Looking for an internet or TV service provider, but don’t know where to start? Choosing an internet service provider (ISP) can be complicated and stressful. The marketplace is flooded with different providers promising that their service is the best. American TV lets you compare internet and TV services, removing all of the headache. You can find the service providers in your zip-code, compare features and speeds, and read real customer reviews.
Speed of service and pricing can vary greatly based on where you live. Internet and TV service providers often advertise prices that seem great, but have hidden clauses and asterisks. The price may only be available in a bundle, or it may be higher in your service area. The goal is to get the most reliable, highest internet speeds and television service at the lowest cost possible, and we can help!
Broadband internet is high speed internet. You can get it via DSL (digital subscriber line), fiber-optic, cable, and satellite. Before broadband internet, there was dial-up internet. Dial-up is notoriously slow and requires a telephone line for a connection. You must choose between surfing the web or talking on the phone. Dial-up is still available today, at a very reasonable price, but is not widely used because of the pitfalls.
Cable internet is the most popular high-speed internet option. It works using underground cable lines established by your local cable provider. A cable modem is placed in your house, and a service technician connects the underground cable and your modem using a coaxial cable. The modem is then connected to a router, which can be wireless.
The internet speeds are very fast and reliable. Cable internet is only available where cable lines are located. If your area is served by a cable provider, then you will be able to use both cable internet and TV. Your connection will be faster and stronger the closer you are located to the provider. Cable internet does require a physical wire, but is typically less noticeable when using a wireless router. Many residential areas and apartment complexes use cable internet, making it a favorite for renters. You can typically pay monthly and rent the hardware needed.
Satellite internet uses a dish, typically mounted on the roof, receiving signals from the satellites orbiting Earth. The dish must be facing south, in a spot that will allow the signal to be transmitted, uninterrupted by buildings, trees or other structures. Satellite internet service can be interrupted during bad weather or if something blocks the dish, preventing the signal from being communicated. The connection will be best on clear, sunny days. Satellite internet may not as fast today as cable, but a new generation of satellites will soon allow Satellite Internet service to be the fastest available. The difference in speed is less noticeable for basic browsing, but downloading or uploading big files, including video, can be slower.
Satellite internet has greater availability since all you need is a dish and a clear area. It may be the only high-speed internet option for those living in remote areas, where cable internet service providers are not available. The hardware needed for satellite internet is a satellite dish, coaxial cable, modem, and router.
Satellite TV, like satellite internet, requires a physical dish that faces south in an uninterrupted area. It can be less reliable in storms and bad weather. Cable TV is typically more expensive, but is more reliable. Satellite TV has more availability, especially in remote areas. It is typically easier to pay month-to-month with cable TV compared to satellite, making it more popular with renters, particularly those in more densely populated areas.
DSL internet uses the existing telephone network, but allows you to still make phone calls while using the internet. DSL is typically available anywhere with a telephone pole. It is the improved dial-up and often cheaper than cable internet, but not as fast. DSL connection is distance sensitive, working best when close to the internet service provider.
Fiber optic internet is the fastest and often the most reliable option. Data is transmitted using fiber optic cables. Fiber optic internet is typically only installed in densely populated areas, like big cities. It is normally more expensive than other broadband internet options.
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