Looking for the best high speed Internet connection types for your home?  I get this question quite a bit from my clients in residential neighborhoods, especially those where cable and DSL are not readily available.  I generally follow the order of precedence below in choosing an Internet service provider.  While companies in certain locations may vary in terms of performance and customer service, the order of preference below will give you a good idea on what to select.

1. Cable Internet, if available, usually gives you the highest bang (in terms of speed) for the buck.  Locally in the market P3C serves, this would be Time Warner or Charter cable.  A common tip here: call the cable provider and see if they are offering any specials if you sign-up for a 1 or 2 yr time frame.  Bundling services with your TV and Phone service also are good ways to save.

2. DSL would be your next best alternative.  No phone line at home?  No problem – see if your provider offers “dry loop DSL” which is DSL service without the phone bill.  AT&T Uverse w/ high speed Internet would be the option available locally here.
3. DSL and Cable are not an option you say?  Check to see if you have a local wireless provider – either via satellite line of sight or via a town wireless system.  One such example locally in the Washington County area in Wisconsin is Bertram Wireless.  They put a small dish on your roof up on a small tower so that it can see the distribution point they have available.  http://www.bertramwireless.com/residential_pricing.htm
4. If none of those are available, go with a Verizon Wireless mobile hot spot, and share that hot spot with a home wireless router (if necessary).  To do this, you would need:
a. The Verizon hotspot device:
With a 2 yr contract, this device is free.  Early termination fee on the contract is $175.  Without a contract, the price of the device is $269.99

At this time, Verizon has two different plans for this device:
1 – Up to 5 GB of Internet downloads for $50 / month
2 – Up to 10 GB of Internet downloads for $80 / month
Either option should be plenty for you if you are not doing a lot of streaming video or music (e.g. movies on netflix)), but if you are – you will run out of bandwidth quickly.

b. A home wireless router (if you want to share printers, files between computers, etc.) If you don’t need to do this, up to five computers can get online with just the hot spot device.  The hot spot does not handle sharing files and printers well though, it can crash the device regularly and cause some connection issues.  So, you can get a router that shares the hot spot connection and provides an internal network that is more resilient that what the hot spot offers:

The CradlePoint router will offer you the ability to share the Internet connection from the MiFi, AND do decent sharing of printers and files. If you try to do this on just the MiFi – Internet sharing will be no problem, but sharing printers and files will not work well.