4 Ways to Save Money with Your ISP

Being connected to the internet is almost a necessity, but this connection can be costly. Your internet bill can be affected by all sorts of things, from the end of promotional periods to the cost of renting your equipment and other fees, and it can all add up fast. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save money as well. Here are four ways you can try to lower your monthly internet bill.

Buy Your Own Equipment

Many ISPs charge a monthly "rental" fee for the use of your modem and/or router. Sometimes this is charged regardless of what services you have, and sometimes it's only for enabling Wi-Fi. Whatever the case, you can get rid of this rental fee by buying a model/router of your own. The downside is that buying a modem up front is more expensive than the five to ten dollars per month it may cost to rent from your ISP, but the upside is that what you save each month means your new modem will pay itself off before you know it. As another plus, your own modem will typically function better than your USP's standard equipment.

There are a plethora of modems to choose from, however, and not all may work with your ISP. Do some research to find out what is within your price range, what features you need -- and which you don't.

Avoid Data Cap Fees

Not all ISPs offer unlimited data for their broadband services, and if they do, it's usually at a price. Rather than coughing up money for another extra fee, you can do your best to watch your bandwidth use and avoid overage fees.

The best way to start is by analyzing your network to see what device is using the most bandwidth. You can do this a few different ways. Next, disconnect anything you aren't actively using, like spare laptops or home streaming devices in other rooms. You can open your router's control panel to see how many devices are connected and remove any you don't need. Finally, keep track of what you do each day that may take up some extra bandwidth and try to cut it down wherever possible. Overage fees add up quickly, so monitor your usage to avoid those fees.

See If You Qualify For Broadband Subsidies

Just as there are federal assistance programs for food and housing and healthcare, the government offers assistance for broadband internet as well. The FCC provides subsidies through the Lifeline program, an income-based program that provides discounts for a variety of services, now including internet. You can see if you qualify for this program here and check out how you can get started with it if you do.

Negotiate A Lower Price

It might seem counterintuitive to allow negotiation for a price you're "locked in" to, but negotiation is very possible when it comes to ISPs, with a few caveats. The primary caveat is that being able to mention competition helps, and if your ISP has a monopoly in your area, it'll be harder to make your case (though you may have more options than you think). Still, it's worth a shot, because ISPs want to keep their customers, and it doesn't matter why they might be losing you—it only matters that it's happening.

With this in mind, it helps to do a little research before you call up and ask for a lower monthly price. Your goal is to convey your worth as a customer while simultaneously explaining that what you're getting now can be beaten by someone else or isn't working for you. You can check up on some strategies for navigating this negotiation, but remember that an ISP will often choose to dock a few dollars here and there on your bill rather than let you go completely, and that works in your favor.

To learn more about saving money, contact local internet service providers.