One of the most common ways that consumers look to save money on their monthly bills is through reducing their internet spending. Unfortunately, most don’t know how to lower internet bills. There are a few reasons why internet spending is often the go-to for penny-pinching consumers. To start, most of us are lured into deals with our ISPs by their new customer packages, which provide steep discounts but only last 6-12 months. After the deal expires, the rates can rise as much as 50%, which can be jarring. Additionally, Comcast has been known for “cost creep,” where small fees are applied that greatly increase your monthly bill.
For these reasons, your internet bill is a good place to start if you are looking to cut costs. Here are some simple steps that you can take for a lower internet bill:
1. Buy Your Own Modem
Buying your own modem is a sure-fired way to save money on your internet bill. When you use the modem supplied by your internet provider, it doesn’t come with your service. You are renting it, often for as much as $10 per month. That price lasts for the life of your use of the modem. A decent modem costs between $40-$100, meaning that your investment would pay for itself in 4-10 months. Before buying your own modem, it is important that you make sure that the modem will be compatible with your service.
2. Consider Switching Providers
If you are lucky enough to live in an area where you have ISP options, don’t be afraid to shop around. This is particularly true for users that aren’t overly concerned with the speed of their service. Shop around and see if other providers in your area offer packages that would save you money. Keep in mind that you may have a contract with your current ISP and therefore would have to pay an early cancellation fee to get out of your contract. Unfortunately, many don’t have more than one or two ISP options in their local area.
3. Negotiate Your Internet Bill
Most people don’t realize that you actually have quite a bit of wiggle room when it comes to negotiating your internet bill. This is especially true for those that have multiple ISP options in their local area, or recently reached the end of their new customer special package pricing. Don’t be afraid to call and ask for a better price. When you call, be polite but firm. Research the options that you have available to you. Remember, ISP sales reps are almost always authorized to provide discounts to customers that state that they will be canceling their service to go with a competitor. At the very least, you should be able to negotiate for the price that they are currently offering to new customers.
4. Evaluate Speed Needs and Downgrade
Do you really need the internet speeds that you are paying for? Your internet speeds drastically affect the price of your service. How often do you stream movies and TV shows? Do you play online games? If the answer to these questions is “no,” then there is no reason to pay for the fastest internet speeds. Downgrading to lower speeds can cut your bill by as much as 50%!
5. Switch to Cellular Hot Spots
For those that aren’t power users, the best way to save on internet is simply to trade in cable for cellular hotspots and WiFi. Many cellular service providers will allow you to activate “WiFi hotspots,” which essentially allow your phone to act as a wi-fi router for computers and other devices. In many cases, the costs are included your cell phone bill. Some may need to pay for a small account upgrade to activate hot spots on their cell phone plan. This is even better if you have an unlimited data cell phone plan. Keep in mind that if you stream a lot of movies and TV shows (i.e. you use Netflix, DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, or the like), this can use a lot of data so if you don’t have unlimited data you’ll need to keep an eye on your usage.
Simply put, monthly internet bills can be a big expense for your average person. Especially once your new customer deal expires. Luckily, there are a few steps that anyone can take to lower their monthly internet bill. For those that are looking for a way to cut back on their monthly spending, your internet bill is a good place to start.