plenty of protection.
Unlike some of the other add-ons we've discussed, some broadband plans come with any time Wi-Fi access (or mobile hotspot access) as a selling point. Anyone who works remotely or travels frequently would appreciate being able to access free broadband internet on the fly at your ISP's network locations without having to use their mobile data. While free Wi-Fi isn't available everywhere, these network locations are generally areas you already frequent, such as chain coffee shops and airports in the United States and abroad, and the connection quality will be superior than the free Wi-Fi that everyone else is using.
As you can see, choosing an internet service provider has become more difficult as ISPs have begun to give new and existing clients more options. The essentials of selecting a broadband provider, though, haven't changed: receive the speed and bandwidth you require at a price you can afford. Don't get trapped in a contract you don't want just because an ISP promises to provide you with anything for free. If you do your homework and take your time, you'll eventually find a broadband package that includes the kinds of extras that genuinely add value to your package.
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