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ISP Awareness

Sandra Prior
Jun 9, 2008
With complaints about ISPs reaching new heights, it seems that more people than ever are unhappy with their provider, but unsure where else to go. If this sounds like you, then you need some strategies to help you out.

Keep Records

You may not think you're getting the best service possible from your current ISP, but can you exactly say why? We do mean exactly, because vague thoughts like 'sometimes it's hard to get connected', or 'occasionally the speeds are slow' don't help you at all. What you really need are statistics - such as when you connect, how many times you have to dial before you log on, the speed you finally connect to, and so on.

Once you've been collecting this information for a while, you'll find there are several benefits:

You can see when your ISP is least busy (which day, time of day and so on) and when you get the best performance. This helps you plan when to go online.

It's easy to compare performance over time, so you'll know for sure if things are getting better, or worse.

Do the same thing with another ISP and you'll have a solid and reliable means for comparing the two.

Stay Informed

If you've been with your ISP more than a couple of months, then even if it was a good choice at that time, there's no guarantee that it will be the best one available now. ISP performance can fluctuate considerably in just a few weeks.

Until ISPs get their acts together and deliver a more reliable service all round, there's no real solution to this. You can manage the problem, though, by keeping an eye on other people's Internet Experiences.

Making Do

What's the most important feature of an ISP? Most people would choose speed above everything else, but it's not the only factor; you're likely to want a good email system, a reliable news server that carries lots of newsgroups, and perhaps a large chunk of free disk space for your web page.

Finding an ISP that gives you everything you need is difficult, so it might be easier not to even try. There's a number of things you can do to get by:

Very basic ISPs don't even provide an email service. You could use a free web mail service instead. Many support POP3 so you could still use Outlook Express to handle your email.

Even if your ISP has a news server, it may not be very good, perhaps not carrying the newsgroups you need, or expiring articles in just a few days. You'll have to find lists of alternative, public news servers.

Beware Great Offers

While it's great to hear the latest news about the launch of a new ISP, this can be a problem. The fantastic benefits offered in their advertisements are all unknown, which results in people signing up eagerly only to find that it does not meet their expectations. As a result, we wouldn't recommend signing up for any new ISP until it's been running for at least a couple of months, and you can hear what others have to say.
About the Author
Subscribe to Sandra Prior Newsletter and get up to date Computer Technology News delivered right to your email box for free. See website for details http://usacomputers.rr.nu and http://sacomputers.rr.nu.
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