Category Archives: Internet Deals & Packages

3 Things to Know about the Peak TV Era

3 Things to Know about the Peak TV Era

The Era of Peak TV is still going strong.

First, it was broadcast channels, and it was not enough.

Then came cable television, and it was better, but not still not enough.

Now we have streaming networks, internet TV, and more ways to get new and scripted shows.

In 2015, the head of FX, John Landgraf, dubbed this the Era of “Peak TV.”Peak TV

Not just TV, but the abundance of scripted shows. And Landgraf warned that if there were more than 500 that would be “the peak.” After that, there would be too many scripted TV shows to go around.

Too many options of what to watch.

As a result, the bubble would burst and we’d see a sharp decline in scripted television.

By some counts, there are more than 500 scripted shows on television right now.

We’ve passed Landgraf’s limit.

So…what happens now?

While some networks, like Freeform and MTV, have switched from scripted programs to reality, the trend hasn’t quite caught on. Networks and streaming services, the most obvious being Netflix, are still churning out new shows. And while viewers can take advantage of this with internet bundle deals to make the most of cable and internet, the bubble still appears intact.

With no end in sight, the Era of Peak TV marches on.

But what does that really mean?

The Good

As stated previously, there is an abundance, a plethora, a deluge of scripted television to watch.

Either broadcast, cable, or streaming, there is something that is bound to catch your attention and draw you in. Gone are the days when you had to wait for the show to air on it’s selected channel and night. And worse than that, if you couldn’t watch it, you had to set the timer on your VCR to record it and hope that a power outage wouldn’t screw that up.

Now we are blessed with DVR, on-demand, and best of all, streaming.

Thanks to these services, creators have produced more shows to fill the demand. Or was it the other way around?

Peak TVWhichever came first, the point is that the ability to watch a show when you want necessitates an excess of television.

To meet that need, big names like Judd Apatow and Shonda Rhimes have been wooed to subscriber-based television to produce shows that a dedicated audience will pay for. If they watch everyone single one of them or not at all, it doesn’t matter. These services have provided a better outlet for producers and writers to create the shows they want to create.

The Bad

The downside of this abundance is the quality of the shows being produced.

With any group, no matter how big or small, there will be top performers and bottom performers. When there were few shows, the bad ones were easily weeded out and replaced with ones that might do better. Now, with the 500+ shows available, that means there will be a lot of bad ones out there.

Since those shows are already paid for, you might end up wasting your money on them.

Another facet of this is that the scriptwriters are the ones who are apparently suffering.

Since more shows are being created, they tend to come in smaller packages. The old 22-episode seasons of a sitcom or drama is not the typical format you’d find these days. Instead, we’re seeing eight, ten, thirteen-episode seasons. A writer will usually be paid by the show or for a set number of episodes. If there are fewer episodes, that means a smaller paycheck.

The simple answer would be to just write for more shows, but that will lead to burn out and a decrease in quality. This ties back to the previous item of bad shows being produced.

One last thing- option overload.

With so many shows available it’s hard to decide on which show to watch. Some nights you might find yourself debating which show to watch and end up not watching anything.

When Will It End?

We may have passed Landgraf’s omen of 500 shows, but there’s no telling how long it will last.

500 shows this year could mean little. Next year there might be 550, and the year after that 600. Maybe then we’ll find out if the bubble will pop. Another possibility is that we may hover around 500 for a few years and then see the bubble pop.

There’s no way of telling.Peak TV

Having access to nearly 500 shows isn’t a bad thing. We get to see a wealth of stories and expand our creativity more.

Another downside is the price that all this entails: To get access to this wealth of engaging stories means having to pay for more than one subscription.

This is on top of already paying for cable and internet. So then why not pay less for both? Save yourself some money while you download the latest episode by checking out internet bundle deals.

Switch your provider or plan, and you’ll be in the best spot to enjoy all the Era of Peak TV has to offer.

