The Best and Worst ISPs
Broadband Help on the Web
Check out these sites for user forums, tools, and tips on making the most of high-speed service.
BroadbandReports.com: Also known as DSLreports.com, this site is a good source of end-user reviews of ISPs. Wondering if the cable broadband service in your area is reliable or suffers from too many outages? You can find out here. The site also includes news stories and links to all things pertaining to Internet access.
SpeedGuide.net: This site focuses on ways to improve your broadband performance. You'll discover Windows Registry tweaks, reviews of routers and other broadband-related hardware and software, general how-to advice, and industry news.
Broadband.com: Here's a good place to look for broadband deals. Enter your phone number in the 'Find Broadband Now' window on the home page, click Search Now, and the site lists current ISP plans, including special offers, for your area.
GetConnected.com: Another resource for broadband bargains, this site works like Broadband.com; it found the same cable, DSL, and satellite deals for our area. It's always good to get a second opinion.
Microsoft Office Live, Articles & Tips: Scroll past the marketing drivel to find useful information for small-business owners, such as tips for selecting a doA-A-main name, ways to use e-mail to market your business, and advice on how to glean valuable informaA-tion from Web site traffic reports. Worth a visit.
Yahoo Small Business: Like Microsoft's small-biz site, Yahoo's mixes the hard-sell with the how-to. The 'News and Resources' section on the home page is a terrific source of business tips and tricks, including the ten-step StartupNation tutorial with audio instructions, articles, and tools for entrepreneurs.
Dan Elwell's Broadband Speed Test: The Net is littered with meters to assess high-speed connections, but this is one of our favorites. The Broadband Speed Test rates your download speed, ping times, and other essentials. It presents its findings in colorful, easy-to-read bar graphs, too. The tool is free to download, but you'll have to pay $18 to check your upload speed, run scheduled tests, and use other advanced features.