THE BROADBAND REPORT

The latest from the team at Broadband Now

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How to Design a Supercharged Home Network

Your home is your kingdom. What’s a kingdom without strong Wi-Fi? The cable guy’s default settings will only get you the basics. Luckily, it doesn’t take much time or money to supercharge your home network. This article goes over everything needed to strengthen your Wi-Fi, enhance security, and dispel the dreaded “buffering” symbol from your Netflix forever. We’ll also cover ways to extend and enhance your network using hardware like switches, security systems, and power line extenders. Stop: if you’re here because your network is slow or not working, do the following first: Restart your router and/or modem (if no restart button, just unplug for a few seconds) Try different DNS servers (video guide here) If you’re unfamiliar with the… Continue reading →

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How to Optimize your Home Network for Faster Speeds

It’s frustrating to run a speed test and discover that you’re only getting half the Wi-Fi speeds advertised for your broadband plan. Luckily, optimizing your Wi-Fi network for faster speeds isn’t rocket science. All it takes is a basic understanding of how your network operates. In most cases, you can boost your speeds significantly for little or no extra money. This post will break down the basics of how your Wi-Fi network operates and walk through some steps you can take to boost your Internet speeds. Home Network 101 Here are the three main pieces of hardware you need to understand: Modem: The “gatekeeper” between your ISP and your home network, connects to cable or DSL wall outlet. Router: The… Continue reading →

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Renting vs Buying a Modem: What’s Best for Your Budget

If you have broadband, you’re probably renting a modem or modem/router combo from your provider. But is the money worth the convenience? With rental fees from big ISPs like Comcast and Time Warner increasing by as much as 33% in the past year, many consumers are foregoing the monthly fee and buying their own modems. A modem that costs $150 pays for itself in a little over a year. After that, you stand to save $8–$10 per month for as long as the modem keeps ticking. [1] …The catch is that buying a modem isn’t always the best decision. Depending on your situation, installing and maintaining your own modem might be more expensive and time-consuming than it’s worth. In this… Continue reading →

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How to Choose Between Internet Service Providers

Consumer satisfaction with the broadband industry hit a seven-year low last year [1], leaving Internet users more confused than ever about how to choose an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Where do you even start? What are you comparing when you compare ISPs, and how do you decide which one is right for your needs? While 25 percent of US households still only have access to one provider [2], the rest of us have a laundry list of factors and features to consider before signing on the dotted line. Choice is a good thing, but you have to understand what you’re buying in order to get the best deal. Our goal in this post is to walk you through everything you… Continue reading →

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13 Creative Ways to save Money on Your Internet Bill

My neighbor and I have the same broadband plan. Same speeds, same caps, same disgruntled customer service reps. The only difference is that he pays $86 per month for it — while I only pay $47. Why am I paying half the price for the same service? In my case, it was just a question of negotiating with my provider — but there are plenty of other ways to cut your broadband bill. Depending on your situation, some of the strategies below could save you even more. Let’s start with the no-brainers then move on to more “creative” ideas. I guarantee some of them will be new to you. PS: if you find this list useful, send it to a… Continue reading →

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The best internet service & setup for serious gamers

You’re broadcasting a League of Legends marathon on Twitch and everything is going great: chat flowing in the sidebar; crystal-clear graphics on the stream. But then your Internet starts acting wonky. Everything feels delayed, like a long-distance phone call. Before you know it, you’re looking at this: Some Internet connections are better than others when it comes to gaming, and figuring out which you need and how to set it up isn’t exactly straightforward. In this post we’ll walk you through the factors to consider while choosing an Internet plan for serious gaming, and some tips for optimizing your network to get the most bang for your buck. Understand your Internet needs Gaming is a highly variable beast compared with… Continue reading →

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Apartment landlords are holding your Internet hostage.

Steep Internet bill and no choice? If you live in an apartment building, the landlord might be profiting from your plight. Exclusive broadband agreements between apartment building owners and broadband providers are common, leaving renters with no choice but to pay inflated costs for sub-par service — and rewarding landlords for keeping it that way. The existence of these exclusive arrangements is surprising for a simple reason: they were outlawed eight years ago[1]. So how are they getting away with it? Why are landlords getting such a big cut? And most importantly, what can renters do about it? How landlords get their cut of your broadband bill Before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) outlawed them in 2008, revenue shares and… Continue reading →

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How to Choose a Router and Secure Your Wireless Network

Routers are good at managing your network, but they’re not always so great at keeping it secure. While the latest high-end routers on the market have made huge leaps toward increasing bandwidth and optimizing Wi-Fi, the combination of bad firmware code coupled with poor manufacturer support leaves many consumer devices riddled with backdoors. [1] It’s easier than you might think for a hacker to work around your default security settings and create all sorts of mayhem. Long story short, it’s easier than you might think for a hacker to work around your default security settings and create all sorts of mayhem. Luckily, there are basic precautions you can take when purchasing and setting up a router to save yourself some… Continue reading →

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How Much Does Data Really Cost an ISP?

For consumers in the US, broadband data can be surprisingly expensive. Since the introduction of data caps, Internet subscribers have been frustrated by overage fees ranging anywhere from $0.20–$12 per gigabyte. The seemingly arbitrary fees are particularly frustrating since it’s unclear how much it actually costs an ISP to deliver that gigabyte. One thing’s for certain — it costs a lot less than the $0.20/GB fee charged by major ISPs like Comcast and AT&T. But how much does it actually cost the ISP to deliver 1GB to a customer? Calculations based on Internet transit costs, as detailed below, suggest an ISP cost per gigabyte measured in fractions of a penny. Using the $10/50GB overage fee quickly becoming standard for broadband… Continue reading →

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How to Negotiate Your Internet Bill to Get the Best Deals

Found another fee increase when you opened your broadband bill this month? You’re not alone. The notoriously uncompetitive US broadband market has been driving prices up for years, while Internet costs elsewhere in the developed world have steadily fallen. A 25mb/s connection in New York currently costs nearly twice what they’re paying across the pond in London. [1] So. what can you do about it? Well, you can either shrug it off and keep mailing away your hard-earned dollars… …or you can get on the phone and start negotiating. Even in an uncompetitive marketplace, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) place a lot of value on you as a customer. And even if your provider can’t bundle or cut any services to… Continue reading →