Monday, June 1, 2009

13 things to Consider Before Choose an ISP

Choosing an ISP (Internet Service Provider) is not easy as there is huge competition amid ISPs. Mainly telephone and cable companies may provide this service and there are many other companies to choose from as well.ISP - Internet Service Provider

Some of these Internet service providers just provide the basics e-mail and access to the Internet and some other provides extra benefits, such as their own online shopping malls, chat rooms and etc.

Here are some criteria to consider when choosing an Internet Service Provider (ISP)

1. Will you usually access to the Internet only from one location or do you travel and need to work from different locations using a laptop computer? If you travel then you definitely want an ISP with either a nationwide access number or an ISP with many dial-up local access numbers.

2. If you travel be sure your ISP provides POP3, SMTP, and Webmail services. You need to be able to receive and send your e-mail using any e-mail reader (Eudora, Outlook Express & etc) and using a web-based interface, not just using the ISP's own interface.

3. Ask from your friends and relatives about the provider they’re using and if they're happy with that service.

4. Find out about the features different providers offer and decide which are most important to you.

5. A price is so important. Some providers charge flat monthly fees and some charge by the minute and others may give you a choice or combination of both. Consider a cheaper provider, but make sure they have the services you do need.

6. If you plan to connect through a phone line choose a service that has a local number to dial in. So you won't have to pay toll-charges while you're online.

7. Some ISP offer discounts if you sign up for a long-term contract and pay in advance. But reality is companies come and go. So find how those companies behave past, how much we can rely on them.

8. Do you want newsgroup access? Make sure your ISP provides that.

9. If you are planning to have your own website, be sure your ISP allows FTP access, so you can upload your pages, preferably using your choice of FTP software not just theirs.

10. Do you want to use the "home page" space provided by your ISP to host your business pages? If so find out will your ISP let you have your own domain name? How much extra will they charge for hosting your own domain name?

11. Find out the provider's privacy policy. What information is collected about you, how that information is used, and how you can control your personal information.

12. Pay attention to security. Know how your personal information is protected from inappropriate access by others outside and inside the company.

13. Look for companies you can reach both online and offline. If you need help and that have customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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