The Cord Cutter’s Guide to Internet Service

The Cord Cutter’s Guide to Internet Service

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Let’s talk internet for a bit today. From my experience, one of the most overwhelming parts for Cord Cutters when making their transition to a cableless household is getting internet-only service setup. Most of that is due to uncertainty, but in reality, it’s not all that difficult once you have all the steps and resources laid out for you. So keep reading on as I break this process down for you.

These are the 4 main things to consider when looking for Internet-only service:

  1. Go with cable internet whenever possible
  2. Look for speeds around 25 Mbps
  3. Don’t sign a contract!
  4. Purchase your own equipment instead of renting

Cable over DSL

Cable internet is delivered to your home over the black coax cable that you typically plug into the back of your TV, where DSL internet is delivered over your existing phone line. Whenever available, I suggest choosing a cable internet provider over a DSL internet provider. Reason being, cable internet is generally faster and a better value. There are a lot of different cable internet providers across the United States (Comcast/Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter), but usually, there is only one or two that will service your residence. To figure out which ones are in your area and to see their current offers, I like searching

Speed…Vroom Vroom!

Internet providers have packages that span across a large range of speeds, measured in Megabits per second (Mbps). They start out basic (“granny just wants to do emails”) and go all the way up to enterprise speeds (“I want to run a Google server in my basement”). To be a cord cutter and stream movies, shows and live TV you don’t need anything too crazy. It all really boils down to how many different things you think you will want to stream at a given time. If you only have one TV or live alone then you can get by with something towards the basic end of the spectrum. If you have a family of 6 and everyone likes to watch something different at the same time, then you should consider something a little faster in order to get the best experience. In general, I suggest going with something around 25 Mbps. This will work well for most people, giving you a reliable connection that is fast enough to handle 2 or 3 devices streaming at the same time while staying at a reasonable monthly payment.

Contracts = yuck

Traditionally, cable companies have used contracts to strap you into long term agreements, that you can’t get out of, then they slowly increase your monthly payment over that term until your paying an absurd amount for a service you just paid a fraction for a few months prior. When you are getting quotes from your local internet companies always ask for “No contract offers”. Tell them you aren’t interested in signing any contracts and just want a reliable internet connection at a fair price. Speaking of price, I have always found that it is best to do your homework ahead of time before you start getting quotes. The best way to check out the current deals is to search on for the internet companies name plus “internet promotions” (ex. “Comcast internet promotions”). Click through to the end of each post to see the most recent discussions on internet offers people are receiving.

Provide your own equipment

One of the easiest ways to reduce your monthly internet bill and gain lots of negotiating power with these big internet companies is to buy your own equipment instead of renting theirs. Historically, whenever you signed up for cable service your provider included x number of “boxes” that go throughout your house. Some of these boxes provided the internet and WiFi connection to all of your devices. Along with those boxes came rental fees that jacked up your monthly bill and really added up over time. By purchasing your own modem and wireless router you can save a ton of money. This minimizes the amount of work the cable company needs to do in order to turn on your service since you have the ability to setup the equipment yourself. A lot of times this just involves the cable company “flipping a switch” and BAM! you’ve got internet flowing to your house. This eases the work on their end since they don’t have to send out a technician and also reduces your ties to that particular company since you don’t possess any of their equipment. You can walk away next month, with very little effort, and use your equipment with another provider if they don’t want to offer you a fair price. The setup really is easy, you can even find instructions like these on the cable company’s website: Comcast/Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter. As far as purchasing this equipment for yourself, here is what I recommend:

Cable Modem – this box converts the cable signal coming into your house to Ethernet internet

Go with the ARRIS SURFboard SB6141. This modem has the latest technology, so your investment will provide a blazing fast connection for years to come. Also, this guy works with all the major cable companies like Comcast/Xfinity, Cox, Charter, Time Warner.

Wireless Router – this box converts the internet to WiFi

The TP-LINK Archer C7 is widely considered the best WiFi router for most people. It can broadcast super fast WiFi throughout your typical multi-story home without any problems. This is my top choice for sure. However, if you only need to cover a small area, like a one bedroom apartment, then you could opt to go with something a little more basic like the TP-LINK N450 and save a little money.


I hope this information helps guide you in your search for Internet only service. If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to leave a note in the comments below.


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Posted by Dan in Guides, Internet, Streaming, 0 comments