How to Switch Internet Providers without Loosing Internet?

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Are you ready to call it quits? Has this partnership offered nothing but slow speeds, inflated bills, and brewing frustration? Then it is time to switch internet providers and unlock a whole new world of dizzying speeds and cut-price deals. 

Join us as we learn the do’s and don’ts of switching internet providers and its essential 5-step process. Here’s to switching anxiety with excitement because our pro tips will help you cut the web of connectivity…skillfully. 

Table of Contents

Things to Consider Before Switching Internet Providers

Did you know that one-third of Americans “consider switching internet providers” every three years? That’s almost 30 percent of all internet users in the United States. Moving residences, speed upgrades, and better internet deals stood out as the three most cited reasons for switching internet providers among the survey respondents. 

Whatever your reason for the switch, one thing is certain – transferring your account to a new internet service provider (ISP) has its own set of challenges, especially when important aspects of our lives depend on the Internet. One mistake, and you could lose your access to a high-speed and reliable internet service for weeks.

So, when you decide to switch internet providers, instead of making calls to telecom companies on the fly, you should sit down and reflect on the following factors. Remember, with planning and prioritization, you can streamline your shopping. 

Speed Requirements

If your reason for ditching your current ISP is slow internet speeds, we assume you have already established what download and upload speeds work for you. Your speed requirements are correlated to your internet usage. Households with light-to-moderate internet usage are comfortable with download speeds between 25 Mbps and 200 Mbps. Whereas, power internet users will need gigabit speeds and more to support their next-gen online activities. 

You can use the table below to determine a suitable internet speed for your household.  

0 – 25 Mbps
  • Connect up to 5 devices
  • Social media browsing
  •  Checking emails 
  •  Streaming SD and HD videos.
  •  Online gaming (1 device at a time)


25 – 100 Mbps
  • Connect up to 8 devices 
  • Video conferencing 
  • 4K video streaming (1 device at a time)
  • Downloading HD videos
  • Online gaming (2-3 users at once)
100 – 300 Mbps
  • Connect up to 10 devices 
  • Working from home
  • Downloading large files 
  • HD video streaming (2-3 devices at once)
  •  Video calls 
  • Multiplayer online gaming
300 – 500 Mbps
  • Connect up to 12 devices 
  • 4K streaming on multiple devices
  • Light smart home connectivity
  • Live content streaming
  • HD movie downloads
500 – 1,000 Mbps
  • Connect up to 20 devices 
  • Cloud gaming
  • Full home automation
  •  Creating Cloud backups
  •  E-commerce 
  • Downloading large media files
1,000 – 5,000 Mbps
  • Connect up to 20+ devices 
  • AR/ VR gaming
  • Cloud content creation
  •  4K and 8K video streaming
  • 4K movie downloads 
  • Remote business operations

Monthly Budget

According to a Yahoo Finance report, Americans, on average, spend $84 a month on internet services. But if your budget is lower than that, you can easily find providers and plans cheaper than the average, offering speeds good enough for your needs. 

The good news is that switching internet providers could immediately result in some financial relief. Many top-rated internet providers offer promotional discounts to new customers. Often these discounts last up to a year, offering savings of up to $780 a year! 

ISPs Offering Yearly Savings Through Promotional Discounts 
Provider  Promotional Price  Regular Price Total Savings 
Spectrum $49.99/mo.  $84.99/mo.  $420.00/ year
Frontier $44.99/mo.  $59.99/mo.  $180.00/ year 
Optimum $40.00/mo.  $70.00/mo.  $360.00/ year
Xfinity $25.00/mo.  $90.00/mo.  $780.00/ year
HughesNet $49.99/mo.  $74.99/mo.  $300.00/ year
Viasat $49.99/mo.  $69.99/mo.  $60.00 in 3 months
Windstream $39.99/mo.  $69.99/mo.  $90.00 in 3 months 
*Promotional and regular rates may vary based on your location within the provider’s footprint.

You can also reduce your monthly internet bills by switching to an internet carrier that offers savings on bundles and is a verified low-income internet provider with special deals like Access from AT&T, Frontier Lifeline, and Cox ConnectAssist. 

Service Availability

Before you switch internet providers, you must check the availability of your preferred carrier at your address and confirm if they offer the speeds you are looking for. Several renowned ISPs reserve their premium speed tiers for well-developed, fiber-ready neighborhoods and offer lower speed tiers in remaining areas within their footprint. 

