Buying a house is a stressful time. You often end up with pages and pages of lists of what is important in the new home, what you cannot do without and what is not a priority. You end up driving through towns, villages and neighborhoods you have never been to before, evaluating their every detail and looking for any flaw. The nearby schools all get ranked and rated, commuting time to your job gets tested, even whether the house is north facing or south facing becomes an issue. Time is spent looking through listings, scouring the internet and then all that gets abandoned because you realize your perfect home will never exist and you just have to make do as best you can.
Even when making all those notes and checklists one thing often gets forgotten: the internet. Most people presume if they are moving to an urban or suburban area then the internet will be readily available. Unfortunately that is not the whole truth. The chances are you will be able to get the internet, however it might not be very good. With the world becoming increasingly digital the importance of decent quality internet increases. A huge amount of people rely on the internet for entertainment. Netflix is a common feature of many households and is replacing cable and satellite TV for some. The ability to watch what you want, when you want has freed people from television schedules. Of even more importance for some is the ability to work from home, with their livelihood relying on-always on, reliable internet. And if you have teenagers woe betide anyone who underestimates the importance of the internet.
Checking the internet when you consider a house you may purchase is not too difficult and only involves a couple of steps. The first step is to see if the house has an active phone line. You should ask for the house’s phone number letting the sellers know you wish to check for broadband availability. If the line is active you can enter the number on most internet service provider’s websites and they will run an automatic check and let you know what speeds are available. It is important to note that the speeds advertised do not always reflect the speed that is actually achievable. For that a check within the house is necessary. You should also check if any cable TV service is available. Cable TV based internet connection often provide the fastest speeds available. It is also worth checking if mobile broadband is available: broadband using the mobile phone network and base to base fixed aerial broadband available from small, local providers.
The other check you should carry out is the speed that is available on the house’s current connection. The seller should know what level of subscription they are availing of. With that in mind it is possible to see what the speed the connection is rated for and how it compares to the speed achieved. That will give a good indication of what the potential of the connection is. You can do this by connecting to a home’s wireless connection with a smart-phone, or to any connection with a laptop and going to a site such as speedtest.net.
The final check you may want to conduct is the capability of wireless internet from a router to travel around the home. Going into the different rooms and checking the strength of the wireless is a simple way of doing this. If the signal drops in rooms due to thick walls or long distances it isn’t terrible but it does mean other router options may need to be investigated.
The reality is that most homes will be fine for the internet, buying a house and its internet is often a simple thing to tick off checklist. However it is still important to check. A very bad internet connection could make the difference in an edge case and be the difference between saying yes or no to a home, so it is worth finding out.