6 Steps to Finding the Best Deals on Amazon Prime Day

6 Steps to Finding the Best Deals on Amazon Prime Day

The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, is the biggest shopping day in the United States. In 2017, a recorded 97,632,000 million people entered a retail store to make a purchase and the sales figures for that day, both in retail and online sales, were in the billions.

More impressive than that, the numbers for Black Friday 2017 were dwarfed by the sales figures of the following Monday, Cyber Monday.

And a good chunk of those sales were on Amazon.

And why shouldn’t they? They’re the largest online retailer and it was the holiday season.

Amazon, however, has decided to take this a step further- they’ve created their own holiday, in their own image.

Amazon Prime Day.

Now in its fourth year, Amazon Prime Day will fall on Monday, July 16th.

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Despite being called a “day” Amazon Prime Day will last for 36 hours, starting at noon on July 16th, and ending at midnight on July 17th, Eastern Standard Time.

This day will be full of special discounts, deals, and lightning deals…open only to Amazon Prime Members.

This includes ALL Amazon Prime Members. It matters not if you live outside the United States and could care less about Black Friday, if you’re an Amazon Prime Member, you’re already in!

The first step, then, to getting in on all these good deals, is to become an Amazon Prime Member.

Step 1- Become a Prime Member

Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Members enjoy perks like free same-day delivery and two-day shipping, unlimited music streaming, photo storage, and reading, as well as Prime Video, Amazon’s streaming content service.

The standard option is Prime Monthly, coming in at $12.99, charged monthly, and you can cancel at any time!

There is also an annual option of $119 paid once for the entire year.

And for those who just want to enjoy the shows and movies, there’s a Prime Video option for only $8.99. Any of these options will allow you to participate in Amazon Prime Day. Keep in mind, however, that the Prime Video option will not have the two-day shipping and same-day delivery.

If you’re not wanting to pay even that much, and just want in on the great deals, then sign up for a 30-day free trial. Even with this trial-offer, you can still get in on all the great Amazon Prime Day Deals!

Step 2- Download the Amazon App

If you haven’t already, download the Amazon App. With this app, you can preview deals in the week leading up to Amazon Prime Day.

Step 3- Set up Notifications

With your Amazon App downloaded, you can set up notifications for when a product is on sale. There are also third-party services that will let you create a tracking list and stay on top of pricing changes.

Step 4- Store Your Favorites in Your Shopping Cart

The Amazon shopping cart is for more than just checking out.

There’s no time limit to how long you can leave a product sitting in there. This is especially handy if you want to hold onto that special item until Amazon Prime Day.

When July 16th arrives, you can open your app, check your cart, and Amazon will adjust the price to the current sale price.

Step 5- Don’t Be Afraid to Look Outside Amazon

While Amazon is having its moment on July 16th and 17th, it might not hurt to take a look at other online retailers.

For instance; Amazon’s competitors, like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy may not be sitting by quietly while Amazon is throwing a huge sale with deep discounts and deals. So take a look at their online shopping options. They may even have sales going on in stores to combat Amazon.

Who knows, you just might find a better deal!

 Step 6- Seize the Day

Not to be left out in the cold, websites like IGN, The Verge, Tech Crunch and others will also be running updates on Amazon Prime Day sales. Check with your favorite to see if they’ve got the scoop on a specific deal coming up.

If there is something you just can’t live without, stick it in your cart and wait for Prime Day to start.

But even then, don’t buy it yet.

Wait patiently as there are likely to be lightning deals. These deals happen at a specific time and last for a short time. Make sure to check in throughout the day so you don’t miss your chance to not only get a good deal… but a deal you could be bragging about until next year’s Amazon Prime Day!

What Makes Amazon Prime Day Different

Unlike Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, which can last for a week after the actual day, Amazon Prime Day will end at the stroke of midnight of July 17th…Eastern Standard Time.

Don’t wait, take the right steps today to maximize your Amazon Prime Day Experience!


Don’t miss out on Amazon Prime Day deals, find the best internet deals to ensure the smoothest shopping experience.

