Deciding on which cable company to sign up with can be a confusing process. Each one has their own advertised promotions, speeds, and bonuses. The best cable provider for your neighbor may not be the best for your needs.
You should know about bundled services, contracts, and what you'll realistically be using. To get to the bottom of all this, we've researched all the providers in Ontario. We looked at which services are needed for different households and businesses.
Before you sign up with anyone, let's see how they stack up.
You have a choice between a number of cable internet providers in Ontario. This is obviously good for competition. There is both fiber and cable available with speeds starting at 25Mbps. Some residents living in the rural areas of Ontario may be limited to DSL or you can try our Free 30 Day Trial for Rural Internet.
Fiber services is offered by Bell Canada in some areas, but in Essex Country Ontario it is rare. Cable is provided by Bell, Cogeco, and Kelcom. Cable and DSL has a much farther reach than fiber, reaching more rural areas and more clients.
You may also encounter New Edge Networks. This is strictly DSL internet, with some of the slowest speeds in Ontario. Luckily, most people have better options available besides this service.
If you like you can test your postal code right now to see if you are in our service area for cable internet services in Ontario. Just head over to our home page and enter your postal code in the top, "Let's Get Started Section" we will tell you what type of service is available in your area.
Cable TV is still home to many of our favorite guilty pleasures. These days, though, viewers have a lot more choices. Cable providers try to lock you into big channel packages all in the name of the deal.
Will you really watch those 20 movie stations enough to warrant the $30+ in charges? Most of us get our movie fixes from Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu these days. Take your time to look through these channel packages and their programming.
Even if the higher packages only amount to $10-15 more per month. That's $120-180 per year. Cable companies don't want you to think about cutting the cord for internet TV. This might be in your best interest if all your favorites are on streaming services.
Don't forget about the cable TV streaming service by Dish Network, Sling TV. It has all the basic cable stations and the options to add premiums like HBO. Their service is no-contract starting at $25 per month.
Forget about all the advertised things that you can do with internet speeds. Most of that stuff is fluff or misrepresenting the need for higher packages. Internet speeds advertised are strictly about how much you can do, not necessarily how fast.
These speeds are your bandwidth, or how wide the pipeline is for data. For example, if you only do web browsing and some music streaming, you will notice no difference between 10Mbs and 100Mbs. Streaming video in HD starts to demand more bandwidth, however.
Netflix recommends 5 Mbps for HD streaming. If you have multiple people watching movies and browsing, you should go up to 15 Mbps. Gaming online is a different story. For the most part, you don't need a lot of bandwidth or high-speeds to play.
Where you will really notice the higher speed packages is download games and large files. The more bandwidth, the larger the pieces of said files can be downloaded at once.
Cable and internet companies love to bundle customers, for better or for worse. If you have no use for cable TV or landlines, don't bundle. If you do use either one of those, then you can save hundreds, potentially.
Bundled deals usually come with a two-year contract. You'll need to ask yourself whether or not you see yourself using these services for that long. Early cancellation fees can be very expensive.
Generally, you pay a flat rate for the number of months remaining on your contract. Even at only $20 per month, it's going hurt being charged in one lump sum.
The convenience of paying everything in one bill is worth consideration on its own. You can get services bundled even without being locked in a deal.
If you're signing up for cable internet for the first time, you should not be paying full price. Cable providers will give you a promotional rate for the length of your contract. Usually, they give you a large discount for the first year, and half that for the second.
Shop around and see which company has the best deals for both contracts and month-to-month service. When signing up, pay attention to the dates when those discounts expire. Ask if they will email or text a reminder to you before they expire.
This is one of the most important aspects of cable and internet service. Cable companies have ranked high in customer dissatisfaction for years. Some companies, like Comcast, are notorious for treating customers like crap.
The only way to find out how good a cable provider's customer service is is by researching online. Your initial phone interview with them is often a poor indicator, they're not going to upset a new customer.
Negotiating for a better deal is practically a requirement if you want the best cable deals. There are unadvertised deals that are only offered to customers who are threatening to downgrade or cancel. Customer service reps will try to keep you by offering bonuses or more credits.
On the extreme end of finding the best deals, those who threaten to cancel current services may get special offers. We don't recommend doing this unless you are actually prepared to leave your current service. For those who live out in rural parts with no competitors, it may not work.
If you still have DSL, look right now to see who is the best cable provider. There may have been improvements in your area where you can get faster speeds.
Read our guide on rural internet in Ontario to find out more. Don't settle for less just to avoid the transition process. It's easier than you may think.