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How to transfer internet services when moving

How to move your current internet provider or find the best new internet service

Transferring your internet so it’s up and running right after you move is pretty essential these days. Whether you need internet for work, hope to Zoom with your family, or don’t want to miss out on the newest episode of Bridgerton, good Wi-Fi can make you feel right at home or leave you feeling frazzled and disorganized. It’s actually not that hard to transfer internet services or find a new service that fits your bandwidth requirements and budget. You just need to plan ahead.

Whether you plan to set up your Wi-Fi yourself or have your internet provider take care of it for you, we’re here to help you figure out how to get your Wi-Fi and TV service (if you have it) up and running quickly.

Free Wi-Fi: Get internet service as an apartment perk if you can

Way back in the day, Wi-Fi was considered a special utility that you paid extra for every month. (Remember when hotels charged you for Wi-Fi, too? Wow.) Obviously, this is no longer the case. Wi-Fi is everywhere, and it’s become a necessity that some property managers are including as a perk to help attract people like you to rent from them.

Traditionally, when you think about your monthly rent, you have to remember to add on all sorts of additional expenses. From electricity and water to maintenance and trash — and especially Wi-Fi and cable services — utilities and service fees are rarely included in the up-front price. To offer better deals for residents, many apartments have started, including Wi-Fi service in the price of rent.

This means that when you pay your monthly rent, you’re also paying for Wi-Fi service at the same time. Because your internet provider is usually your TV provider, too, this means that you can get TV service as well. Finding an apartment that has Wi-Fi and cable included in the price of rent is a great way to go to save money.

Many apartments that include Wi-Fi and cable in the rent will include a modem that delivers TV and internet access. If the apartment offers these to you as part of the rent, you likely will only need to pick up a nice wireless router and you’re good to go!

Tips for transferring internet or selecting a new internet provider

If you have an internet connection that you are happy with, simply call your provider and see if they are available in the area where you’re moving. If it is available in your new area, they can transfer your internet service pretty easily. You may even be able to keep your IP address. If they’re not available at your new home, find a reliable provider that is available in the area. (If you signed a longer-term contract with your current provider, make sure you ask about any potential costs to break your contract.)

If you’re looking for a new internet provider, you may want to consider the following:

  • Use a provider search tool such as InMyArea to see the internet providers available to you. It’s as easy as entering your ZIP code and pressing enter!
  • Determine how much internet speed you need.
  • Make comparisons between what the providers have to offer:
    • Pricing
    • Fees
    • Speeds
    • Reviews
    • Installation costs and extra equipment needed
    • Extra costs if you break your contract

Other considerations for upgrading your internet

1. How much internet speed do I need for streaming?

The speed of the internet you use will largely determine what you can do with it. A super slow connection, for example, may be able to play one standard quality video on one device. An incredibly fast connection, however, may provide multiple users (hello, roommates!) with 4K streaming quality with no issues.

The question you’re likely asking yourself now is, what is a slow connection, and what is a fast connection? 

Without getting too technical about internet speeds, the most common things you’ll hear about are bandwidth and Mbps. This is what is used to measure the speed of your internet, with the bandwidth being measured in megabits per second or Mbps.

The higher the Mbps, the more bandwidth you have, and the faster your connection is. 

Bandwidth is divided up among all the devices that are used. Basic activities like web browsing and checking email require relatively little bandwidth, whereas high-quality streaming or online gaming use more bandwidth.

To get an idea of the kinds of internet speeds you’ll need for various activities and types of streaming, check out the table below.

ActivityRecommended internet speeds
Stream high-quality music0.5 Mbps
Stream standard-definition videos3 Mbps
Stream high-definition videos5 Mbps
Stream 4k quality videos25 Mbps
Usage chart: Internet speeds and bandwidth required for streaming music and video

Based on the table above, with 5+ Mbps speeds, you’ll be able to stream to your heart’s content! Flip on Netflix, watch your favorite movie or video in high-definition, and you’re good to go. 

If you want to watch 4K videos, play video games at maximum rates, or have multiple people using the bandwidth, you’ll want to start looking into faster speeds in the 25 Mbps range or higher.

There are many plans these days that offer speeds much greater than even 25 Mbps, with gigabit (1,000 Mbps!) plans even being common. Don’t look at that 25 Mbps value and think it’s a tough milestone to reach—high speeds are pretty commonplace (and more economical) today.

2. How much internet bandwidth do I need to work from home?

If you work from home, you’ll more than likely be spending a lot of your time at the computer. Whether you’re hosting a class or answering emails, you need to make sure to have a quality connection to get your work done consistently.

Doing the above activities don’t typically require a lot of bandwidth, so you should be fine to work from home with a fairly basic internet setup, as long as it’s reliable! One additional thing you may need is a virtual private network (VPN) to access some of the work you’re doing.

A VPN is a connection that has security measures built into it. Companies typically use these networks to protect the data transmitted over the web from potentially dangerous third parties.

If you’re working from home and require a VPN, your employer may likely have it installed on your work computer and you can run it from there, or they will have a suggested VPN to use in order to access the connection and do your job. Just follow the steps that your employer provides to you to get it set up and you should be good!

Keep in mind that a VPN is not a replacement for Wi-Fi. You won’t be using your employer’s suggested VPN in place of your own internet service. They work in tandem with one another. So be sure you have a steady internet connection established before you start trying to get your VPN setup!

3. Main internet providers offering contactless install options

If you are moving during the COVID-19 outbreak, you will be happy to hear that the major providers are offering installation options in which there is little to no contact. This benefits their employees as well as you, so it’s a win-win. Many providers are also offering self-installation guides to help you through the install process yourself so that you don’t need to have technicians enter your residence to do the work. The major providers offering these options include:

Getting your Wi-Fi setup is easier than you think

No matter what you need the internet for, whether it be for work, entertainment, or a bit of both, having Wi-Fi at your new apartment is obviously a must. If you’re searching for an apartment, add Wi-Fi to your checklist and look to see if some of your top choices offer it for free or include it in the rent. If they do, you may not need to pay extra or go through the hassle of transferring your internet.

If you do need to get it set up yourself, be sure to find a good provider in your area that offers you more than enough bandwidth to do everything you need the internet for. With all the different options for Wi-Fi, you should have no trouble finding a plan that fits your budget and the way you live and work.

A quick note! Our goal is to gather and share info that’s up-to-date and helps you make great decisions as a renter. That said, the information you get directly from a provider could be a little different. Make sure to review their terms and conditions directly; and, if you see anything here that needs to be updated, please let us know! Advertising disclosure
Last Updated: July 6th, 2021