8 Tips to Help You Avoid Exceeding Internet Data Caps

8 Tips to Help You Avoid Exceeding Internet Data Caps

Data Caps are limits on how much data you can transfer on your Internet connection.  Generally, when a person exceeds their data cap limit, they are charged by their Internet service provider (ISP) a higher rate for further data use.  Another remedy that ISPs use when a person exceeds their limit is bandwidth throttling, where they restrict the transfer rate of the data.  This means slower download and upload speeds.  Not good.

Data caps suck.  There is no nice way to put it.  They suck, and the ISPs know they do.  That’s why you will often encounter data caps by other names.  Be on the lookout for terms like fair usage policies, fair access policies, usage-based billing, and band caps.

There are all kinds of arguments in favor of and against data caps.  The ISPs will tell you that their pricing of Internet data mirrors every other industry out there: if you want more, then you pay more.  They justify their imposed limits by stating that it manages congestion, brings lower prices to light Internet users, and spurs innovation.  Whether you can swallow these reasons or not, it’s important to know what to do if your ISP does employ data caps so that you never have to run into the problem of being throttled, or worse, your Internet getting cut off.

Stop watching movies on Amazon and Netflix in 4K

 

Streaming is one of the most effective ways to use up bandwidth and exceed data caps.  According to Consumer Reports, streaming 4K content with high dynamic range can eat up 7-10 GB of data per hour.  The best thing you can do to limit your data usage without sacrificing time spent online is to ditch the 4K.  You don’t need it.  You can watch movies in HD and still not really notice the difference in resolution.

Transfer backups of music and video files to a hard drive

 

Using bandwidth to watch or listen to saved media is a waste.  You are much better off transferring that media to an external hard drive and playing it from there.  That way, you are not using the Internet to access files that don’t really change that much anyway.

Check your wireless router settings to ensure it isn’t open to the public

 

This is kind of a no-brainer.  You don’t want neighbors using your Wi-Fi connection because they would eat up all your data.  And they’re not even paying for it!  Maybe you’re just a nice person and want to share your Internet, but most of us need to be smart about our data usage.

Turn off your Wi-Fi when you stop using your device

Internet data caps

Our devices are constantly connected to Wi-Fi.  They utilize this connection to perform background updates while we aren’t using them.  This, of course, uses up data.  You can avoid this by simply turning off the Wi-Fi on your device.  No unauthorized downloads or updates can happen that way.  Then, you can simply log onto any other public Wi-Fi network and perform the downloads and updates there.  Voilà!  Simple fix!

Use the Data Saver extension for Chrome

Be sure to download the Data Saver extension for your Chrome browser.  The extension reduces data usage while you browse the Internet by using Google servers to optimize the pages you visit.  Basically, enabling the extension allows Chrome to compress pages you visit before downloading them.  Be aware that if you are using private connections (HTTPS) or the incognito tab feature, pages will not be optimized.  Still, this is a great, simple tool to help you conserve data.

Change your browser settings so that all plug-ins are click-to-play

Don’t you hate it when you are browsing Facebook or visiting a website and videos start playing loudly when you have no intention of watching.  Not only is it annoying, but it also uses up data needlessly.  You aren’t even watching the video!  There’s a simple fix to that.  Simple go to your browser settings and change plug-ins to click-to-play.  Now you will have to click on the video to watch it.  Easy peasy.

Change settings on your device to lower video playback resolution

Internet data caps

As an addendum to the 4K tip above, you can also change the settings on your device to lower the playback resolution of certain video files.  For example, YouTube videos can be viewed at a wide range of resolutions.  But, how big of a noticeable difference can this make on a small iPhone screen?  Not much.   Consider watching videos at 720p as opposed to 1080p.  You’ll use less data to load the video and still not notice a big change in video quality.

Data meters

 

Internet data meters like GlassWire and your own ISPs Data Usage Meter can be used to keep track of how much data you have used.  Also, there is Paessler’s PRTG Network Monitor, which measures Internet usage for computers and in your entire network.  Monitoring your data usage in this way allows you to know exactly how close you are to exceeding your limit.

Final Thoughts

Despite the annoyance of data caps, these simple tips and tricks can help you avoid being throttled or cut off for exceeding your data caps.

