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Apartment life is quite different and comes with its characteristic conveniences. This means that new renters often don’t have to deal with the usual hassle, such as lawn mowing, garbage collection, or appliance repair ― these are usually taken care of by management.

But so many amenities are still not part of the monthly rent. Hence, the average renter still has to take care of many responsibilities such as setting up a landline phone or internet service.

Even though finding a reliable yet reasonably-priced ISP is tricky on its own, finding an internet plan for your new apartment that fits both your digital requirements and your budget is hard as well. But it’s worth the effort since an internet connection is no longer a luxury but a necessity for everybody.

Renters are usually advised to check the various clauses of their lease. This entails checking whether local internet service is also included in the document. Many times, it’s not as countless amenities are usually not included in the monthly rent; so it is better to check before opting for one.

Unfortunately, it is quite tricky, particularly if you are moving from one city to another. Chances are you might be switching your ISP as well. That’s why it is important to find a pocket-friendly provider, that fulfills all your service requirements and is easily accessible in the area as well.

The Renter-Friendly Breakdown: What Should New Tenants Look For When Shopping For Internet For Apartments?

Are you interested in getting a new internet service for your brand-new apartment but not sure where to start?

This checklist includes all the basics that you will need. From understanding the various internet options that are easily available in the area to finding a monthly plan to setting up internet equipment to keep you digitally secure.

Always Review Your Lease Document Thoroughly

Before you move into your new space, it is better to ask the landlord or even the leasing office about the available internet options in the area. Property owners often include clauses, like that of the Wi-Fi in the rent agreement but you still have the option to either go for the landlord-specific provider or opt-out of it.

Many times, landlords claim that the one particular provider provisioning internet service to the entire building is the sole service provider for the building. Don’t be fooled by such statements. The location of your new rental may have plenty more internet options present than the landlord claims.

Assess All Available Internet Options for Your New Apartment

It is important to first identify the various internet provider options available in the area where you may be relocating. If you are moving to a new area where a fiber internet network is not available, then you should have other options which are just as good as fiber, if not better.

Or maybe your new location is a remote one, where the standard internet connection is satellite, so you need to opt for a service provider that’s easily available and is quite stable as well.

This is why understanding the various internet options in your vicinity is important. The subsequent steps become easy when you get the right connection for your new home. Then there is the difference in the facilities provisioned to tenants of furnished apartments in contrast to the unfurnished ones.

Usually, the tenants of furnished apartments get Wi-Fi as part of the deal. But if you have opted for an unfurnished one, then chances are that the internet option might not be included in the deal.

That’s why it is better to check your options before you finalize a new apartment. Many times, property owners don’t include the cost of internet for apartments, so if you are not aware of this, it can come as a rude shock to unaware tenants.

So, Which Type of Internet Service Should One Expect for Their New Rental?

It is common knowledge that many landlords have a preference for a specific ISP, which could be either because it is convenient or it’s cost-effective, or just simply both. But the main question arises: is it fast enough to handle bandwidth-intensive activities like streaming your favorite movie or playing online games to no end?

You can find out by speaking to other tenants in the building. Ask about their internet experience. If you are satisfied with the responses, then why not go for the pre-wired ISP? And if not, then you can find a service in the area that fits the bill for you.

What’s more, back in 2008, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) disallowed the practice of landlords making exclusive service agreements with service providers.

Even recently, measures were taken which would further enhance competition in apartment complexes, so this type of service exclusivity within apartment buildings is no longer as common or encouraged as before.

In addition to this, the FCC also passed a ruling (as recently as February 2022) according to which service providers were no longer allowed to share revenue with landlords. Apartments are supposed to promote various ISPs so that the tenant has a diverse selection to choose from.

But does this mean that you get guaranteed fast internet service in your new apartment? Not necessarily so.

Looking for a Faster Internet Connection? Here’s What You Need to Know

Since landlords can no longer facilitate a single or two service providers exclusively, this changes many things. However, it still influences which ISPs can run service lines to and from the apartment building complex.

There is a great chance that the new apartment would have a service framework for one type of internet connection only. Even though this instantly limits your choices, don’t worry, you can still find a way around it.

