Choosing The Best Austin Service Provider For You

The Truth About Austin Internet And TV Service Providers

Dealing with Austin Service Providers for internet, phone, and television can be a real pain. It’s hard to know what company will serve your needs best while providing a fair cost. This article is intended to distill all of the moving parts associated with TV and network service providers and give you a straightforward guide of who does what best.

The three basic elements of network service are internet, phone, and television. Each service provider has strengths and weaknesses in each category. We’ll break it down by provider later.

Depending on where you live, you may not have many options in choosing your provider. Before you get too deep into your research, check what’s available in your area.  

What do you do when the area you live in doesn’t even have internet service providers? You call Smarter Homes, that’s what.

Which Provider Won’t Raise My Rate?

None. Whether it’s Spectrum, AT&T, Google Fiber, or Grande, every company operates on 12-month introductory rates that increase after your first year. That rate increase is unavoidable. 

Rather than trying to juggle providers year in and year out to avoid rate increases, we suggest you pinpoint which provider will fit your needs service-by-service and accept the inevitable truth that your rate will increase after year one, no matter what. 

Own Your Own Equipment – Modems And Routers

Ubiquiti UniFi Managed Network setup by Smarter Homes of Austin
Ubiquiti UniFi Managed Network setup by Smarter Homes of Austin

The default of any service provider is to lease you low-quality equipment (a router and modem) and include a leasing fee in your monthly bill (sometimes hidden and fixed). However, there are Many Benefits to Not Leasing Your Equipment. If the modem is yours, you can get a standard modem that’s not one of these clunky all-in-ones. The modems themselves just take that incoming IP address and pass it along to a router that you also own, managing the network within your house yourself. 

Your router’s going be what determines the number of devices that can connect and how far WiFi travels. Purchasing your own, quality router ensures wifi will go further than with the very low-quality router-modem combo that would be provided. 

We’ll be frank – managed networks, or those where you provide your own equipment, are not a cheap solution. They are, however, more reliable, they save you money on leasing fees in the long run, and keep your devices more secure. They also allow you the capability to extend your WiFi throughout your estate. You pay more upfront because you’ll need an integrator or IT guy to install the equipment. They will then act as your technology monitor, detecting, troubleshooting and solving problems with your network as they arrive.

We always recommend a Ubiquiti managed network. We find the equipment extremely reliable and it works especially well with Grande, Spectrum and Google Fiber.

How Much Data (MBPS)  Does My House Need?

Many people wonder if raising their package to 1,000 mbps is the way to improve their connection speeds. The truth is, it’s usually overkill and unnecessary. Your data is pretty dependent on your infrastructure and whether or not your network is managed. With a strong system set up, that has a high-quality router, allowing numerous device connections and WiFi reaching your whole home, you won’t really notice the difference between say 400Mbps and 1000Mbps.

To find a realistic number for your family, start by making a list of activities by person in the home. What does your family use your data for? How many gamers live in the house? What gaming platforms are they using? Is it a lower bandwidth data platform like a Nintendo Switch, or is it a high demand gaming system like Xbox or PlayStation 4. Once you have all the numbers in order, use that information in a minimum recommendation quiz to calculate. Just keep in mind that anything over a 100 megabits per second speed is an almost unnoticeable difference. 

We found this article pretty helpful when it comes to breaking down the actual language of internet speeds and measurements. 

TV And Internet Provider Break Downs

TV Channel count and Internet pricing infographic for Austin TV service providers.
TV Channel count and Internet pricing infographic for Austin TV service providers.

(Click on Provider for Details and Breakdown)AT&T – Neighborhood Exclusivity, Data Throttling, and Good TVSpectrum – Flexible Equipment, No Data Throttling, Horrible TVGoogle Fiber – Game-Changing Speeds, Great Connections, Great HardwareGrande Communications – Boutique Offerings, Mesh Compatibility, App Linking Smart TV

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*The calculated home technology budget range you will receive will includes parts, labor & accessories (Tax not included)
(a round number is OK)
Numerous structures on the property: Dock, Casita, Guest House, Barn, Gate etc. Check all that apply.
Prewire installation calculations assume you would like your home fully wired for ALL home automation technologies shown throughout the budget calculator, including 'future-ready' wiring. Prewire pricing can vary substantially based on what features you would like in your home. The wiring budget is for low-voltage wiring, not for electrical.
Prewire pricing will vary based on exactly what features you would like in your home. Read this article about the importance of wiring/cabling in today's "wireless" world. Your local Smarter Homes integrator is the best resource for exact prewire pricing. Wiring budget is for low-voltage wiring only, not electrical.
Keep in mind that our modern lifestyle and our home's automation technology systems are extremely reliant on a quality network and Wi-Fi system. Most homes are moving towards enterprise-grade hardware and away from the types of network products you could buy in an office supply store or a consumer computer store. We recommend that all homeowners consider the network and Wi-Fi system to be the most important system and installation within the home.
Higher-quality sound or higher-grade architectural finished speakers can range from $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 PER ROOM
Basic background music system pricing ranges from $1,500.00 to $5,000.00 per room including all equipment, labor, and programming.
Range includes video sources such as AppleTV, a Blu-ray player, satellite receiver, and remotely-locating them for best aesthetics. A basic soundbar is included for better audio.
This is called “video distribution” and reduces the amount of audio/video equipment located at each TV location/room.
A surround sound system creates an immersive sound experience, much like a dedicated home theater room, though in a dual-purpose room such as a Family Room, Master Bedroom, etc. If you would like more than one surround system location, click on the "Add Another Surround System" button below
Typically, homeowners want to see the following areas: front of house, front door, driveway / gate, sides of house, and pool. If you are more concerned about security, you may want to add cameras for the perimeter of your property. Good-quality cameras see about 75 feet of distance on average. The high range of the budget estimate includes higher resolution cameras, better night vision, and longer surveillance recording time.
The installation of a lighting control system reduces wall clutter, allows preset lighting scenes at the push of a button, increases security through programming automation, and adds convenience.
Motorized shades add beauty, convenience, address privacy concerns, and can be used to save energy. If desired, provide your best guess on how many windows/shades you want to motorize. The higher-end of the budget range includes higher-end fabrics, large windows, and dual-roller shades (both sheer and privacy shades on one window).
For example, a house music app, an app to operate your TV, an app for lighting automation, an app for locks, an app for cameras, an app to open close garage doors & gates, etc. Or do you want to control the entire house through a single unified app that controls all the automation systems within the home?
Make your home feel larger by balancing the light between indoor and outdoor areas.
Smarter Homes Austin
Austin’s Certified Luxury Home Automation, Home Theater, Audio Video & Wi-Fi Experts

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