Choosing the right Internet Service Provider in Singapore

Are you trying to find the best internet service provider? Are you getting confused regarding the different features of each deal? Fret not! This article will break down the major considerations and the key features of the respective deals.

In order to understand what each deal entails, it is crucial to first understand the concept of internet speed. It consists of 2 major components, bandwidth and latency. 

Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be transferred during a second, often expressed in bits per second. A common analogy is a pipe: the wider the pipe, the larger the volume of water that can flow through. This applies to bandwidth strength and the flow of the volume of data. People often confuse bandwidth with internet speed, due to the fact that most internet providers list this stat as download and upload speed. Take note that 1 Gbps is not the same as 1 GBps (1 byte = 8 bits). Storage typically uses bytes (B), while bandwidths typically uses bits (b). Hence a 1 Gbps bandwidth is actually 0.125GBps!

Latency, on the other hand, is delay. It’s the amount of delay (or time) it takes to send information from one point to another. Latency is typically measured in milliseconds or ms and is also referred to as a ping rate. The lower it is, the lower the amount of delay there is. Hence, the lower the better!

The combination of bandwidth and latency is what makes internet speed. While bandwidth refers to the width of pipe, latency refers to how fast the contents of the pipe travels from one end to the other.

 

Generally, any ping rate below 100ms and a 1Gbps bandwidth is reasonable. However, for gaming purposes, one might want a lower ping rate, at least between 50ms to 20ms to avoid lag.

Another thing to note that when there is more than one computer using the same internet connection at once, the amount of bandwidth is divided, with the proportion depending on the type of plan one signs up. The latency on each computer will also be reduced, but the effects will not be as drastic as that of the bandwidth.

The listed download and upload speeds are for wired connections only. If connected wirelessly, the internet speed will usually be significantly reduced, depending on the router used. Hence, if you are downloading a large file, do not create a bottleneck for yourself unnecessarily by using a wireless connection when a wired connection is available!


Top Deals

We have broken down the deals into 2 top choices: Standard and Gamers’ deals. For a fair comparison, deals that include perks aside from the internet experience, such as the TV channels provided, will not be discussed. Only features that affect your internet experience directly will be discussed! Other notable mentions have also been included.


Standard Deals

This is arguably the best bang for your buck! This is most suitable for those who use the internet for standard functions such as streaming videos, gaming or for web browsing.

Do note that the ‘Price over 24 months/per month’ is calculated by including the miscellaneous fees required to start the service, as well as other discounts and free services that comes with the deal.

From this list, Fibre Broadband 1Gbps (M1) seems to be the best deal, when looking purely at the bandwidth. It comes with a decent router as well, namely the Asus RT-AC56S


Gamer's Deals

For those who constantly have 2 or more internet users in the household, this deal is great for the best gaming experience. Gaming deals provides priority for gaming purposes, meaning that you can expect substantially less lag when gaming, even with multiple users!

In general, when a deal states that it is for gaming purposes, one can expect a lower ping rate. For more information about the actual ping rate and internet speed, one can check it at http://www.speedtest.net/ 

For the cheapest option, GamePRO 1Gbps (M1) seems to be the way to go. However, if the items that are given are what you need, then Ultimate Razer Broadband 1Gbps GAMER Bundle (MyRepublic) might be a better deal. 

1+1 Gbps refers to an extra 1 Gbps of bandwidth provided when 2 or more users are using the internet.  However, the cap is still at 1 Gbps. For example, a when there are 2 users, user A and B, A will both experience 1 Gbps. If there is only 1 user, that user will experience a maximum bandwidth at 1 Gbps. However, when there are more than 1 users, 4 for example, then all of them will experience 500Mbps of bandwidth (1+1=2Gbps divided by 4). In addition, there is a Custom Routing for Lower Latency feature, enabling better gaming experience. Therefore, if the household often contains more than one user, it may be be advisable to get this 1+1 Gbps deal. 


Other Notable Mentions

#1: Maximun Data Deals

Similar to the 1+1 Gbps deal, most of the other deals mentioned above are 1+1 as well. The only exception is the 2Gbps to 1 PC plan by ViewQwest. This is the only plan in the market at the moment in which the bottleneck bandwidth is 2Gbps, for 1 PC. However, we can argue that this is redundant, as most users will not be downloading that often, and also because the servers that are uploading the data are also bottlenecked as well. 

 

#2: Deals for ASUS AC87U

This router allows wireless connections to achieve a maximum 300 Mbps. This option is perfect for those who prefer the use of wireless connections.

 

#3: No Contract Deals

Finally, this deal is mainly for those who do not want to be locked into a contract. With this deal, one can test out each service provider and have a feel of which is better.

We hope that this article has helped you make an informed decision for the best internet experience for you!

Cheers,

Vincent

Lydia Lok

Lydia is a former civil servant who worked on policies regarding social issues and Singapore small medium enterprises. After serving the nation for six years, she left to join the start-up scene with Intraix to be an energy super hero! With a major in Political Science from NUS (minor in English), and a specialisation in Singapore’s public administration/ policy, Lydia has a passion for all things pertaining to start-ups and social enterprises!