8 Money-Saving Secrets Your Internet Provider Doesn't Want You to Know

Internet services may be an expensive part of your budget, but there are ways to bring down your monthly bill.
Updated April 3, 2023
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Network cables connected to a router or modem

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Internet services have become more necessary to daily life as people work from home or sign on for streaming services to watch movies and television shows.

But getting internet service to your home can be confusing. You have to figure out which providers you have access to or what speed you want to pay for.

So what kind of secrets do internet providers not want you to know about this process? There are a few that may help you get better services and some that could even boost your bank account and put a little extra cash in your pocket.

You can negotiate your contract

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Providers want to keep you as a customer, and if you call them about your contract, they may renegotiate it with you. They may even have secret discounts for loyal customers that you can ask about.

But to negotiate well, you also may have to be willing to walk away. Do your research before you call and be ready to tell them about a better deal you may have found with a competitor. If they can’t match that deal or give you a better discount, it may be time to switch.

You can buy your own router and modem

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If you’ve looked over your internet bill lately, you may see a line item for equipment rental. This covers the router and modem that you rent from your provider along with any additional equipment for your service.

If you’re trying to cut your internet service costs, it may be a good idea to buy your own router and modem instead of paying those rental fees. There is an initial upfront cost investing in your own equipment, but it could pay off in the long run.

Their hardware may be outdated

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One advantage to renting equipment from your provider is that they may send you updated equipment as your older version potentially becomes outdated. But in other cases, they might drag their feet on updating your hardware due to costs on their end.

Call your provider, particularly if you’re having issues with slow internet access, and see if they can give you an equipment refresh.

You might have the wrong plan for your data needs

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Do you have a limit on how much data you can use each month? It might not be a big issue if you have the right plan for your daily use rate. But if you have a data plan with a cap that you hit on a regular basis, it could be hitting your wallet in a major way.

If you’re trying to save money, you may have to actually pay a little more to upgrade your data package in order to avoid overage fees. Check your bills and see if any upgrade could save you money compared to overage penalties you may be paying.

You can save by bundling

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Some companies may have ways you can save by bundling more of their services with your internet plan. Perhaps they offer cable services as well that could be cheaper than if you chose a live-television streaming provider to pair with your internet services.

They may reward loyal customers

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Some customers switch from provider to provider every few years. But if you’re a customer that has stuck around, you should ask to be rewarded for your loyalty.

Providers may want to encourage you to continue to stay with them, so see if they can offer you a loyal customer discount or additional services without bumping your bill higher.

Your unlimited phone plan may be better

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More cell phone providers offer customers an unlimited monthly plan, which means you can convert your phone into an internet hotspot when you’re home and ditch your traditional internet provider.

However, there are some downsides if you decide to go this route. Using your phone as a hotspot while you stream shows or movies to your television could eat up your battery charge. And you may not be able to get the same internet speed through your phone, which could mean lots of buffering if you’re trying to stream a movie on a Friday night.

You may qualify for an income-driven plan

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Depending on how much money you make as well as other factors, you may qualify for a cheaper plan based on your income. There could be minimum requirements to qualify and the service may not be as good as if you were paying for a traditional plan, but it might be a good option if you’re on a budget.

Bottom line

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There are ways to get your internet bill down and reduce your money stress, so don’t get discouraged if your bill is becoming a bust when it comes to your budget.

Do some shopping around and talk to your provider about ways you may be able to adjust your monthly bill and keep some cash in your pocket.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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