Advances in technologies like 5G and Wi-Fi 6, which we'll dive into later, have opened up new levels of wireless possibilities in many homes—eliminating messy wires and cables that were once needed to power your devices.
If that's not reason enough start thinking about a break-up, long-term contracts and large monthly bills may do the trick. So, if you’re one of the many Americans who seem to be displeased with their internet provider, here are a few tips for finding the plan that’s right for you:
Know exactly what your plan provides
If you’re unhappy with your internet plan, it helps to know exactly why, which will tell you what you’re looking for in a new plan. Is your internet constantly slow? Is it the price of your internet plan or the iron-clad contract that’s got you down? It never hurts to compare similar packages from other providers. Another quick search for "internet providers in my area" might yield all new results from the last time you looked.
For instance, T-Mobile, America’s fastest growing home internet provider, is offering wireless 5G Home Internet with no annual contracts and one low monthly cost. Check here to learn more and see if T-Mobile 5G Home Internet is available at your address. If not, you can sign up for our waitlist and we will email you once 5G Internet is available!
Shop for exactly what you need
A single person living alone who mostly uses the internet for browsing the web doesn’t need the same internet plan as a family of five in a large house with multiple gaming consoles, connected appliances, smart TVs, computers, and mobile devices. So, there’s no need to pay extra money for a higher-speed plan that you’re not really using. However, if you’re constantly asking yourself "why is the internet so slow?" it could be because you actually need to upgrade the type of internet you have.
Here's a look at the FCC's guidelines for ideal download speeds, based on usage1:
- Light use, single user (email, browsing, basic video, VoIP, Internet radio) = 3 to 8 Mbps
- Moderate use, 3 users (Basic + 1 high-demand application like streaming HD video, video conferencing, gaming, telecommuting) = 12 to 25 Mbps
- High use, 4 or more users (Basic + more than one high-demand application running at the same time) = 25 Mbps+
If your plan offers less-than-ideal download speeds, with every device constantly clamoring for connectivity, upgrading your plan or switching providers is probably a good idea.
Get the downlow about game-changing technologies
- Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6 is being hailed as the next generation of Wi-Fi. While the previous iteration, Wi-Fi 5, was designed to handle homes with a handful of connected devices, Wi-Fi 6 is designed to handle higher volumes of traffic and more devices2. That’s great news considering the average American home now has a whopping 22 connected devices3.
- 5G Internet. 5G internet is a fixed wireless internet service that operates via cellular technology, much like your mobile phone. That's why it's now being offered by companies that, in the past, you may have only considered for your mobile device. Unlike cable internet, which requires coaxial or telephone cables in your home, 5G internet relies on a wireless signal, like a cell phone. So, 5G connects the router directly to a cell tower. Wi-Fi connects a device to the router. While it's not available everywhere, 5G coverage is rapidly expanding. For example, more than 50 million households—a third of them in rural America4—are eligible for T-Mobile 5G Home Internet. You can check to see if it's available in your area now.
Try before you buy
While home internet that's powered by 5G and Wi-Fi 6 sounds amazing, making the change can be scary. After all, what if you don't like it? One solution is to take a home internet test drive for a couple weeks if you're not ready to commit. Since most traditional ISP plans bill monthly, you’ll likely have a comfortable window to try it out.
If you’re happy with your current ISP and just need to upgrade your plan, you can always call your current provider and negotiate. But watch out, providers can lock you into new terms and agreements, which could extend your contract or cause you to lose certain benefits and discounts.
Ready to break up with your ISP?
Once you’ve found your perfect solution—whether it’s one that better suits your wallet, one that offers the right bandwidth for your connected home, or both—all that’s left to do is break the news to your old provider. Sure, your old ISP will likely try to woo you with offers and discounts, but if you’ve done your research, you’ll have already chosen the best plan for you. If they threaten you with early termination fees, don't panic. T-Mobile, for example, offers plenty of good deals to sweeten the pot for those looking to switch providers. So, do your homework.
Now, all that’s left is to say goodbye!