Pandora Launches New Family Plan

Pandora Launches New Family Plan

Music lovers have another reason to rejoice.  Pandora has launched its new Premium Family Plan, which costs just $14.99 per month and can support up to six accounts.  Each account can keep their own music stations and users have full access to Pandora Premium features, including search and play, downloading capabilities for offline listening, ad-free play, and unlimited skips and replays.  If you are unsure whether this plan is right for you, Pandora is offering a free 60-day trial.

Pandora

This latest update is part of an ongoing effort to stay relevant within the streaming business, with Spotify and Apple Music taking the lead.  The new plan is very similar to the Spotify family plan and the Apple Music family plan, both of which also cost $14.99 per month and can support six accounts, with a personal account for each family member.

Users who already have the $10 Premium plan with Pandora can go into their settings at any point and hit “Switch Plans” to upgrade.  Invitations to family members can be sent out from the app.  However, members who subscribed through iTunes, Amazon, Roku, or Google Play will have to cancel their subscriptions and sign up again.

Simple Tips for Finding the Best Internet Deal

Simple Tips for Finding the Best Internet Deal

Let’s say you just moved into a new apartment or home.  You’ve started unpacking your stuff, set up your computers and home entertainment system, and now desperately need Internet service.  A quick Google search on your phone pulls up the top service providers in your area, but in your search for good Internet, you run into an overwhelming plethora of plans, promotional deals, and technical jargon that you’re not very familiar with (what on earth is bandwidth throttling?)  Or maybe you’re just sick of your current provider.  Your service is spotty and always seems to run slowly when you need it to work most.  Calling up the customer service line places you in an eternal limbo of muzak.  You want better.  You deserve better.  But where do you start?  At Bundle Your Internet, we encounter these scenarios daily.  Customers call our consulting service to shop for the best Internet deals available.  We’ve compiled a few tips, based on our experiences helping customers around the U.S. get connected, on how to find the best Internet deal for your home.

Choose the Right Connection Type

Time for some of that dreaded technical jargon.  I know, I know; it makes my eyelids heavy, too, but I promise to make this as painless as possible.  There are two basic connection types: broadband and dial-up (yes, that dial-up).  Don’t worry too much about dial-up.  Honestly, I didn’t even know dial-up still existed, but apparently it does.  For our purposes, we’ll focus on broadband connections, which are the type that are always on and ready to use.  The connection type you get will often depend on which services are available in your area, but it’s still good to know the basic differences.

Cable

As the name implies, cable broadband is transmitted over coaxial cable television wires.  Aside from fiber optic, it’s typically the faster of the other broadband connection types (usually over 100 Mbps).  It’s important to note that with cable, your bandwidth is shared by other subscribers in your vicinity.  This means that when more people are on, your service will be slower.  Peak usage times are the worst, manifested as the buffering icon of death.  Consider when you will be using the Internet when shopping for cable service.  If you like to get online when you get home from work, later in the evening after dinner, then your connection speed will probably suffer.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

DSL connections are delivered over telephone lines, just like dial-up but faster.  Expect around 25 to 50 Mbps download speeds.  For now, just know that is perfectly adequate for casual online browsing.  Here’s the rub, though: DSL service is distance-based, meaning that the farther away you are from the provider, the slower your Internet.  In our business, we are finding that consumers are increasingly shying away from DSL service and opting for cable or fiber optic.  Don’t dismiss DSL completely, though.  In some cases, depending on where you live and what you are using the Internet for, it may be the best bang for your buck.

Fiber Optic (FiOS)

Fiber optic service is like DSL but faster.  It’s delivered over lines made of glass as thin as hair and using light – real cool, sci-fi-type stuff.  DSL and cable lines, on the other hand, are copper-based.  Fiber is the future of home Internet connection, or at least a major part of that future.  Advertised speeds range from 500 to 940 Mbps.  When we say that fiber is the future, we specifically mean that fiber is geared to handle future broadband speed advancements.  If in 30 years, broadband speeds get to be, say, 100 Gbps, then fiber optic lines could still handle it.  We’re talking about the speed of light here, or close to it!  Verizon and Google are the big names in this market, but availability is limited based on where you live.  If you can get fiber optic service where you live, get it.  ASAP.

