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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

In today’s world, reliable internet access is a basic necessity. Whether you need internet for work, entertainment, or a little bit of both, making sure Wi-Fi is running when you move into your new place is a top priority for most people. If you are moving, it’s easy to transfer internet services or find a new service that fits your bandwidth requirements and budget.

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

Back in the day, Wi-Fi was considered a utility that you paid yourself, something you paid extra for every month. As we shift towards a more connected society, Wi-Fi has become a necessity rather than a luxury and a service many property managers are including as a perk. It is becoming an incentive for attracting renters.

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, it is simple to transfer your internet. 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’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!
  • Make comparisons between what the providers have to offer:
    • Pricing
    • Speeds
    • Installation costs and extra equipment needed
    • Reviews
    • Fees
  • Determine how much internet speed you need. For a quick idea of this, keep reading! 

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 on the other hand, may provide multiple users 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 is 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

As you can see from the table above, with 5+ Mbps speeds, you’ll be able to do the vast majority of streaming that you like! 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 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, using the internet. Whether you’re searching the internet or answering emails throughout the day, 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 setup 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 a must in this day and age. If you’re searching for an apartment, add Wi-Fi to your checklist and see if some of your top options have it already included in the rent. If so, that’s great as it means not only will you not need to pay extra, but you also don’t need to 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 perfect plan for you and your lifestyle.

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: January 5th, 2021