The average cost for internet in the United States is just over $60 a month. Internet providers like HughesNet Internet and others have plans that start around $40 on a monthly basis, although taxes and related fees can up the final cost. Depending on your usage needs and personal preferences with how service is provided, internet bills can end up being a fairly significant budget stretch. If you have concerns about your total internet cost, the good news is there are some ways you can trim your bill and still stay connected.
Downgrade Your Internet Speed
If you mostly rely on online connections for streaming and other entertainment purposes like watching your favorite TV shows or movies on a popular streaming servicers or communications, consider downgrading your internet speed. Even a slight dip in internet speed can add up to noticeable savings. As long as you’re not primarily using your internet for work or business, the few little inconveniences a speed downgrade may result in can be something you can live with.
Explore Available Bundling Options
Many communication companies offer bundling options. Depending on your particular situation, the ability to save money by combining services can go either way. If you’re already getting a good deal for phone service and you only need internet separately since you don’t have cable TV, bundling wouldn’t be worth it. Conversely, if you’re paying a lot for cable and phone service on top of what you’re dishing out for internet, bundling all these services into one bill could reward you with impressive savings.
Buy Equipment Instead of Renting (When Possible)
It’s common for internet service providers to rent equipment like modems and routers to customers. This may seem like a great way to save money since you won’t have to dish out the full amount to purchase the same devices yourself. However, the cumulative costs you end up paying for rental fees can easily exceed what your initial costs would be. Some ISPs also tack on safety deposits for their rentals, which could further add to your costs. Not all ISPs allow customers to rent equipment. If yours does, consider making the one-time investment to buy what you need instead of renting.
See If you Qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program put into place to help families having issues keeping up with their internet service bills during the pandemic. The discount, which is up to $50 per household, goes directly to your internet provider and is subtracted from your bill. In order to qualify, you’ll need to meet income guidelines and other eligibility requirements.
Do Some Comparison Shopping
You may also be able to lower your total internet cost if you take some time to compare service providers and plans. But don’t just default to what’s offered by a company you already have other services with at the moment. For instance, your cable company may be giving you a good deal on cable TV, but this doesn’t mean their internet service options will be equally appealing budget-wise. As you compare, it can also be helpful to:
• Compare internet only and bundle options
• Ask questions before you make any decisions
• See if the initial price being advertised is permanent or an introductory offer
• Determine if there are any “hidden” fees, or what extra fees may apply
• Find out if you can bring your own equipment
• Avoid any long-term contracts right away so you’ll have some time to try the service first
Negotiate with Your Provider
One more tactic to consider when looking to lower your total internet cost is negotiating with your internet service provider. In some instances, simply asking “Is that the best deal you can offer me?” will get the service rep to give you details about other discounts the company offers. You might even be able to negotiate on things like installation and rental costs.
Internet service doesn’t have to be a major budget crunch. If you make some adjustments with your internet preferences and shop smartly, it’s often possible to keep your total internet costs in check.