Satellite

This type of service is delivered via, you guessed it, satellites.  It’s typically much slower than the other forms of broadband, coming in at about an average of 25 Mbps.  If you live in a rural area, this is sometimes your only option.  Satellites can reach where cable and phone lines cannot.  Viasat and HughesNet are the big names in this department.  We view satellite Internet as a matter of necessity, not of choice.  The good news is that companies like Viasat are taking big strides to improve the technology.  Top advertised speed is 100 Mbps.

Fixed Wireless

This is a relatively new type of broadband connection that often gets confused with satellite.  However, there are some key differences.  Rather than being delivered via satellite, this service is transmitted via radio waves from a tower access point on the ground.  Think of this service type as an alternative to satellite Internet.  With satellite service, consumers sometimes experience a lag, called latency.  The signal must travel thousands of miles across space to reach your home.  This is not the case with fixed wireless connections, which occur entirely down here on our lovely blue planet.  Rural satellite Internet customers should seriously consider this option as an alternative.

Consider Availability and Coverage

Now that you understand the basic options for Internet service, you can start looking into which providers service your area.  This is typically done by zip code.  Meta engine sites like ours allow you to search your area for available providers and compare packages.    Step one is figuring out what your options are.  It’s worth researching all your options and not just going with the biggest name brand in the market.

Feelin’ the Need for Speed

Everyone wants the fastest Internet they can get, but there are additional factors to consider when shopping for Internet.  We’ve already seen how usage times can affect speed with cable service.  Another factor that can affect the speed of your Internet is how many devices in the home are sharing the connection.  Remember the old days when you had one desktop in the household that was shared by the whole family?  Now, even your thermostat and light bulbs are connected!

Your available bandwidth will be eaten up with the more devices that you have simultaneously connected, especially when it comes to activities like streaming HD videos.  Good rule of thumb: when shopping for Internet, consider how many devices will be connected.  Once you have Internet, prioritize what you are doing online to get the most out of your service.

An important note on Internet speed: be sure that you actually need the speed you are paying for.  It is quite possible that you are overpaying for speed you don’t need.  Again, this goes back to how many devices you have connected and what you are using the Internet for.  Below is a handy little chart that shows the average speed requirements for different online activities.  Though a 100 Mbps connection sounds impressive, is it really necessary for your typical home usage?

Online Activity

General browsing, e-mail, social media

Online gaming

Video conferencing

SD video streaming

HD video streaming

Large file downloading

Approximate Speed Needed

1 Mbps

1-3 Mbps

1-4 Mbps

3-4 Mbps

5-8 Mbps

50 Mbps+

Save, save, save!

People want the cheapest Internet they can find.  We hear it on the phones all the time.  Give me your cheapest, they say.  But, the cheapest plan isn’t always the best.  Still, there are a couple of pointers for getting the best deals out there.  The first, and perhaps most obvious, tip is to take advantage of the promotional offers out there.  Often, a provider will hike up your rates after the first year or two.  Take advantage of that promotional rate and be prepared to negotiate with your provider once that first year term is up.  Negotiating with your ISP could be the topic of a whole other article.

The other tip is to bundle your services when it makes sense for you.  If you find yourself paying separate bills for your Internet, cable TV, and home phone services, you might want to look into bundling as a way to save money.  Often, the à la carte rates for these services are higher than the bundled rates.

Final Thoughts

Shopping for the best Internet deal is work.  I won’t lie.  Although, (please forgive a shameless plug) our service helps eliminate some of that legwork.  It’s worth the effort, though.  Think of how many people are overpaying for Internet service.  Perhaps you’re one of them.  Think of how many people are stuck in contracts that they regret.  Perhaps that’s you, too.  Save yourself the headache and do your homework ahead of time (or talk to one of our agents and let us do it for you).  You won’t regret it.

Happy shopping!