You can contact the property owners and check if you can install a new line for a different provider to deliver internet service. As this installation may mean setting up an entirely new cable connection or a whole new line for fiber, it might require some serious work like drilling or mounting new cable boxes. Chances are all this modification might not even be permitted or be included in the lease document.

This is one of the reasons why you may have noticed that satellite dishes are not a popular option for rentals. So if you are thinking of getting one for your apartment, there’s a high possibility that it’s not going to be an option for you.

Cable Internet

Cable internet along with other internet types such as fiber internet, fixed wireless, and even 5G are considered some of the best options when it comes to getting the internet for apartments.

Most of the internet options available to the American public have a bandwidth of 100 Mbps or even higher in most cases. One of the most commonly found connections that are mostly set up in apartment complexes is cable connections. The majority of the urban areas, as per the stats of the FCC, have cable internet infrastructure already set up.

This means that your new apartment rental may already be pre-wired and is already equipped to administer internet/TV service from a major cable internet provider, such as Spectrum, Mediacom, Xfinity, Cox, or even a local cable company.

While cable internet providers are known for their high-speed connection, fast downloads, and reasonable rates, it is always better to check what other internet options are available before you settle on a cable-based ISP.

Fiber Optic Internet 

While fiber-optic is still not as widespread as cable internet options, these are potentially speedier and considerably far more reliable than cable internet options. Interestingly, fiber optic offers relatively faster uploads and is often more cost-effective than cable, especially if you are considering service cost per unit.

Although many regions do not have pure fiber optic coverage and the areas that do, come in at less than 50 percent, this internet type is still the second most feasible option that Americans have when selecting internet for their new apartment.

Popular fiber-optic service providers that have carved a strong following in the country include Frontier, CenturyLink, and AT&T, for instance. If your apartment complex is not offering a fiber optic internet service but a fiber-based provider is accessible to you, then do consider getting this internet type for your new rental.

Speak with the landlord and let him know that you are interested in getting a fiber-based connection for your rental home since it has better value and incredible speeds for a reasonable price tag. If the owner agrees, then you are in pure luck for there is no better option than a fiber-rich service!

Fixed Wireless & 5G Internet Options

Are fiber or cable internet options not accessible to you in the new location? Don’t worry, for we got you! Why not consider fixed wireless internet for your new apartment?

With fixed wireless, all a user has to do is install a receiver box on the balcony, which will then disperse the internet connection throughout the apartment. This way you won't have to worry about signing up for a fixed wireless connection unless it is not required.

However, if that’s not suitable, then you can even consider a fully wireless service like 5G home internet service, which doesn't need any special kind of device installation or any sort of equipment mounting. This way you wouldn’t even require the approval of your landlord or building management before you sign up.

However, there’s just one major disadvantage to the 5G home internet service: users get only those speeds that are available in their ZIP code.

These could range from as low as 35 Mbps to as high as 115 Mbps, which is quite low in comparison to the speed range that users get with cable, fiber, or even with a fixed wireless internet service.

The Various Internet Types Considered Ideal for Your New Rental

Listed below are the different types of internet connections that are best for an apartment:

  • A cable internet service costs about $160, delivering bandwidth up to 1200 Mbps. Popular examples of this include Cox, Xfinity, Astound, Optimum, Spectrum, and Mediacom.
  • A fiber-optic internet service costs about $350, recording bandwidth up to 5000 Mbps. Popular examples of this include AT&T, Ziply Fiber, Frontier, Verizon Fios, and CenturyLink.
  • Fixed wireless internet service costs about $150, clocking bandwidth up to 1000 Mbps. Most popular examples of this include Google Fiber (Webpass) or Starry Internet.
  • A 5G Home Internet costs about $80, achieving bandwidth up to 980 Mbps. Popular examples of this include Verizon or T-Mobile.

Selecting the Right Internet Plan for Your New Apartment

Selecting speedy internet for your apartment depends on several factors. Like the total number of people who live in the entire apartment building, the number of internet devices that each unit has, and the total data usage for each device.

If you are a solo renter occupying a studio apartment, then 100 Mbps would suffice for your daily digital activity. This may include video streaming, online gameplays, or a 9-hour remote work period.

While a minimum of 25Mbps is ideal for Netflix streaming in 4K while the FCC recommends speeds as low as 4Mbps for online gaming sessions, especially those that involve 2D multi-player games.

