If you’re thinking of upgrading to—or getting—the best broadband plan for your use, here are just a few things to help you make a well-informed decision before you find yourself signing up for a contract.
There are three types of broadband technology available in Malaysia. ADSL, an older broadband technology, is cheaper and more widespread. ADSL can reach download speeds of up to 8Mbps.
Fiber broadband connections are faster than ADSL, with download speeds reaching up to 100Mbps. Due to its technology and broadband speed, Fiber broadband connections are more expensive than ADSL connections, and often limited to certain areas. The third, Wireless broadband, is for you—if you use the Internet on the go. Broadband plans for these are usually offered as mobile data plans. Wireless broadband isn’t as fast as Fiber broadband, but 4G LTE broadband, a type of wireless broadband connection, offers speeds close to Fiber connections.
As of 2013, 67% of Malaysians already had broadband Internet access.
As you may already have guessed, not every city and region in Malaysia will have all three broadband connections available to them. Check with various broadband providers about which cities or areas they have coverage in, and which type of broadband is available to you. Fiber optic broadband connections, particularly, are limited to major cities like Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, and Bangsar.
Consumer vs Business Broadband
More often than not, you’ll only need a consumer-level broadband connection. This means your Internet connection is for private or home use only. It doesn’t make sense to avail of a business broadband connection for a household of five, especially since business broadband connections tend to be more expensive. The reverse also applies: you wouldn’t want a consumer connection even if it’s cheaper for your business, as the amount of data a business needs to process is greater than those of a private user.
Data Capacity and Data Limits
Caps and limits determine how fast your broadband connection can get, and how much data you can download for a period of time, usually for a month. These data caps can go from 1GB of data a month to 100GB a month, depending on the plan and type of broadband connection available. Also note that wireless broadband services usually have lower data caps than ADSL or fiber connections. Luckily, the majority of Malaysian telecoms also offer unlimited data capacities in their broadband packages. Determine, though, how much your Internet usage is, and how much data you download every month. It might not be reasonable for you to have an unlimited data plan when you don’t play online games or just use the Internet to browse social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Compare prices—and other offered features—of different broadband packages available to you. Check how much you can realistically shell out. Always pick value for money, so be mindful of all considerations you have as you compare broadband plans you’re eyeing.
Contract: Prepaid vs Postpaid
If you don’t use the Internet on a daily basis, then consider getting a prepaid broadband connection instead. A postpaid broadband connection is a waste of money if you won’t be using it regularly anyway. A postpaid broadband connection, after all, will give you Internet connectivity all the time, while a prepaid broadband connection will only let you access the Internet whenever you need to. Fiber broadband connections, however, only come as postpaid packages.
Before you get your broadband connection or an upgrade to your existing one, consider other things too like customer service. The quality of customer service provided by your prospective Internet service provider is crucial. Find one that has good reviews on its customer service, or one that offers services 24/7. How a company treats their customers is also telling of how good their service is. Ask your friends or colleagues about what Internet service providers they have as this can help you decide which broadband plan to get, and from which company.
Also consider what freebies are included in your broadband package. Some Internet providers hand out cable or broadband televisions with their packages. Depending on what you need and how much your monthly expenditures are, packages with add-ons like these might be better for you. Once you have everything down, then you’re ready to purchase your new broadband plan and get connected with the rest of the world.