The Modern Internet Bundle – What It Is and How To Get It

The Modern Internet Bundle – What It Is and How To Get It

Bundle packages are generally less expensive than à la carte.  Everyone knows that.  Whether you’re buying in bulk at Costco or ordering the Manager’s Special at a restaurant, you can potentially save money by avoiding à la carte options.  The same concept applies to your Internet, phone, and cable service.  Companies have lumped these services together in a variety of options and plans to create the modern Internet bundle.

If you find yourself paying three separate bills for your Internet, phone, and TV services, you may want to investigate some of the bundling options out there for you.  Most providers have conveniently created different package levels to offer you the perfect deal.  The availability of some of these bundles is dependent on your location.  Be sure to check what’s available in your area.  Also, check for special offers and perks that come with the bundle options.  Examples include gift cards, free installation, unlimited data, and free modems.

Here are a few examples from some of the top providers.

XFINITY

XFINITY, features bundles that include the basic services plus home security.  Prices range from $160 per month (for the first 24 months with a two-year agreement) for Internet, TV, and voice to $79 per month.  Keep in mind that these packages include Internet service with download speeds of upwards of 150 Mbps! They even have a Latino package that includes access to Telemundo, Univision, and other Spanish-language channels.   Be sure to look out for special offers that come with their premium deal,  including a $100 Visa® Prepaid Card and free installation.

Spectrum

Spectrum has their Triple Play packages which starts at $90 per month.  The base package features a download speed of 100 Mbps (fast for a basic package) and over 125 TV channels with free HD plus free DVR service.  Premium channels include ESPN, CNN, HGTV, and A&E.  Advanced packages include access to more premium channels, like HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax.  Be aware that if you’re already in a contract with another provider, Spectrum will pay your early termination fees up to $500.  Pretty sweet deal.

Viasat

It’s easy to bundle Viasat Internet with DIRECTV.  If you can get DIRECTV service, you can most likely get Viasat Internet.  By coupling the two services, you can end up saving $120 in a year with a $10 a month discount off the first year or service.  However, you should note that you will still receive two separate bills for both services.  Bundle customers must sign separate contracts for each service.  Also, you will need to have two dishes installed – one for the TV service and the other for Internet.  Still a good deal.  Viasat also has a home phone service that can be included in the bundle package.  As an à la carte option, Voice is $30 per month.  Bundle customers get $10 off.  New customers get a reduced rate on the phone service when they bundle with Internet, but the promotional rate expires after six months.

AT&T

AT&T bundles DIRECTV with their Internet service.  They also have a home phone service that can be included.  Bundle prices range from $35 per month to $85 per month.  Prices are discounted by $5 per month for the first 12 months on all plans.  Be aware that DIRECTV offers require a 24-month agreement, with early termination fees.  AT&T does this cool thing where you can get a 3-month free trial of HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax across all packages.  Be sure to investigate.  Also, with their packages, you can get a $100 AT&T Visa Reward Card if you order online.

Bundle Buying Tips

The following quick tips are designed to help you navigate the world of Internet bundles.

Rate Increases

As with most service options, the initial rate will probably go up after the promotional period is up – usually after a year or two.  Be aware of the fine print on these bundle packages and find out how and when your rate will change.

Promotional Offers

Some providers offer promotional incentives with their bundle packages, like a free gift card or a free premium channel trial.  Take advantage of these offers.  They help sweeten the deal.

Third-Party Guides

Companies like BundleYourInternet do all the hard work for you.  Customer service representatives at these third-party companies can help you find service that’s available in your area and sort out all the packages that are out there to help you find the one that fits your needs and budget.  Give them a call and see what they can find for you.

Contract Length

Most, if not all, bundle deals come with a minimum contract term.  This could be a one or two-year minimum term length.  Be aware of the term length so that you don’t get locked into something unaware.

Competitor Incentives to Switch Providers

Look out for opportunities to get your early termination fees paid by a competitor company if you are currently locked in a contract.  Companies like Spectrum will pay up to $500 for you to switch to their service.