How to Setup Internet Devices & Relevant Equipment in Your Apartment

So you got yourself a wireless device but don’t know where to start? No worries! Simply place your internet router in such a spot where the signal is unhindered by any kind of physical obstructions and even by other electronic devices.


This is the only way to guarantee a spotless wireless connection that simply flows. What’s more, if the average internet router is strategically positioned in a room, it can cover quite a decent amount of floor area.

To ensure that you get top-notch signal quality and high-end speed reliability, simply place the router at a height and free from all kinds of blockages like walls, any decoration items, or even the smart TV.

One important thing to note is to always place the internet router far away from other devices or appliances, like the microwave or your cordless phone. Any devices or gadgets are expected to emit active electromagnetic waves and affect the signal from the router.

Have you noticed that some parts of your room have spotty signals while some have crystal-clear reception? If you think that your present internet coverage can be enhanced, you can even use Wi-Fi extenders, which will drastically improve your connection. You can also upgrade your router as well.

Many providers even offer the option to customers of using their own routers, which is beneficial for the subscriber since it saves quite a lot every month.

Others, including AT&T, Frontier, and Spectrum, include some or all of the Wi-Fi equipment for your apartment at no extra cost (Spectrum includes a free modem, though router rental is an extra $5), so there's no need to invest in a Wi-Fi router if the one from your provider suits your needs.

How to Keep the Internet for Your Apartment Safe & Secure

Life in an apartment is quite different. Even if you live on your own and don’t have to share your space, your internet connection is one thing that you share with the rest of the tenants who are living in the same building, unless you set it up properly.

That’s why to ensure someone else doesn’t use your internet, it is better to protect it with a strong password. Furthermore, internet users are always advised to stay alert when a new device joins the network. To ensure that no extra device leeches onto your connection, reset router settings and no one would ever trespass onto your connection again.

Another way to ensure optimal security of your internet is to set up a guest Wi-Fi. Not only does this protect your network while still offering your guests a secure Wi-Fi connection but doesn’t allow others to infringe on your privacy.

You can always check with your ISP or with your router if you can set up a guest Wi-Fi network separately. Give it a separate name and passcode and voila! Your main home network is safe and secure.

Wrapping It Up

So why do most internet plans consider 100 Mbps ideal for a new connection, if most of the digital activities require lower speeds? That’s because when a user consumes Wi-Fi, it slows down the internet speed even more so, specifically when several devices are consuming bandwidth simultaneously.

Devices usually connected to WiFi are your smartphone, laptop/PC, TV, or your gaming console. Network congestion is expected to take place (particularly if it’s a cable-based service) during peak hours, which can slow down the speed of your connection.

So even if your selected internet plan comes with advertised internet speeds, as high as 100 Mbps, you may get a much lower actual download speed.

If you are living in a larger apartment complex, with a family of considerable size, or with several roommates, then it is better to bump your internet speed a bit higher, within the range of 250 to 500 Mbps.

You can even check if speeds faster than this are available in your area. Since most cable-and fiber-based ISPs offer gigabit speed ranges, these are going to be too much and would be an overpriced option.

For instance, the size of an average-sized apartment is lower than 800 square feet, which doesn’t require speeds higher than the range of 150 Mbps. And 500 Mbps tops will most assuredly support it.

If you are into serious video streaming like having video conferences every day for a remote job or like to indulge in some serious gameplay, then an uncompromising gigabit internet connection will do the job for you and facilitate you with speed tiers that will not just meet all your needs but are no less impressive, nonetheless!

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

How to get Wi-Fi in my new apartment?

Always check if your apartment is internet-ready or not since many already are. Ask the property owner about the kind of internet services available at the new building. Select your options and then sign up for an ISP you consider best.

 

Which type of internet connection is considered the ideal internet for apartments?

Even though fiber-optic internet is one of the best types, there’s just one downside: it is only offered in major cosmopolitan centers and urban areas. But that’s where cable-based internet connection comes in, which may not have the same potential as that of fiber but still can deliver a robust service anywhere in the U.S.

 

Do I need to get contract-based internet for the apartment?

Even though many top ISPs, like AT&T, Spectrum, Verizon Fios, or CenturyLink, don’t require any service agreement, plenty of others do. That’s why this is always one of the first things you should check when getting a new service.