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A Roommate's Guide to Deciding Cable/Internet Services

By Alicia Geigel

When living with a roommate, there is so many things to consider in regards to your living situation. Splitting bills like rent, electricity, and water, sharing food, maintaining boundaries, etc. are all important lifestyle elements to think about/implement when sharing a living space together. One large factor figure out, especially in this day and age, is how to decide a decent cable and/or internet service that will satisfy both your and your roommate’s needs.

Today, unless it is your choice and your lifestyle does not require it, internet is a necessity to navigate the world around us. It helps us with travel, work, school, and just about every other aspect of our lives. Standard cable, for at least a lot of younger people, is not as necessary or relied upon as it once was years ago. Instead, people are turning to other outlets for entertainment, but nonetheless, it is something that plenty of people still enjoy- like myself!

Are you currently living with a roommate? Trying to figure out how to pick the right cable and/or internet provider for both you and your roommate? This guide will help you in your journey to deciding the best services for your home!

Evaluate Your Wants and Needs

A lot of what you get in terms of a cable/internet provider is determined by what you want and what you need. Before just diving into the basic or most expensive package you can get your hands on, ask yourself some important questions in terms of what you and your roommate need/are looking for in a cable/internet provider. Will you need the fastest internet possible? Are you looking for a large variety of channels to watch? Get a decent idea of you want, which will ultimately help you in terms of what you’re looking for!

Cable

Depending on your schedule and how you spend your time, cable may be either a necessity or a waste of money. For some, its nice to have a few channel options to watch on TV to help you unwind and relax after a long day, or watch the latest sports game on the weekends. For others, cable can be a waste of money and an unnecessary add on for an internet package. Which person do you more identify with? Is cable something that you can’t see yourself without or is it something you can do without? 

•    Look Into Cable Providers in Your Area: It is relatively easy to find out what providers are in your area, and sites like AllConnect and Digital Landing can help you find the best cable providers in your area (and the best deals too)!

•   Decide What Channels You Want: Part of what can make selecting a specific cable package so difficult is deciding what channels you want. Are you someone who just likes to watch the local news and more basic channels? Are you a sports fiend? Love watching entertainment channels? Determining what you want and what you can do without can help to narrow down your options.

•   Look Into Streaming Services: Before even diving into getting an all-inclusive package that includes cable and internet, consider looking into streaming services to help cut down the unnecessary costs of getting a plan. Instead of getting package that doesn’t suit you, you can just opt for internet and subscribe to a streaming service such as:

   •   Netflix: $12.99/month

   •   Hulu: $5.99/month with Ads

      •   Hulu TV: $44.99/month with Ads (and no extra channels)

   •   Youtube TV: $40.00/month

   •   Sling TV:

      •   Sling Orange: $25.00/month

      •   Sling Blue: $25.00/month

      •   Sling Orange + Blue: $40.00/month

Internet

Unlike cable, having internet is something that is necessary in order to properly function and navigate day-to-day life. Need to research for your paper due on Friday? You’ll probably need the internet. Want to check the weather to see if you need a sweatshirt on your way to class? Consult the internet! Choosing an internet provider can be tough since there are so many different options out there, but after considering a few things such as speed, availability of options in your area, and specific deals/promotions, you’ll find the perfect one that will work for you and your roommate!

•   Evaluate the Speed That You Need: Speed is something incredibly important, if not the important thing to consider when deciding on internet. Speed, or bandwidth is measured in megabits per second and is the maximum rate at which you can download data from the internet to your computer, phone, etc. If you’re only using the internet for web surfing, email, or social media, you’re good with 1 Mbps, but if you’re doing high-definition streaming, you’ll need something faster like 5-8 Mbps.

•   Research the Available Options in Your Area: Sites like Broadband Now and In My Area can help you figure out what internet providers service your area and thus help with evaluating different packages.

•   Check Out Deals and Promotions: Internet providers are always promoting different deals to help entice you to choose their specific packages, it’s just how these providers compete with each other. But in the end, it can benefit you! Look into what services are giving out the best promotions and choose the package that you can get a good deal on!

 

Choosing the right cable and/or internet provider can seem overwhelming because there are so many options out there. However, if you determine what your wants and needs are, and just do a little bit of research, the process can be a breeze. As always, good luck!


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