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Monthly PC Tips

Don't Skimp on Your Internet Connection

March 2020 – by Per Christensson

In 2015, I explained why you shouldn't skimp when buying a computer. The simple reason is that it's worth investing in a high-quality product that you use every day. If you use the Internet daily, I believe it's worth it to pay for a high-quality Internet connection as well.

Most homes in 2020 contain several Internet-enabled devices — desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smarpthones, smartwatches, and smart appliances. Chances are you use one or more of these devices on a daily basis. If you have a slow Internet connection, files will take longer to download, messages may take longer to send, and you'll have to wait longer for Netflix and YouTube videos to load.

Internet Speed Test on Laptop

Similarly, if you have an unreliable Internet connection, like through your neighbor's Wi-Fi (which hopefully he or she knows you're using), there may be times when you can't access the Internet at all. If you've ever needed to access something online but can't, you know how frustrating this can be.

With this in mind, here are a few Dos and Don'ts when it comes to choosing an Internet connection.

Do:

  1. pay for your own Internet connection
  2. choose a faster Internet connection than the most basic level offered
  3. use a reputable Internet service provider (ISP)
  4. perform regular Internet speed tests to ensure your Internet connection is functioning correctly

Don't:

  1. share your Internet connection with multiple people (this is also a security risk)
  2. choose the cheapest Internet service you can find
  3. choose the fastest Internet option unless you need the extra bandwidth
  4. use a cellular or satellite Internet connection unless it is the only option in your area

And one more tip — use a high-quality, high-speed router. Since wireless devices connect to your router before connecting to the Internet, the router is just as important as your Internet connection. If your ISP provides a combination modem/router, make sure that it is not causing a bottleneck when connecting to the Internet. Either ask the installer to run a speed test or run a few speed tests yourself once your router is up and running. Then you can confirm whether or not your Internet speed is as fast as advertised.

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