5 Steps to Take Before Switching Internet Service Providers for Better Internet

A couple of months ago, I’d had enough. My internet service provider (ISP) had gone down and their promise of “getting to it next week” wasn’t good enough for someone who works from home. For me, a loss of connectivity means I can’t work, which means I won’t get paid. Anyone who’s ever been in such a situation knows that feeling of impending doom.

This, coupled with my provider’s already terrible service and tech support, had me checking into other providers. I was in luck. ATT Fiber was finally in my area. I’d had a fiber connection in my previous house and it was exponentially better than what I’d been dealing with these past five years.

I made the switch.

Unfortunately, I’d forgotten just how much technology I had in the house and found myself scrambling to get everything back in working order. In most cases, it was simple. Some devices, however, didn’t want to make the switch so easily. After a day or so, I managed to get the entire house back up and running and now everything is running like clockwork.

I thought I’d share my thoughts on this transition, so you can make the change with as little trouble as possible.

Are you ready for this? Let’s go.

1. Make a checklist of all your devices

This step is essential. Go through the entire house (every room, including the garage — if you have one) and make a list of every device that is connected to your network. I don’t just mean Wi-Fi. If you have devices that are hardwired (such as TVs, desktop computers, and the like), put them on the list. Everything that depends on a network connection should be on this list.

2. Use a third-party DNS service

Before you make the switch, change all of your devices (that you can) to a third-party DNS service. Why? Do this because DNS issues can be a bit tricky when you switch. Because ISPs often use their own DNS, your computers, laptops, and the like will be automatically configured to point to the ISP’s modem/router to obtain a DNS.

3. Keep the same Wi-Fi name (if you can)

This one can be a bit tricky because not every ISP defaults to the same network address scheme. Your current ISP might use 192.168.1.x, whereas the new ISP might use 10.0.1.x. Before making the switch, ask the new provider what address scheme they use. If the new provider uses the same address scheme as what you have now, you should be able to retain the same Wi-Fi SSID name and password.

4. Place the Wi-Fi router in an ideal location (or add a mesh network)

If your previous ISP’s Wi-Fi didn’t quite cover your entire house, this would be a great time to relocate the Wi-Fi router to a location that provides better coverage.

5. Locate documentation for your devices

If you do wind up having to re-configure devices (so they can connect to the new network), can you remember how to do this for every piece of equipment?

Don’t get caught unprepared. With just a little bit of work, you can be ready for the switch and have everything back up and running in no time.