Choosing a high-speed Internet provider can be a challenging task, especially considering there are more options these days than ever. With high-speed Internet, price and speed of the connection are generally related. Less expensive options will generally be slower. Consumers should be prepared to spend at least $30 to $40 per month or more if they are looking for an option with considerable speed.
One of the newest methods to connect to the Internet via broadband is fiber optic lines. These connections offer some of the highest speeds and are able to do so at relatively low cost. Verizon is one of first the companies to offer this in certain areas, called FiOS. A 15 MBps plan is offered for $49.99 per month while two higher plans, 25 and 50 MBps, are offered at $64.99 and $139.95 monthly respectively.
DSL is available through standard telephone lines, and averages speeds of between 1 MBps and 7 MBps. For example, Verizon (one of the largest providers) offers a basic 1 MBps plan for $19.99 a month, 3 MBps speed for $29.99 and up to 7 MBps for $39.99 monthly.
Another option that is quickly gaining popularity is WiMAX, which is delivered to homes via wireless signals (much like a wireless network). One of the biggest companies in the U.S. to offer this type of service is Clear. The company claims speeds of around 3 to 6 MBps on average, and service will cost about $40 per month.
One of the most popular methods of high-speed Internet access, cable Internet is provided through the coaxial cable lines that deliver television signals into the home. Speeds average anywhere from as slow as 1 MBps to as fast as 50 MBps or more depending on the area. Comcast, for example, has three levels of service: an economy option (1.5 MBps) for $38.95 per month; a standard option (15 MBps) for $57.95; and a premium option (50 MBps) for $117.95 per month.
For those who may not have access to high-speed Internet through the most common methods, typically in rural areas, satellite Internet is another option. Signals are received by satellite dish, although speeds are much slower, from 512 KBps to 1.5 MBps. Wildblue is one of these providers. Packages range from $49.95 to $79.95 monthly depending on the speed desired.
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