Save on Your Monthly Internet Bill with These 8 Tips

This is part of the story Home TipsCNET’s collection of practical tips for getting the most out of your home and inside.

It is, it is, it is, it is economic slowdown or growth? We are facing decline or not? There is growing concern about the rising cost of goods and the resulting impact on our shrinking budget. Where can we make cuts? What can we live without? And ours home internet connection belongs to that category?

According to recent data from Parks Associates, US households spend an average of $116 per month on home internet, which is a significant change. if you use it for remote work, stream your favorite shows, online game or video chat with family, it’s hard to live without internet. We understand. But to keep your budget in check, there may be a few ways to lower your broadband costs. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Get to know your account

To find ways to save, you first need to know what you’re currently paying. Read your bills from the previous few months and try to figure out what your ISP is actually paying for. Yes Download speed should you buy do you have data cap? If so, do you stay within that data limit or do you typically overcharge? It is important to see how much you are paying for internet speed and data usage. While you may not be able to remove some fees, you’d be surprised how many can be removed if you ask. So when it comes time to negotiate with your provider, it will be essential to have this information handy.

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2. Check the speed

You want the fastest speed, right? Some people have access to a 25Gbps plan, for goodness sake! Let’s be honest: Although most of us love the idea of ​​owning one fastest internet speed exists, probably not need he If you work from home and have others at home (whether you have multiple roommates or family), having a decent high-speed internet package is probably high on your priority list. But this may still mean you can count on a 500Mbps plan. multigigabit plan.

But if it’s just you and your roommate or spouse, or if you don’t work remotely and use your internet service more than checking email and a few sites, you might want to consider lowering your internet speed even further. You may be able to downgrade from a 500Mbps plan to 200Mbps. This can be an easy way to lower your bill, but it doesn’t affect the quality of your internet experience.

3. Minimize devices if possible

This is a difficult task as our homes are increasingly filled with connected devices, including connected devices smart TVs, telephones, game consolesvoice assistants, smart thermostats, security cameras, smart watches and so on. The more smart home gadgets you have, the more bandwidth they will use. If you’re the only one at home, you’re better off dealing with these so they don’t eat up your data cap (if you have one) or start slowing down your overall home speed. Fewer devices means you can avoid paying data overage fees and get a more efficient internet service.

On the other hand, if you have other people in your home, such as family or roommates, and they all have multiple devices, this probably won’t work. It’s one thing to ask your family or roommates to turn off their devices (or minimize their use) so you can stream a big game, but it’s another to ask them to give up entirely.

4. Look for cheap internet options

Another potential way to reduce your home internet costs is to research what discount programs may be available to you. To help eligible customers reduce costs, you should start your search with government programs. It starts with this Life line, a program that offers assistance to low-income families. If you qualify, you’ll get just over $9 a month off your broadband bill.

If you qualify for Lifeline, you will too Affordable Affiliate ProgramIt’s a government subsidy from the Federal Communications Commission that provides $30 per month (and up to $75 per month for households on tribal lands) off your internet service.

Finally, while you can use the money and rebates from those federal programs on any internet plan from more than 1,600 participating ISPs, you can also combine those subsidies with the providers’ low-cost plans, almost all of which are $30 or less. This means you can get internet service at home for free. Previously, this meant speeds of 10Mbps or less, but in 2022, many providers have committed to offering cheap plans with a minimum download speed of 100Mbps.. This is a significant difference.

5. Check existing competitors

Now that you know your internet speed, what you use the internet for, and what you’re paying for your home broadband, it’s time to shop around. Many competitors are vying for your business. For example, T-Mobile and Verizon They are aggressively entering the home internet space with 5G home internet products. Other providers will happily give you a lower access rate than what you’re currently paying. Sometimes smaller, local ISPs can provide better pricing than internet behemoths, for example AT&T and Comcast Xfinity, but this is not always the case. Use our comparison shopping tool below to explore providers in your area.

Before you sign up, get an idea of ​​your monthly costs when you switch your internet service to a new provider. Compare what you pay now with what you will pay in the next month, six months and year. Also, what is the price after the promo plan ends? Also consider your long-term use. With the competitive environment out there, try to avoid signing any long-term contracts unless you’re sure you’re getting the best possible rate at your address.

6. Consider using your own modem and router

Some ISPs charge you an additional monthly fee to rent a modem and router. Sometimes it’s just an extra $5 a month, but some ISPs charge up to $15 a month. In the long run, it can be cheaper to buy your own, which can improve your speed and performance. My CNET colleague Ry Crist provides more details How to save money using your own modem and router.

7. Combine broadband with other services

Obviously, your internet connection isn’t the only household service you’re paying for. You can pay less connect your internet with other services, such as your cell phone and cable TV plans. See if your provider offers discounted bundles. If you like the offer, it’s usually easy to sign up on the company’s website.

It’s a good idea if you use what you bought. If you’ve cut the cord and are now a streaming household, buying a cable TV package may not be the best move.

8. Try to negotiate with your ISP

You have reviewed your account and checked your internet speed. You’ve calculated how many devices you have and compared competing offers. Now you can Negotiate with your current ISP and call them with confidence.

This isn’t always the easiest or most time-consuming step, but it’s important. If you’ve had the same provider for several years, they’re more likely to work with you to lower your bill. Many will ask the same questions: Can you slow down your internet speed? Can you increase your internet speed (they will often try to lure you to a higher speed by offering better promotions and a better price per Mbps)? Now you are better prepared to answer these questions.

Do research on the competition. If you mention the offers of competitors you come across, the customer service representative can give you a deal to keep you a happy customer. Knowing about competitive offers gives you an edge: Your ISP knows you can switch to another ISP if you don’t like what you have or what’s being offered.

Ask your current provider if it is promotions Available for new customers you want to buy. If you haven’t found a deal that fits your budget (or you’ve encountered an inconsistent sales agent), it’s best to end the call and try again later, or plan to terminate service with that provider.

don’t be afraid to do it cancel your service. It may take some time to close one account and open another, but it’s worth it if you’re saving a significant amount. But remember: it’s not just about the campaign period. Otherwise, you may have to negotiate the bill when the promotional rate expires next year.

Save money on Internet Bill FAQs

Is it possible to get your home internet service for free?

Yes. To do this, you will need to take advantage of some federal programs. Start with Lifeline, a government program that can get eligible customers just over $9 off the cost of monthly internet service. If you qualify for Lifeline, you qualify for the FCC’s Affordable Connection Program, which offers you a $30 discount on your home broadband connection. Many ISPs around the country offer 100 Mbps download speeds for $30 or less, so you can take advantage of federal rebates to get free home Internet.

What is the cheapest type of internet connection?

This is a difficult question because a lot depends on what is available in your location. In general, fiber internet will often provide the best value in terms of cost per Mbps, where you’ll get more download and upload speeds for your money. However, when it comes to the cheapest internet, at least in terms of what you’ll pay out the door, it usually comes from cable ISPs. Their first year promo prices can be hard to beat. Just avoid signing any long-term contracts so that you can cancel after the price goes up.

Do internet prices always go up after a year?

They often do. Many providers will offer an attractive price for your first 12 months of service and increase the price after a year. However, as increased competition develops, we see a decline in expertise. For example, some providers, such as AT&T, Spectrum and Verizon Fios, do not offer promotional pricing, while others offer price guarantees of two to three years, including Optimum and Verizon 5G Home Internet. A few other providers (including T-Mobile Home Internet) will offer a price lock guarantee for the duration of your contract.

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