How to Switch to A Better Internet Provider

Updated on August 9, 2022 | by Ankit

Switching Internet Service Providers

Are you unhappy with your current internet provider and plan on moving soon? Find out what’s available to you and switch internet providers! You don’t have to stay with your current internet provider if you want to. They have to earn your business and they must not have been meeting your expectations if you’re reading this article. So, keep reading to find out how to switch internet providers and internet plans in the best way to serve your needs.

Know What Your Internet Needs Are

Why do you want to switch internet providers? Whether it’s because your internet is too slow, too expensive, unreliable, or worse; you’ll need to factor all those reasons into identifying what your internet needs are. 

To help you identify what your internet needs are, consider the following options before moving further along into the process:

  • What internet speeds do you need? Determine what download and upload speeds would best serve your family. To do this you’ll have to figure out how everyone in your home uses the internet to make sure whatever provider and plan you ultimately decide to go with will be adequate for your family.
  • What is your internet spending budget? Come up with a range of how much you’re willing to spend on good quality internet service. This will give you some wiggle room when comparing internet providers.
  • Are you okay with a contract? Do you prefer no contracts? This will largely be determined by how long you plan on staying at your current address.
  • What is your preferred internet technology type? Fiber optic internet, cable internet, etc. Competitive online gaming won’t fly with a DSL connection.

Once you figure out what your internet needs are, write them down so you’re prepared to choose an internet provider and plan when you’re ready.

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Find Out the Cost of Cancelling Your Current Internet Provider

Are you in a contract, nearing the end of your contract, or not in a contract at all? This is really important to find out before subscribing to a new internet provider and canceling your existing provider. Doing so will give you a realistic outlook of how much it will truly cost you to switch internet providers.

If you’re under contract and you decide to cancel service, you will have early termination fees added to your final bill. If your current service is unbearable, it may be worth it to you to break your contract early. You can find out what your early termination fee would be from your existing internet provider. Generally, the amount is determined by however many months you have left on your contract, so if it’s quite a few months expect a hefty fee. 

If it is indeed a hefty fee, you might not be without options. Some internet providers have contract buyout programs available for new customers. Check to see if the provider you’d like to switch to has one of these programs available to you. Keep in mind that contract buyout programs generally reimburse you up to $500 to cover your early termination fee or other associated charges you receive because of the switch. To receive it, you will have to file their required paperwork and subscribe to the minimum package outlined in the fine print. Expect to pay your last bill with the early termination fee upfront before the reimbursement funds are sent to you to avoid your final bill making its way to a collection agency.

Research Internet Providers in Your Area

The next step is to find out what internet service providers have coverage in your area and what internet plans they have available to you. You’ll want to collect the following information about each internet provider and plans they’re offering you:

  • What internet speeds are available? Download and upload speeds for each internet plan.
  • How much does internet service cost? Consider each plan individually.
  • What extra fees can you expect to see on your bill? Equipment lease fees, taxes, surcharges, extra data, etc.
  • Are there data caps? If so, these may change per the internet plan so choose wisely.
  • Are there contracts or service agreements to sign?
  • What new customer promotions or deals are going on right now?
  • Do they offer any discounts? 
  • What type of internet are they offering? DSL, satellite, cable, fiber, etc.
  • Service reliability and customer service reviews

These are just a few questions you should be asking your prospective new internet provider about. Also, don’t forget to include additional questions that are specific to your needs and any other questions you may have. This will prevent you from feeling buyer’s remorse later or having to go through this whole process again anytime soon.

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Choose an Internet Provider That Fits Your Needs 

So, you’ve made a list of all the internet providers that will service your address. That’s great, good work! Now let’s compare each internet provider to what you have now and what your current internet needs are. Anything that is the same or worse than what you have can immediately be crossed off the list. Then start crossing off internet providers that don’t meet your needs. While this seems like a lengthy process, if you did all your homework upfront, this won’t be too bad. It’s better to do extra work now than it is to be unhappy and have to switch internet providers again later.

Schedule an Installation Date

Congratulations on finding your new internet provider! Now it’s time to call up your new internet provider to order service and schedule an installation date. Your installation may be a self-install or it may require professional installation. Your new internet provider will let you know what options you have available to you and from there you can decide which option is right for you. If you have a technician come to your home for professional installation, they’ll make sure your new internet connection is working properly. They won’t install your equipment for you unless you lease it from the internet provider, but test it as soon as possible to get any issues resolved while the technician is there.

Only cancel your existing internet service after your new service is installed and operational to your satisfaction. You don’t want to get stuck in a position with no internet or internet that is worse than what you had started with. 

Cancel Your Old Service & Return Equipment

So, your new service is installed and you’re pleasantly pleased with its performance. Now you can call and cancel your old internet service. Make sure you return all equipment you’ve been leasing from them as soon as possible to avoid extra fees tacked onto your final bill. This includes modems, routers, TV boxes, DVRs, etc. If you’ve purchased your modem, router, or both, they’re yours to keep and do what you wish with them.

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