The internet has become an integral part of almost all South Africans lives, but choosing the right internet service and internet service provider can be more difficult than it seems. To ensure that you make the right choice we’ve added this simple self-help guide to assist you.
Step 1: Decide what internet speed you require
To do this you need to understand what bandwidth is:
“Bandwidth, which in most cases is measured in megabits per second, is the maximum rate at which a person can download data from the internet to your computer.”
This means that the more data intensive your internet activities are the more bandwidth you’ll need. Below is a handy guide to the average data use you might encounter on a day to day basis:
- General web surfing, email and social media use on average will use 1 Mbps
- Online gaming on average will use 1-3 Mbps (Please note that when gaming an internet connection with low latency* is more important than bandwidth)
- Video conferencing uses 1-4 Mbps (with a minimum of 1 Mbps upload speed)
- Standard-definition video streaming uses 3-4 Mbps
- High-definition video streaming uses 5-8 Mbps
- Frequent large file downloading uses 50 Mbps or more (this is usually but not always used by businesses)
Step 2: Research the internet service providers available in your area
As soon as you’ve established what your internet bandwidth needs are you’ll need to see which service providers operate in your area. Do your research online, but in most instances a company such as us (MacroLan), mobile phone companies (such as Cell C, Vodacom or MTN), Satellite TV Providers (such as M-Web) and terrestrial telephone companies (such as Telkom) will be the service provider in your area.
Step 3: Find an internet package that fits your style
Now that you’ve established what you’re looking for and who your favoured provider is going to be, you’ll need to work through the different internet service provider packages and offerings. These will vary from region to region, but we strongly suggest that you look into taking advantage of bundle deals and internet provider promotions. These offer value for money for both business and home fibre options and could even allow you to upgrade to better packages at a vastly reduced cost.