7 Essential Ways to Lower Your Internet Bill

Did you know that the average internet bill is $60 per month? While this may not seem like a crazy amount of money, this equates to $720 per year.

$720 is certainly a lot of money. But, for many of us, living without the internet simply isn’t an option. Luckily, there are things you can do to cut down on your internet bill.

Check out this guide to discover the top ways to cut down on your monthly internet bill.

1. Test Your Speed

First things first, you should test your internet speed, as this will help ensure you’re getting what you were promised.

There are plenty of websites out there for testing internet speed, so all you need to do is a quick Google search. Typically, internet speed is measured in megabytes per second, or Mbps. However, keep in mind that you’re usually only guaranteed “up to” a certain speed in your plan.

It’s a good idea to test your speed at different times of the day, especially if you share your internet infrastructure amongst other households. This means that you may be getting less or more bandwidth than guaranteed depending on who else is using the network and at what time.

If you’re consistently getting slow internet speeds, you should call up your network provider. If they don’t solve the issue, it may be time to look for a different service provider.

2. Understand Your Usage

Additionally, you should take some time to understand your usage and learn how to reduce it.

Remember, your total bandwidth is shared between all of the devices on your connection. So if multiple people are online at the same time, you’ll need to make sure you have enough bandwidth for everyone.

Here’s what you’ll need for different activities:

  • General web surfing, checking email, and browsing social media: 1 Mbps
  • Gaming online: 1-3 Mbps
  • Video conferencing: 1-4 Mbps
  • Video streaming in SD: 3-4 Mbps
  • Video streaming in HD: 5-8 Mbps
  • Downloading large files frequently: 50 Mbps or more (you can check out this guide to learn how to speed up downloads)

Once you know these amounts, you can then figure out if you’re paying too much for bandwidth. If so, it’s an easy fix. All you have to do is drop to a lower tier with your internet services provider.

3. Negotiate Your Internet Bill

Many people don’t know this, but your internet bill can actually be negotiated. And, you don’t need to be a smooth-talking salesman to do so.

The position you take is simple: I know of a better deal somewhere else, and I’m ready to leave unless you can offer me a lower price. Be polite and firm, and remember to back up your position. The more evidence you can provide, the more leverage you’ll have when it comes to getting a lower bill.

Spend some time researching current promotions your providers and other providers are offering, and be prepared to leave your current provider if they refuse to lower your bill.

If your negotiation tactics don’t work and you aren’t offered lower pricing, there’s another tactic you can employ. If your partner or roommate hasn’t opened an account with your provider before, you can cancel your current service and then sign up in that person’s name.

4. Bundle Your Services

While you shouldn’t sign up for anything beyond your needs, bundling your services can save you a lot of money.

For example, if you’re already paying for cable, you might be able to bundle it with the internet and save money on both. Just make sure you know the details of the bundle before diving in.

5. Look Into Government Subsidies

If you fall below a certain income level, you may be able to get a subsidy from the government for a lower internet bill.

To figure out if you qualify, check out the Federal Communications Commissions website. If your annual income is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, you could qualify for a broadband subsidy. Additionally, you may qualify for a subsidy if you participate in government programs like Medicaid, Social Security, or others.

Some programs that offer subsidies include:

  • Senior and/or veteran government assistance
  • Pell grant
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Public Housing (HUD)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Community Eligibility Provision of the National School Lunch Program (CEP of the NSLP)
  • National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

For a family of four, 135 percent of the federal poverty income level is around $33,330.

6. Buy Your Internet Hardware

If you plan to stay with the same internet provider for a long time, usually more than one year, then it might be more cost-effective to buy your internet hardware instead of renting it.

Typically, providers charge between $10 to $15 a month for equipment rental. If you stay with a company for two years, this equates to $240 to $360. You can easily find a quality modem and router for less than that, and it could last you more than two years.

However, keep in mind that some providers won’t offer troubleshooting support if you have personal hardware.

7. Go Bare-Bones

Another way to save money on your internet bill is to go for a bare-bones plan.

For example, you can downgrade to a limited-data mobile hotspot plan. Typically, these plans are suitable for doing simple activities like checking your email or browsing social media a handful of times per month. However, these plans won’t allow you to stream videos or play games online.

However, if you could trim $10 to $20 off your monthly internet bill, then you could start an emergency fund.

Are You Ready to Lower Your Internet Bill?

As you can see, there’s a lot that you can do to lower your internet bill. Now, all you need to do is put these tips into action and you’ll be saving each month.

Be sure to check out our blog for more money-saving tips and tricks.

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