Home Internet Options in Vancouver
So you’ve arrived in Vancouver, somehow managed to buy a house or find an apartment to rent, and are now preparing to move into your new home. First things first: welcome!
Next up: time to arrange home internet service for your new place. With internet access crucial for everything from communicating with family and friends to watching Netflix and working from home, most of us couldn’t imagine living somewhere these days without a speedy connection. Since it typically requires a few days’ advance notice to arrange for a technician to set up your connection, it’s a good idea to sort this out before your move-in date so that you can get online as soon as possible after moving in.
Here are your main options for home internet service in Vancouver:
- Shaw and Telus. Two of Canada’s major telecoms players, both Shaw and Telus offer a variety of internet service plans ranging from basic options to fully loaded plans suitable for homes with many connected devices running simultaneously. Their plans tend to be fairly similar in terms of download speed, upload speed and monthly data cap, and both offer bundles that include internet, TV and home phone. If you sign up for an internet plan with one of these companies, you also typically get free access to their network of Wi-Fi hotspots in public spaces. One of the key differences between them is that Telus offers mobile phone plans, while Shaw does not.
- Novus. If like your internet super-fast, Novus offers fibre optic access with a top speed of 300 Mbps. But there’s a catch: their service is available in only certain buildings throughout the city. While they are gradually expanding their coverage, at the moment you’re probably out of luck if you don’t live in one of a handful of neighbourhoods in and around downtown. You can check your new address against the list of connected buildings on the Novus website.
- Yak and TekSavvy. These two providers market themselves as offering better value than the major players, with fast connections and no hidden fees. Both also offer home phone and long distance phone services. If you’re looking to get the best deal possible for your internet service, it’s worth doing some research on how these two providers’ plans compare to those of the bigger companies listed above.
Before you choose your internet provider and plan, be sure to think about how fast of a connection you need and how much data you are likely to use per month. There’s no point in paying for a top-of-the-line plan if your needs are relatively basic.
Pro Tip: Shaw and Telus typically offer promotional rates for the first three or six months when you sign up with them as a new customer. These discounts can save you anywhere from 30% to 50% for a few months, but then your monthly rate shoots up to the “regular” rate. Rather than simply accepting this price increase after the promotional period, try calling up your provider and asking them for a better offer. If you tell them you’re planning to switch to their competitor, there’s a good chance they will offer to reduce your “regular” rate to keep you on as a customer.
These days, home internet access is pretty much a necessity for most city dwellers. But unlike water and electricity, you have a choice when it comes to internet service providers. So go ahead and research your options, choose the right plan for your needs and get online!