For example, Verizon’s 2 GIG Internet is available in select markets of Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. So, if you are not living within these states but still fall under Verizon’s Fios coverage area, you will have to call and check for the speeds available to you. 

Service Term Agreement 

You should never switch internet providers if you are in the middle of a contract and the new provider does not cover your early termination fee (ETF). Let’s back up a little to give you full context.

You may have signed an annual or biennial contract with your current provider to avail of extras and specials like promotional discounts, price lock guarantees, reward cards, or even free equipment. According to the service term agreement, you are obliged to complete that tenure. Otherwise, legal penalties can be imposed, known as early termination fees. In some cases, these fines can be as high as $400. 

Luckily, the following broadband carriers cover your early termination/ cancellation fees and allow you to switch internet providers mid-contract. You may receive the ETF coverage as a lump sum or reward card, where the credit can be used to pay off fines. 

Internet Service Providers that Offer a Contract Buyout Program 
Provider  Contract  ETF Coverage 
Verizon No  Up to $500
Frontier No  Up to $500
Spectrum No  Up to $500
Ziply Fiber No  Up to $200
T-Mobile 5G Home No  Up to $750
*Terms and conditions apply.

Things to Consider Before Cancelling Your Internet Service

Remember, your hastiness could cost you and leave you “digitally disconnected” for days. So, before making an angry call to your current service provider and telling them you are done, you must consider the implications of same-day cancellations. It will help you create buffers, smoothen things out, and switch internet providers without carrying financial and emotional baggage into the new relationship. 

Early Termination Fee

If you are currently under a contractual service, switching internet providers before the end of the term will result in a penalty or early termination fee. A good practice is to wait, complete the contract term (a few months, a year, or even two), and then look for another provider that compliments your needs. 

Early Termination Fees of Top-Ranking Internet Service Providers 
Provider  Contract Term Contract is Optional Early Termination Fee 
Xfinity 1 to 2 years  Yes Up to $120
AT&T 1 year  Yes  Up to $180
Frontier 1 year  Yes  Up to $100 (prorated)
Verizon 1 to 2 years  Yes  Up to $165 (prorated)
HughesNet 2 years  No  Up to $400
Viasat 2 years  No  Up to $350
EarthLink 1 year  No  Up to $200
*Service term agreement and early termination fee may vary based on the chosen plan.

Equipment Return Policy

All leased equipment is supposed to be returned to the provider after service cancellation. In most cases, you will have up to 30 business days to ship the equipment to your provider. Failing to do so can result in an equipment non-return fee of up to $300 and taint your otherwise “account in good standing” status. 

You can avoid this hassle by purchasing your equipment or paying upfront for the company-provided modem-router gateway and extenders. 

Equipment Non-Return Fee for the Top 5 ISPs
Provider Equipment  Non-Return Fee  Grace Period
Spectrum Modem $59.00 30 days
Wireless Router $76.00
AT&T Wi-Fi Gateway Up to $300.00 21 days
Verizon Broadband Home Router $100.00 30 days
Fios Router $175.00
Frontier Gateway Up to 150.00 per device 30 days
Optimum Optimum Gateway 6 $130.00 30 days
DOCSIS Modem $100.00
*Please contact your service provider for instructions on equipment returns.

Service Activation Date

You must ensure that the service cancellation date of your current provider coincides with the service activation date of your new provider, as this overlap will save you from service disruption. 

You can do this by contacting your new internet provider and scheduling an appointment for service installation and activation. Based on your availability and convenience, the internet provider will send their certified technician to your house for same-day setup. The process may take around 2-4 hours, after which you can call your current service provider and terminate the connection. 

Generally, it can take between 5 and 7 business days to switch internet providers because while most carriers offer immediate service cancellations, order confirmations, and equipment installations can take up to a week. So, until then, you must keep your rage on a leash. 

Account and Data Transfers

Haphazardly switching internet providers can block your access to vital information. 

Some internet providers allow you to sign up for a free email account during service enrollment. But when you cancel the service, chances are that you will lose your access to this secured email ID and domain name. Some providers charge a small fee to keep your account active. 

However, if that is not the case or you are unwilling to pay for account continuation, you must transfer all the data from your ISP-related email account to a personal one. 

Examples of free email addresses by internet providers:

  • AT&T: or domain
  • Xfinity: or
  • Frontier:,,,,, and


Step-by-Step Guide to Switching Your Internet Provider

In this section, we will walk you through the process of switching internet providers so that you don’t miss any step and land yourself in trouble. After all, DecisionData studies show that 70 percent of the consumers who switch internet providers regret their decision later. 

