Moving is a Great Time to Switch—All You Need to Know About Internet and Streaming Services
Planning a move? Then it’s the perfect time to evaluate your entertainment services you subscribe to at your home—like internet and cable TV. If you haven’t cut the cord already, you have a great opportunity to assess whether you’re happy with your current entertainment subscriptions and what you’d like to have moving forward.
This post provides everything you need to know about the leading streaming services—and how to get your new internet service set up to support them.
First Step: Make Sure You’re Set Up to Stream
If you want to stream any sort of video content in your new abode, you need to have the right internet access first. Planning ahead will help minimize your wait time for getting a new connection set up (so you don’t miss a single episode of Game of Thrones or Shameless).
First, you’ll need to gather some information:
- Are you under contract with your current internet service provider?
- Has your internet service provider (ISP) raised prices mid-contract? If so, a change in the law means you’re free to leave without penalty.
- Are you happy with your current package and broadband provider?
- Does your current provider operate in the area you are moving to?
- Can your current provider bundle products like TV, phone and internet together?
- If your current ISP doesn’t have coverage in the area you’re moving to, which providers do have coverage?
Got your answers? Read on.
When to stay put.
It may be worth staying with your current provider and transferring your account to a new location if:
- Your current internet service provider has coverage in your area
- You are happy with your broadband connection
- You are still under contract and don’t want to pay any termination or cancellation costs
When to shop around.
When you move, it makes sense to change to a new internet service provider if:
- You are unhappy with your current service
- You are out of contract and looking for a better deal
- Your current ISP does not operate in the area you’re moving to
If you need to find a new provider, make sure you’re getting the best deals in your new city. Compare plans and prices here.
Choose the Right Internet Plan
Streaming video services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. work best with the right internet speeds—and can typically offer better video quality for higher connection speeds. Netflix likes it if you have around 1.5 to 3 Mbps on the download side, but if you really want to take advantage of the HD videos, you need speeds at 5.0 Mbps or above. Want Ultra HD? You’re looking at 25 Mbps or more. Services like Hulu actually offer several settings depending on your internet speed. You can increase the settings for better quality if you have enough available bandwidth.
Make sure to choose a plan that will support your streaming habits.
Now, Choose Your Streaming Poison(s)
Got internet? Good. Now it’s time to decide which streaming services to subscribe to. Check out these options, partially compiled by MoveCheck.
Stranger Things. Orange is the New Black. The Crown. What’s a list of streaming services without Netflix? You’re probably familiar with how it works: all of your favorite shows—past and present—matched with a huge library of documentaries and classic movies, plus an increasing list of Netflix originals. If you haven’t already, try it for a month or get a basic subscription for $8.99 a month.
Handmaid’s Tale, anyone? Hulu is another respectable streaming option. Like Netflix, you have your favorite shows, hit movies, and Hulu originals—but Hulu offers faster turnaround time for new episodes of your favorite shows. Unlike Netflix, you can often expect to wait only 24 hours for new episodes to go from network television to Hulu. Hulu also lets you choose between viewing limited commercials for $5.99 a month or getting rid of the commercial altogether for $11.99 a month.
Amazon Prime Instant Video
You’ll find better selection with the likes of Netflix, but there are a few good reasons to give Amazon Prime Instant Video a shot. At a comparable cost to Netflix, you’ll also be getting all of the other goodies that come with Amazon Prime (like free two-day shipping—especially valuable if you’re in the process of moving—and free photo storage). Amazon Prime also has lots of content for kids, so it’s a great option to keep the whole family entertained.
While you’ll only get HBO shows with HBO Now (obviously), it may be worth it. This service gives you access to popular shows like Silicon Valley, Big Little Lies, Curb Your Enthusiasm—and of course Game of Thrones. You’ll also get a rotating list of recent movie blockbusters. The current list includes Phantom Thread, Wonder Woman and Inception. At $14.99 a month, this is a great option for HBO fans.
Like HBO, Showtime now offers their own dedicated streaming service for $10.99 per month or $109 per year. You’ll get access to hits like Ray Donovan, Shameless and Billions, as well as top Showtime movies and documentaries, plus access to Showtime’s championship boxing. For ease of use, you can also subscribe to Showtime content through your other streaming services, including Amazon Prime and Hulu.
If you don’t want to lose your sports or news program, consider subscribing to Sling TV. It gives you have a bundle of channels that stream live according to the regular network channel schedule—including 20 of the most popular channels including ESPN and ESPN 2, CNN, HGTV, TNT, the Food Network, and more. The cost is an affordable (compared to cable) $20 per month. You can also add extra bundles in categories like sports, kids, and hollywood for $5 each.
Don’t forget: While each streaming service may be affordable on its own, subscribing to multiple services can quickly add up. Choose those that make the most sense for your viewing habits, and pick an affordable internet plan that makes sense for your needs.