Final Word

Shopping for Internet bundle deals can be fun.  There are all kinds of opportunities out there to save you money.  Bundling is a great option for people with more than one type of service in their home – Internet, TV, or phone.  Because there are so many option and deals out there, it is helpful to call a third-party company, like BundleYourInternet, to help find the package that meets your needs and budget.  The modern bundle is the way to go if you want to save money on your home service bills!

What Internet Speed Do You Need?

What Internet Speed Do You Need?

When ordering internet service, you need to consider things like price, availability, and whether or not the internet provider bundles services with your cable or phone company. However, you also have to consider speed. Internet speed is expressed in megabytes per second. Abbreviated as Mbps, this number measures the amount of information traveling over the internet at any one time.

Ultimately, the speed or bandwidth you need depends on how you use the internet. Here’s a look at the most common types of internet activities and a brief analysis of how much bandwidth you need for each activity.

Basic Surfing

If you simply want to read the news or check your email, you don’t need a lot of bandwidth. In most cases, basic internet surfing requires only a fraction of a Mbps. For example, the average email is only about .075 megabits so even with relatively low internet speeds, you can easily load and read your emails.

Similarly, scrolling through your Facebook feed requires speeds of about 0.03 Mbps. However, if you start streaming a video or broadcasting through Facebook Live, you need more bandwidth than that.

Streaming

If you use Pandora, Spotify, or a similar site to stream music, you need internet speeds of at least 2 Mbps. If your internet speeds are lower than that, you may experience a lot of pauses while the music buffers.

Videos, in contrast, typically require more bandwidth. Rather than just streaming sounds, you are also streaming moving pictures. According to Netflix, you need between 0.7 and 5.3 Mbps to stream a video. At the low end of the spectrum, you should expect pauses for buffering and poor resolution. For high-quality videos with great audio quality, your internet speed needs to be at least 4 Mbps.

Downloading

Streaming is watching or listening to something as it’s being transmitted over the internet to you. Downloading, in contrast, is when you take information off the internet to watch or listen to later. Typically, you can download music, videos, and games with almost any speed of the internet.

However, your bandwidth has a direct impact on how long the download process takes. For example, a 2-hour movie is about 2 gigabytes of data. If your internet speed is 4 Mbps, it takes about 2 hours to download the film. As your speed increases or decreases, the amount of time you need for the download decreases or increases accordingly.

Gaming

Finally, online gaming requires surprisingly low internet speeds. In fact, for most online multiplayer games use well under 1 Mbps while playing. However, the speeds vary depending on the type of game. If you’re hosting a server, downloading updates, or chatting online with other players, you will use a lot more bandwidth.

Estimating Usage

To estimate how much bandwidth you need, pick an average part of the day in your home. Make a list of all the people likely to be using the internet at that time. Then, jot down the bandwidth needed for each activity and estimate how much you need in total.

For example, if two people are going to be streaming videos, while another plays a game and chats with a friend online, you need roughly 4 Mbps for each person watching videos and possibly an additional 2 Mbps for gaming and chatting. That’s a total of 10 Mbps.

Use that estimate to guide you toward the right internet speeds. Keep in mind however that the advertised speeds are the maximum available speeds. You don’t always get those speeds. The available bandwidth can fluctuate based on infrastructure, other users in the area, and several other factors. As a result, you may want to select a slightly higher speed or bandwidth than you need. That gives you a bit of a cushion.

Find the lowest prices for internet deals in your area today!

Top 3 Reasons to Bundle Internet, Beyond the Savings

Top 3 Reasons to Bundle Internet, Beyond the Savings

Most people who are considering to bundle internet service and television are interested in the potential for cost savings. While saving money is definitely an advantage of television and internet bundles, it is not the only benefit.

Here are the top 3 reasons to bundle internet, beyond saving money.

 

1. Convenient, Consistent Billing

When you bundle your internet, television, and phone, you only need to worry about one bill for all three services. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, keeping track of multiple monthly due dates and payment schedules can be a hassle. Bundling services allow you to simplify your monthly bills by combining them. Additionally, if you do ever have any questions or concerns, there is only one provider for you to contact.

