Are you paying too much for your Internet Access?

How much are you paying your internet service provider for access every month? Is it broadband (DSL)? We’ve discovered that many clients are paying Earthlink, for example, an average of $50 per month for their DSL service. Considering that other providers, such as Verizon and SBC (now AT&T) are charging between $14.99 and $29.99 for DSL, Earthlink sounds over-priced. If your speed is just a step above dial-up, and you’re still paying around $50 per month, then you definitely want to re-examine your options.

To test your internet speed, and thus be sure that you’re getting what you paid for, go to a site like Speakeasy.net. We like the Speakeasy.net speed test because it’s simple, easy to follow, and tends to be a bit more accurate than some other sites we’ve tried. Just follow the prompts to test your internet connection speed.

You’ll notice that for the speed test, there are many different servers, located in different cities, to choose from. If you’re not sure what a server is, or which one to chose, don’t worry. All you really want to do is test the closest location to you that you can find. This should give you a “best case scenario” connection. If you live in Los Angeles, for example. choose the Los Angeles server. In theory, the closer the server is to you, the faster your connection speed results should be.

Broadband or DSL service comes in different flavors, or speeds. The $14.99 per month service sold by Verizon is not going to be as fast as the $75 per month service sold by Earthlink. As of this writing, Earthlink DSL offers a high-speed package, rated as high as a blazing 6.0 per second, that costs $75 per month. That’s not bad. Cable broadband service can run about the same price or less, but clocks in at a slower 4.0 per second. The less expensive option, a $14.99 service offered by Verizon, promises a meager 768 download and 128k upload. The point is that you should be getting the service speed that you are paying for. Many users, who have had DSL since it was first introduced, unwittingly continue to pay high rates for their broadband DSL, and are stuck with slower connections.

As one client put it: “They’re not going call you to ask you to pay them less.”

Take a look at the speed you’re getting, and compare it to what’s offered in your market. Keep in mind that phone companies, as well as cable companies, service only specific areas.

Verizon phone service (an thus DSL), for example, may not be available where SBC/AT&T service is. The same holds true for Adelphia cable, Comcast and Charter. While you may not save money, you might certainly upgrade your service for free by making a phone call. Tell them your speed test results. Ask them why you’re being charged $50 a month, when your neighbor is paying $29.99 for a considerably faster connection. Companies like Earthlink really act as “middle men”. They sub-lease the phone lines from the phone companies to provide you with internet service. Of course they offer other features as part of the entire package, but the discussion here is about speed and value. Did you ever save money by using a middle man?

Next, find out about freeing yourself up for the best internet connection deals, without ever changing your email address again. See “Getting your own domain.”