"Last night the Internet stopped working so I spent a few hours with my family. They seem like good people. "- Anonymous

I bet you text your significant other every day. Emails are all over your life. News, weather reports, what's playing at the cinema, what is that person's address or phone number? All this stuff is taken for granted. Now you can add various media streams like streaming football games, movies, TV shows, educational videos, YouTube fun, yep, it's all internet. Today's basic utilities are water, power, sewer, trash, and the internet. Life without the internet seems unimaginable.

Introduction

What is the internet? Well as far as our home media is concerned, it is our connection to the digital world. It is a wire coming into our home, a satellite dish on the roof, or a mobile phone connection. It is Google, email, texts, streaming movies, and TV shows. This is a complex topic, but you do not need to become an engineer to use and enjoy the internet.

There are two elements of the internet that you need to consider, speed and capacity. And like most things, the more you have, the more it costs. In short, the faster the internet speed, and the higher the internet capacity, the higher the monthly cost.

Internet Speed

When you do a search on Google, you are sending your text, your question, to the Google server and that text is a digital signal that has speed and capacity. Plain text does not need to be fast, and it does not consume very much capacity. You can text over the internet all day long and never worry about speed and capacity.

On the other end of the spectrum, you want to watch a Netflix movie. So, you go to the Netflix website and select the movie. Just going to the website and clicking here and there consumes capacity but not very much. When you start watching the movie, you are starting to consume a lot of capacity, and you need a lot of speed. This is streaming.

Now, in the other room of your house, your kids are also watching a Netflix movie so your internet consumption has doubled and you not only using some serious capacity, but you need some fairly good speed to keep both movies, which are streaming into your home, from stalling and interrupting the movies. If you do not have enough speed, the streaming movies must create a "backlog" or reserve of data in your home so they can play uninterrupted.

On top of that, let's say in another room, another one of your kids is playing a game on the internet. More capacity and the need for more speed.

You can compare internet speed with how fast the water is coming out of the hose. When the internet speed slows down, you are not able to operate as many devices at the same time without incurring speed problems like pixelization and dropouts.

Here's what the FCC says about speed, Broadband Speed Guide or the Household Broadband Guide.

Internet Capacity

The more time you spend on the internet and the more streaming activity you use, the higher and higher the monthly total capacity will be.

Your internet provider has figured all of this out and usually, the provider will offer different internet subscription packages tailored to your needs. Such as.

  • A basic package that will satisfy basic internet use in your home.
  • A family package
  • A high-speed package

These offerings are usually detailed out so you can guess what you need and sign up. If you guess too low, you may incur some overuse charges. If you guess too high you will see that you are only using a small amount of what you are paying for. (The SUBSCRIBER content gives you the info you need to make a pretty accurate guess the first time.)

Conclusion

Pick a data plan of around 200 GB per month and see what happens. If you consistently go over the limit, increase the plan. It's a moving target.

Do the research, check your Cable TV and DSL phone provider's websites. Decide and write it down, don't lose track of your research, you'll need it later.

[SUBSCRIBER CONTENT STARTS HERE]

ACTION ITEM: Check out the Internet Options in your area.

Get busy on the internet and see what's available.

Cable TV Provider

Phone Company

Satellite

Others?

Make some notes, do some shopping, get your feet wet