2. Ability to Customize

Bundling gives you the opportunity to select only the services that you want. Generally speaking, you can bundle television, internet service, landline phone service, and cellular phone service. Due to the convenience of cell phones, many households no longer see the need for a landline phone. Thanks to the ability to customize, you can create a bundle that includes only the services you need.

A lot of service providers let you customize the specifics of your bundles as well. For example, if you watch most of your favorite shows on streaming services, you may want to get the highest internet speed available but only the basic television package. On the other hand, someone who watches their favorite shows live but only goes online to check email and social media may opt for a television package with more channels and a slower internet speed. When you bundle your services you’re able to customize your bundle to your needs.

3. Extra Services and Perks

Companies appreciate customers who bundle. But they also know that these same customers often have the option to bundle elsewhere. As a result, many service providers offers bonus perks or extra services for their bundling customers at no additional cost. For example, bundling your home phone with internet and television may earn you free long-distance service or access to services such as on-screen TV Caller ID. While these perks and bonuses vary across providers, one thing that’s certain is that companies want to make sure their bundling customers feel valued.

Ready to simplify your bills, customize your service plan, earn bonuses and perks, and save money? Then it’s time to bundle your internet, television, and phone services.

 

The Success and Future of High-Speed Internet

The Success and Future of High-Speed Internet

HnHave you ever heard stories of High-Speed Internet usage in Japan or South Korea?

Although the United States has nearly 50% more computers per person than either nation, we manage just 50% of their average Internet speeds.  Japan and South Korea have a major advantage of geography, with cities linked closely together, making it easier to install and support high-speed Internet infrastructure.  Here in the United States, where there’s lots of open space between cities, we’re taking major steps to catch up.

 

internet speeds and costs around the world 2

Annual investment in American high-speed Internet services is growing by leaps and bounds. Such services include the web of cables needed to transmit data. Between 2009 and 2012, investment in high-speed Internet grew from $21 billion to $30 billion. In fact, that is more than the growth of investment in gas and petroleum or the auto industry. As a result, the 500 million Internet-connected devices in American homes and businesses have greater access to high-speed broadband Internet. Hence nearly 70% of all American households can use high-speed Internet today, while just 5% could do so in 2000.

Customers have proven extremely enthusiastic about the trend.

Comcast has reported incredible growth in their high-speed Internet services. Comcast added nearly 1.5 million high-speed Internet customers in the 12-month period between the third quarters of 2015 and 2016.  At present, Comcast is by far the largest Internet provider in the United States. Comcast enjoys the revenue of 3.5 billion dollars per year from their high-speed customers, a figure that is growing at nearly 9% per year.  In addition, Comcast has also reported increasing the speed of their Internet by raising bandwidth caps 17 times in the past 15 years.

This growth has come from a number of sources, including corporate, government, and individual investment.  The Obama Administration made access to high-speed Internet a major priority of their economic plans, believing that the transition to the “app economy” required consistent access to better Internet performance, also known as the Uber economy due to the popularity of the ride-sharing app. President Obama spoke on the “digital divide” between households, businesses, and schools that could not afford higher-speed Internet. In addition, president Obama said that high-speed Internet services are no longer a luxury but a necessity in an age where nearly everything a customer could want can be ordered by a smartphone.

Research by the non-profit Connect Ohio organization agreed, analyzing businesses with and without broadband. They concluded that those with a high-speed Internet connection enjoy an average of $70,000 more revenue per year. While the United States is a ways from meeting South Korea’s broadband performance, no nation is growing their high-speed Internet services as quickly or as extensively as we are today.

Find deals on the fastest Internet speeds in your area today!

 

Sources

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/broadband_report_final.pdf

http://www.hometownstations.com/Global/story.asp?S=14655416&

http://marketrealist.com/2016/10/comcasts-high-speed-internet-business-key-growth-driver-comcast-cable/

https://www.fastmetrics.com/internet-connection-speed-by-country.php

http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/obama-pledges-bring-broadband-poor-communities-n392836