To open an access to the internet, we have to be connected to the internet service provider or known as ISP. There are various ISP in each countries included Indonesia which promise to give the best quality and service. We may recognize IM2, Lintas Arta and CBN which are the leading ISPs in Indonesia. But the problem is how to choose the ISP in accordance with our needs.

Many factors have to be considered before choosing the appropriate ISP, they are as follow :

The Types and Kinds of Connection
Before choosing ISP, we must decide what type and kind of connection we need. There are some types of connection such as personal, office, etc. There are also some kinds of it such as Wireless, Leased Channel, PSTN phone line or VSAT. It depends on our needs. If we need a home based connection, we can choose personal type with wireless or phone line connection.

The Price and the Quality of Service
ISP comes with many price range. There is a monthly subscription with limited or unlimited connection or we can subscribe yearly. The other offers time based connection or quota based one which counts per kilobyte data transferred. It again depends on our use intensity. If we often download some files, it is better to choose quota based connection, or we can choose monthly subscription with unlimited connection to enjoy having internet. We also have to consider the service quality and whether it is equal with what we obtain. The main thing here is that the bandwidth is not free. The bigger bandwidth, the price will be higher.

Guarantee and Support
If we choose to subscribe an ISP, what guarantee we will get? An ISP often offers us guarantee names CIR (Customers Interconnect Rate) which is a guarantee from them for line width used by the customer to the internet. Generally, an ISP will give CIR guarantee 1:1 for the customer who rents Dedicated Connections so that the bandwidth we rent will be constant. The dedicated connection differs with the broadband connection. Broadband or shared connection usually comes in 384 kbps which will be divided to about 20-30 customers. Beside that, we must consider their technical support. It is better for us to choose an ISP which assists us from the starting installation until the internet has been connected to our PC, and an ISP who has 24 hours customer care which always be ready to help us solving connection problems.

The Features and Other Services
Internet connectivity needs continuous administration, configuration and network maintenance. They usually provides us with this service. For dial-up customer, you can ask them whether they have an email account facility under the name of the customers, with sufficient spool mail space or not. For direct access, you can ask them whether the ISP offers you a network identity registration like domain name or internet IP address. Moreover, usually there are local services like VOIP, broadcasting radio, files download, etc which is an additional value for our consideration.

Customer Satisfaction
The other thing we must perform is doing a survey to other consumers who have used the ISP services. If we often ask others or read the testimonials in a forum or a mailing list regarding the ISP service, we will know more about the quality of their services and choose the proper one.

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