How to reduce your internet bill

Kate Kaltsevich /

Whether you use the Internet for business or pleasure, there is a chance that you will pay a lot for it.

The cost of internet service is only going up – even with lower tier plans.

If you can’t live without the internet, here are some of the best ways to cut costs.

1. Use a service to reduce your bills

Companies like BillCutterz and Trim will evaluate your monthly bills – for internet and other services – and negotiate lower rates for you.

If the company manages to reduce your bill, they take a portion of the money they saved you. Since you’re not keeping all of your savings, first decide if it’s worth your time to do the negotiation yourself or better to have someone else do it.

2. Review your bill

If you choose to cut your internet costs on your own, start by reviewing your bill. You will have a hard time finding ways to save if you are not sure how much to pay.

Check your internet speed, which is measured in megabits per second, or megabits per second. The higher the megabits per second, the faster your internet will be.

Also, look at your data usage. You should be able to find it by logging into your account. If not, ask your ISP, or ISP, how to find it.

Understanding your usage patterns is key to knowing if you can get a lower internet plan – which could mean a decent cut on your bill.

Just keep in mind data caps – which are limits on the amount of data you can use each month. If you switch to a plan with lower data limits and go over the limit, your ISP may charge you an increased fee.

3. Shop

After you know how much speed and data you need, you can also see which providers offer the best deals. Check with your current provider and competitors. Oftentimes, companies will offer deals to people looking to let go of their existing providers.

Many companies can create plans tailored to your use. Try visiting the provider’s websites and putting in your address to see how much speed you want. Then compare the prices of service providers in the area.

Make sure you know which companies offer plans for where you live. The closer to the city, the more options you have.

4. Haggle too hard

If you receive a good offer from another company, tell your current service provider about it and see if they can make a counter offer.

It is best to remain calm and patient when chatting with the company. If you have been with your provider for a long time, mention how much you love their services and would like to continue using them but this strains your budget. See if there is any wiggle room.

Don’t be afraid to hang up if you don’t find something that works for you. Sometimes it’s every customer service representative you reach out to, so calling more than once can do the trick.

5. Aggregate your services

Consider looking for bundled packages. Many companies offer TV and internet packages – or mobile and internet packages – at a cheaper rate than if you bought the two services separately.

Just be sure to add the products you want. If you add a TV package and only watch three channels, it may not be worth it.

6. Set up automatic payment

Sometimes companies offer rate breaks if you’ve set up automatic payment for your bills. Ask your Internet provider if they offer a discount — such as a percentage of your bill each month — if you set up recurring payments.

7. Create Reminders

Internet plans may include terms of six months or one year in the initial offer. Once it expires, it often goes back to its old price or full price. If you don’t pay attention to your monthly bill, you may not realize when the bill is going up.

To avoid this, set a reminder in your calendar to check your bill every six or 12 months.

8. Look for supported software

Nonprofits like EveryoneOn strive to connect low-income families and people in certain other situations with affordable home internet.

Visit the EveryoneOn Offers webpage to see if you qualify.

9. Buy your equipment

If you rent a modem or router from your internet provider, consider investing in one of your own. It will probably save you money in the long run.

In the past, ISPs could charge you a “rent” fee if you used your own devices. But the TV Viewers Protection Act of 2019 put an end to this practice, as we detailed in “Internet providers can’t charge you for this anymore.”

However, before purchasing your equipment, Consumer Reports advises that you ask your ISP or check their website to make sure that the equipment you wish to purchase is compatible with your ISP. Next, remember to return any rented equipment to your ISP if necessary to avoid a penalty.

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