How to choose an internet plan

19 September 2022

Ready to pick out an internet plan but overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices available to you? If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Having more service providers to choose from benefits you as the consumer. However it also means having to sift through dozens of options to find the perfect one. So where do you begin? Here’s how you can narrow down your selection.

Consider your budget

Knowing your budget is the first step in selecting an internet plan. You’ll also need to choose between a contract or month-to-month service. Committing to a contract means your internet will stay connected without unexpected costs. However these packages often make you pay for installation and hardware upfront, making them costly to start with. They can also cap your data consumption and line speed, which can be costly to change.

A month-to-month service gives you more freedom and is great if your usage varies from month to month. It also gives you the power to upgrade or downgrade your package quickly and easily. 

It can be more affordable upfront as its installation and set-up costs are built into your monthly bill. However should you find yourself short of data, topping up can be costly.

Consider your usage and required speeds

Estimating your consumption starts with considering your usage and required speeds. This will be impacted by how many people are in your household as well as when each person will be using the internet. A service allowing one person to watch movies in HD might not support four people wanting to watch several different shows in different rooms of the house. 

If you only occasionally use the internet to check your email or browse social media your needs will be at the lower end of estimated consumption. Add to this the occasional streaming of music or video chat and your consumption will be intermediate. If you work from home and need to exchange large files and also enjoy binging your favourite show your needs will be higher. And if you’re a gamer or content creator your needs will likely be high.

Capped and uncapped internet options exist — but not all of them offer the same benefits. Some service providers will drop your line speeds once you reach a certain level of consumption. This won’t be a problem if you only occasionally exceed your average usage. However if you’re in the middle of an online gaming session, a drop in speed could be catastrophic.

Ask, ask, ask

Many factors will impact your final choice of internet plan, which is why it shouldn’t be a decision you rush into. The key to getting it right is asking as many questions as you need to. This means working with an internet provider willing to address your concerns and explain any terms you’re unfamiliar with. 

With over 40 different internet service providers to choose from, SADV is more than equipped to match you with a service that perfectly meets your needs. With extensive experience in connecting South Africans to the internet, we’re ready and waiting to tailor to walk you through whatever internet plan you might have in mind.

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© 2023 SA Digital Villages. All rights reserved