saving money

All posts tagged saving money

I’ve been at my present address less than 8 years, and for about half of them I’ve been  looking for a ISP that doesn’t throttle, scan packets for the MPAA, nor overcharged for decent internet speeds. Unfortunately, until this past month, I was stuck with a slower connection since dealing with the high price and horrible customer service from a certain very large cable and internet provider was something I didn’t want to deal with both personally and professionally.

Professionally, someone is paying me to call ISPs* and handle setup and outages.

In business paying a $120/month for a monthly business-class ISP is not really that much considering business speeds, but $60–$100 for something they use a few hours a day, mainly for simple communications and entertainment, it’s pretty steep.

So, at home I went with DSL, with its more modest bandwidth (<8Mbps) & $25/month that went up to $35/month. Considering Comcast (now Xfinity) charges $50+equipment rental fees of $7/month–$14/month, and after adding in fees and taxes the bill comes out to being in $60s per month for that speed (despite what it’s introductory pricing says). However, many people want faster speeds such as 50Mbps than DSL can offer. So, they go with Comcast where it’s not uncommon for people to pay at least $70/month for faster speeds.

I signed up with sonic for their introductory DSL package switch over that simply meant paying sonic the same price for faster speeds. AT&T was providing 6mbps as well, but it would have been $35/month (up fro $30) vs. Sonic’s 12 month $10 discount to more up to that speed. So, we saved $60 in a year while upping our speed from 3Mbps to 6Mbps. This is where it stayed until Sonic’s Fusion (up to 50Mbps) bundle became available in my neighborhood this past quarter. Again, I am finally able to switch to a faster connection and bundle in phone service (with 8hr/month long distance free) for ~$45+. The difference: $10/month more. But it got rid of the $36/month AT&T bill. So, we will save $25/month.

So, in total if I had Comcast ($66) & AT&T ($36) instead of Sonic (~45$), I would be spending over twice as much for pretty much the same thing. I just wished I could have gotten this when I heard about it, I could have saved over $1500 by now. My hope is that they continue to expand and reach more people. If you want to save money or like all that sonic wants to do: make internet better in both speeds and money for everyone, vs. what everyone else is doing: increasing rates with each speed boost and slowly over time. (when I first moved in we had a Comcast bill half of what it was when we cancelled them a year and a half ago)

*More about this later…

A few days ago I was in a Costco and I came across a display of solar portable panels with a company representative giving demonstrations to whomever would stop long enough to speak to him. Me, being always curious about the current state of various technologies, stopped to speak with him. After discussing the power output per panel, how many it would take to power my laptop (4) and how the system worked, he asked what sort of engineer I am. I admitted to him I wasn’t an engineer (at least in the sense that he was thinking), but I knew a bit about pretty much anything with electrons running through it.

Last week, Dice’s Mark Feffer sent an email to me asking what my specialty is. Meanwhile, I have met at least 3 other people in the IT field this past week and a half. All of them eventually asked what my specialty is. The thing is, my specialty is actually the opposite of a specialist: I know most if not all of technology available, what is coming and what is possible now to integrate them. This allows me to do my job of recommending electronics and computer technology pretty well.

How do I do it? Read on to learn what resources I tap every time it is time to buy any electronics…

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