So, be wise, follow these steps to the T’s, and enjoy unparalleled connectivity. 

Step 1: Read Your Service Term Agreement 

A thorough study of your contract’s terms and conditions will tell you whether or not you can switch internet providers without penalty, what ETF will be imposed, what benefits and services you can continue to use, and how you can ship the equipment back to the provider. Knowing the legal implications can help plan your exit strategy. 

Step 2: Determine Your Internet Speeds, Connection Type & Budget

You should know what download and upload speeds, and connection types are best suited for your household’s broadband needs. For example, if you identify as a power user, then a fiber internet service with symmetrical upload and download speeds is ideal for you. Next, you can do a little virtual shopping to see what speed tiers match your monthly budget. While fiber-powered speeds less than 1 Gig cost between $25 and $60 a month, gigabit and multi-gigabit plans can go up to $300 per month. 

Step 3: Select Your New ISP Based on Its Availability

In the USA, at least 2 internet providers are available at any given address. Once you have shortlisted all the providers that offer broadband service in your zip code, you can use metrics like speed, reliability, price, customer service, and perks to select your preferred ISP. 

Step 4: Schedule an Installation/ Activation

Call your chosen internet provider to enroll in the broadband service and schedule a professional installation. You must make sure that the time and day of the technician’s visit coincide with the service cancellation date of your current provider (if immediate cancellations are not allowed). 

Step 5: Cancel the Service and Return the Leased Equipment

Once the new internet service is up and running, you can call your previous provider and ask them to terminate your internet connection. In most cases, the process only takes a few minutes and can be done over call. However, in some cases, you may have to send an email to customer support along with the required documents for your cancellation request to be processed. It may take a few working days to receive an email confirmation for service termination. You can follow the instructions in the email or website to ship your rented equipment to the provider. 

And there you have it. Just 5 simple steps to switch internet providers seamlessly. 

Is it Easy to Switch Internet Providers?

Switching internet providers can be a breeze, as long as you consider its do’s and don’ts and follow the 5-step procedure without falling for the marketing traps. You can use additional guides, online reviews, first-hand accounts, and news articles to make informed choices before getting conned out of money and personal data. 

We hope that by thoroughly reading your contract, selecting the right plan and provider, and scheduling an overlap of service activation and cancellation, you will be able to switch internet providers without any losses. 


Yes. You can switch internet providers mid-contract, given that you are willing to pay the early termination fee (ETF) or a prorated fee imposed by your service provider. Contracts are legally binding agreements and breaking them results in penalties such as ETFs.

No. You don’t necessarily have to cancel your current broadband service to switch internet providers. Installing and activating a new internet service can take longer than expected. An impulsive decision like that can leave you without internet access for days. Therefore, it is best to continue using your old internet connection until the new one is up and running.

Yes. You can switch internet providers however many times you like. Contract-free services can be canceled even before the year ends. In the case of plans with mandatory annual contracts, you will have to finish a year with your current service provider before making the switch.

Yes. Your IP address will change every time you switch internet providers. It is because your internet service provider (ISP) is responsible for allocating a dynamic IP address to your devices based on your location. So, when you move houses or change providers, your IP address also changes.

Usually, it takes between 7 and 14 working days to switch internet providers. The lengthy process entails enrolling in the service, credit checks (optional), transferring accounts, service installation/ activation, and provision of perks. Sometimes, it can take longer than usual to construct a Fiber-to-the-home (FTTP) network.

Switching internet providers can result in losing your email address and data. Before switching, you must ask your provider if your account will remain active after service termination. Some providers keep your account active for free, others charge a monthly fee, and some resort to deleting the account.

You will need some serious strategic planning to pull this off. You must ensure that the last day of your current service coincides with the first day of your new internet plan. Many internet service providers allow you to schedule a switch. So, you can install a new service and cancel the old one on the same day.

It may take anywhere between a few days to a couple of weeks to switch internet providers. From the time you place an order to the time the service is activated at your home, several steps are performed to ensure seamless delivery of high-speed internet at your address.

No. You can continue to use your current router when you switch internet providers. However, your router must be compatible with the new service, especially if you are upgrading to gigabit or multi-gigabit speeds. Also, providers like AT&T, Frontier, and Verizon internet plans include a free router.

You can use an old router with your new internet service, given that it is compatible with the network and broadband speeds. However, a new router will be required if you are changing the type of internet service or upgrading speeds when switching internet providers.

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