KIM KOMANDO

Plug in your address to see if you’re overpaying for the internet

Sep 10, 2023, 6:30 AM

(Andres Ayrton Photo/via Pexels)...

(Andres Ayrton Photo/via Pexels)

(Andres Ayrton Photo/via Pexels)

By now, we all know how important it is to have a strong connection for work, school, fun and life. But what happens if you move and realize, “Uh-oh, the internet here stinks”? If you think you’re overpaying for the internet, do this before you start packing.

Here’s a must-do step

Check the internet before you sign that lease or fork over a down payment. There’s a decent chance the prices and speed you’re used to are vastly different in your (potentially) new neighborhood.

Most major U.S. cities have the same carriers, like Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink. But depending on your location, you could get a drastically different internet speed than in another city … at the same price point.

The Markup created a handy map tool to check the internet speeds in 45 major cities. Here’s the lowdown on what they found and how to use the map yourself.

It’s easy to sign up and easy to cancel.

How to use the map

Markup analyzed data from over a million internet plans across 45 U.S. cities from four of the nation’s biggest internet providers: EarthLink, CenturyLink, Verizon and AT&T.

They found the worst internet deals popped up disproportionately in the poorest, most diverse and historically redlined neighborhoods in all but two investigated cities. Oof.

The internet’s Big Four also use “tier flattening,” meaning they charge the same rate for different internet speeds, which can vary drastically.

Before you decide you’re overpaying for the internet, try this

Eager to take the map for a test drive? Here’s how:

  • Select a city from the dropdown menu or drag the map to move across the country.
  • Use the zoom feature in the top right corner to target a specific dot on the map, or type an exact address into the search bar.
  • Click on a dot to pull up all the details of the address, including speeds, internet service providers and demographics.
  • Use the filter feature to narrow your search by demographics.

The map gets pretty granular, so you can see how good you can expect your connection to be down to the neighborhood.

Now, fix your Wi-Fi

If you’re staying put or moving somewhere where the connection is solid, you’re golden. But that doesn’t mean things are perfect.

If you deal with lags and a signal that drops in and out, your router might be hamstringing your connection.

Where you put your router matters, too. You want it in a central location, high off the ground. I’m looking at you if yours is stuck on the floor in a closet.

Common appliances like cordless phones, Bluetooth speakers and even microwave ovens can impact your internet speed. This is particularly true with older routers.

Next, change the channel. Not talking about the TV but your router’s frequency. Are you using the 2.4GHz frequency? Get away from this congested channel ASAP.

Network Analyzer is a solid app for help finding the most appropriate channel for your connection.

How you change channels depends on the brand and model of your router. Refer to your manual to find it. Network Analyzer is available for iOS and Android.

Next on your to-do list: Look for moochers and banish the kids to a guest network. Get the steps here.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Kim Komando

Image of a voice assistant....

Kim Komando

7 things you should never ask Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant

As technology evolves, so should our knowledge of it. Here are seven things you should NEVER ask your smart assistant!

21 hours ago

Person upset with phone....

Kim Komando

Here are the signs that you need a new phone, like, now

As time goes on, the battery level on your phone will drop. Here are the signs you should know that hint you need a new phone ASAP.

2 days ago

Woman sitting at her computer....

Kim Komando

Here are tech life upgrades smarter than the stuff on TikTok

This story delves into the pitfalls of relying solely on online guidance, particularly in the realm of finance and technology, where clickbait and hype often overshadow genuine insight.

8 days ago

Anything connected is a hacker target, and you better believe that includes all the Internet gadget...

Kim Komando

Tech security to-do: Lock down your smart stuff before it can be hacked

Anything connected is a hacker target, and you better believe that includes all the Internet of Things gadgets in your home.

9 days ago

Family siting on couch....

Kim Komando

Unlocking online safety: The secret text code every family needs

For those who don't have one yet, here's a guide to a secret text code that every family needs to be using these days.

15 days ago

Woman holds phone...

Kim Komando

Unscrupulous scammers targeting children and adolescents

Scammers pose as attractive individuals, coerce teens into sharing sensitive content, and demand payouts. Read to learn more.

16 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Plug in your address to see if you’re overpaying for the internet