Whether you just moved to a new city or your totally dissatisfied with your current wireless internet provider, finding the best wireless internet can be a daunting task. From special deals and rebates to over-eager sales associates, it seems like there are so many obstacles between you and the truth. Educate and empower yourself to find the right service provider for you with these tips.

Decide Which Type of Service is Best for You

Short digital subscriber, or DSL, internet is typically purchased from your phone company and utilizes your existing phone line. DSL is the right internet type for you if you live in a city or town, as it is the most economical choice. However, if you live in a more secluded or rural area, DSL wireless internet providers are not the wisest choice. Unlike cable or satellite internet, DSL speeds slow down as the signal has to travel the distance of a phone line.

Cable is to your cable line as DSL is to your phone line. Maximum cable speeds are much faster than DSL, but cable speeds are shared between all neighborhood residents. That means that the more people plugged into cable internet in your proximity, the slower your internet speeds will be.

Satellite service is the slowest, but is the only option for people who live in rural areas, where other wireless internet providers can’t offer service due to distance. Fiber-optic internet isn’t available everywhere, but can be the biggest bargain if it’s available to you.

To find out what’s near you, visit the The National Broadband Map. Next, it’s time to research.

Research, Research, Research!

Research all the providers available in your area and keep a compare and contrast chart. This is the only way to get an accurate picture of what is fastest and most affordable for you. Factors to compare are price, contract type, download and upload speeds, quality of customer support and reliability of service.

Make Sure You Are Comparing the Right Data

Sometimes what is advertised on a wireless internet provider’s web site or promotional package isn’t the whole story. Independent websites are available to facilitate comparisons with neutral data.

AllConnect offers a user-friendly interface for comparisons and includes satellite, DSL and cable providers. Speedtest.net’s Net Index shows provides consumers with real internet speeds as they are experienced by customers. This can help you balance price with speed better than comparing maximum speeds advertised by wireless internet providers.

Being realistic about your location, budget, goals and accessibility is the first step to getting the best wireless internet you can find. In short, rural residents should choose among satellite internet providers and be prepared for slower speeds. Urban or suburban residents have more flexibility of choice and can opt for cable or DSL wireless internet. Just be sure to compare actual experienced internet speeds rather than advertised maximum speeds. Fiber-optic internet is a fantastic choice if you live in an area where these super fast, high-value services are offered.