Choosing an internet service provider can be a complicated choice. Since the Philippines has one of the slowest and most expensive internet services in the world, you need to find the best package that can suit your needs. There are also several pricing tiers to consider for broadband bundles and mobile LTE packages. Hence, the question remains: Beyond the pricing plans and service features, how do you know which ISP is the best fit for your place?
Here are some tips to remember when choosing your internet service provider:
Ask Your Neighbors
Your best source for ISP reviews is firsthand customer information, so better ask your neighbors about the quality of their internet connection. After all, some ISPs are strong in some areas, while others aren't. For wired connections, this is entirely dependent on the number of internet street cabinets in your area. For those using mobile hotspots—more popularly known as pocket Wi-Fi—asking others about the signal strength is crucial. Some areas may have a stronger signal with Globe, while PLDT works better for others.
Alternatively, you can also do a Google search for reviews of ISPs specific to your area. You can also browse forums for these no holds barred reviews.
Use a Speed Tester App
You can also use a speed tester app to measure the speed of each connection. Since some ISPs offer trial periods, you can use these apps to gauge your internet speed before signing on for the long haul. Ookla’s Speed Tester is a good tool to measure how fast a connection can be in a given place.
Consider Your Residence
Once you know which provider works best for the area you’re living in, then you can pick the type of connection for the place you're staying in.
Are you renting or living in your own property? For those living in dorms or renting residences, pocket Wi-Fi or mobile broadband might be a better solution if you're staying there for the short term. For those who stay in their own places, wired connections will work best. Even then, if your village or condo has a homeowner’s association, you might need to ask them which connection is available.
Your Internet Usage
Your internet habits are also an important factor. Are you a heavy gamer or do you download a lot via torrent? Heavy users might require a higher data cap and faster speeds. Adding to that is the need for lower latency to ensure a faster server response time and less lag, especially for online gaming.
If you're a casual internet user who mainly sticks to social media and streams videos, then maybe a cheaper package will do. Even a basic P999 per month plan with 2 Mbps can get the job done.
Your Data Caps
It goes without saying that speeds always don't work as advertised, more so if you go beyond your data allocation. This is why the average reliable download speed is another thing you should find out.
For those concerned about data caps, try to ask if the reset period is monthly or daily. Here’s an example for the sake of comparison: a 5 GB per day quota can net you more downloads than a 30 GB per month data cap. If you multiply 5 GB for 31 days, that’s around 155 GB for the whole month.
Once you've settled the above questions, then you can check the pricing plans. Each provider has different speeds and corresponding fees, so going over them and consulting with your sales agent is a must.
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