5 Things to Do to Get the Right Broadband Plan for Your Home
Choosing a new broadband plan isn't as hard as it seems. Here’s what you need to know.
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Just like hunting for a new home or finding an interior designer to renovate it, getting the right broadband plan for your household requires you to do some legwork beforehand. But where exactly do you start and what details should you pay attention to?
If you’re doing this for the first time, here’s a simple list of 5 things that you should do/investigate before signing on the dotted line of a new broadband contract:
Figure how much Internet speed you need
Speed and bandwidth are two terms that are frequently brought up when discussing the performance of an Internet connection, and for the uninitiated, they can be extra-confusing especially since they use the same unit of measurement of Megabits per second or Mbps.
That said, here’s the lowdown in simple terms:
Speed: The rate at which data (i.e., the number of bytes) is transferred to (i.e., upload) and from (i.e., download) from your device to the Internet.
Bandwidth: The maximum amount of data that can be transferred by an Internet connection in a given time.
Get the difference? If you do, great! But if you don’t, just imagine a pipe with water passing through it – the rate of water flowing through the pipe is akin to the speed of your Internet connection, whereas the size of the pipe is analogous to your connection’s bandwidth.
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But back to finding out how fast of an Internet connection you need, this can be roughly determined (read: without resorting to all sorts of measuring and calculating) by the type of activities that you’ll be using it for. Some households might benefit more from a faster connection, whereas others not as much.
For instance, if you’re only using the Internet mainly for ‘download-based’ activities (read: that don’t require data to be uploaded from your end), such as streaming Netflix, reading emails or just surfing the web, chances are, a 1Gbps broadband plan will cover all your needs.
Theoretically (read: without accounting for factors that’ll slow down your home’s Internet speed, like router strength or viruses), here’s how fast it’ll take for you to download different files on a 1Gbps (i.e., 1,000 Mbps or 125MB/s) connection:
1. A Netflix episode that’s 300MB: < 5 seconds
2. An MP3 file that’s 5MB: < 2 seconds
3. An email file attachment that’s 125MB: 1 second
However, if you’re relying on your Internet connection for transferring large files and/or ‘two-way traffic’ activities (read: uploading and downloading at the same time) such as screen sharing or livestreaming, then perhaps you might even need a 2Gbps plan that has enough bandwidth to be shared between all the users in your household where at least 1Gbps can be dedicated to a specific bandwidth-heavy activity (e.g., gaming or downloading large files) so that it can be carried out interruption-free.
Estimate your home’s bandwidth requirements
Like gauging how speedy of an Internet connection/broadband plan you need, estimating how much bandwidth you need at home also has much to do with the type of activities you’re using it for.
Examples of bandwidth-heavy uses include streaming 4K/HD content, attending online lectures, and teleconferencing with multiple parties. So, it’s worth getting a high-speed broadband plan (read: 1Gbps or higher) if you carry out any of these activities at home on a frequent basis.
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Another very important factor to take into consideration when choosing a broadband plan with more/less bandwidth is the number of people that are using the Internet at the same time.
Assuming you have 5 people at home doing various things online like watching Netflix, playing games, or video chatting – and each of them has a bandwidth usage of 200Mbps across their devices, then you’ll need a 1Gbps broadband plan at minimum.
Also, if you’re planning to kit out your home with smart devices (e.g., smart bulbs, remote blinds, surveillance cameras, etc.), forking out for a speedy broadband plan will be worth it as these devices will take up bandwidth too.
Find out what devices are offered
An example of a Wi-Fi 6 wireless router, the ASUS RT-AX86U.
It’s said that an Internet connection is only as good as the devices that support it (think routers and mesh extenders). And seeing as to how broadband plans offered by local Internet providers come bundled with such gadgets, it only makes sense to factor them into your search.
In case you’d like to future-proof your Internet connection, what you may want to look out for are broadband plans that come with Wi-Fi 6 routers bundled.
But what’s Wi-Fi 6, you may ask? Put simply, it’s the latest generation of the Wi-Fi network protocol that allows higher speed, wider coverage, greater stability, and most importantly, the ability to run multiple devices on the same network with minimal lag. (tl;dr: it’s better and faster.)
Compare broadband plans online or in-store
Considering the competitiveness of internet providers in Singapore, this is a step that every savvy homeowner should take before signing up for a new broadband plan, as opposed to settling for the very first one that comes their way.
Because why limit your options when you can have your pick from a pool of broadband plans to snag the best deal? Though you might be faced with decision paralysis in the face of choice, having variety always beats having none. Plus, if you’re unsure, there’s always the option of enquiring about a provider’s plan in-person at a physical store or getting a complimentary sales consultation in the comfort of your home!
Look out for deals!
Singtel Mesh Extender AC2600
Everyone likes a good deal and if you’re keen on finding one for your home’s Internet, do check out Singtel’s fibre broadband plans. Sign up online to get web-exclusive perks, such as free weekend installation (worth $143.50) and monthly bill rebates of up to $12.
Here are some options for your new home:
1. 1Gbps fibre plan – Group buy with your neighbours for newly-built estates! Enjoy up to free 6 months of 1Gbps Fibre Broadband plan (U.P. $49.90/month, effective price $37.43/month.)
2. 1Gbps Wi-Fi 6 Bundle $49.90/month (U.P. $62.90/month. Includes Linksys E9450 AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Router)
3. 1Gbps Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Bundle $54.90/month (U.P. $68.90/month. Includes ASUS RT-AX86U Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router)
This article was brought to you by Singtel. Check out their website at http://www.singtel.com/groupbuy for more details on new home fibre broadband offers!
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