Internet Service Providers – Local ISP vs National ISP


Almost every State Government is asking companies to make their employees work from home because of the Coronavirus outbreak. Amid the chaos, people are rushing towards the Internet Service Providers.

The confusion is natural because the Internet speeds of mobile networks are often pathetic and unstable.

You will probably need to mount your smartphone somewhere near the balcony and start working if you want a decent speed on the phone.

WiFi beats the mobile Internet in terms of speed and stability.

Also, if a house has too many members working at home then it is feasible to install a WiFi router and let your mobile phone rest.

Internet Service Providers

But then comes the confusion – which Internet Service should you go for?

We have two major types of Internet Providers – Local ISPs & National ISPs

Deciding Factors For Internet Service Providers (ISP)

1. Availability

It’s necessary for your area to have a local Internet provider in the first place. Many remote areas and non-metropolitan cities lack such local services.

So, check if your area has one. Here are some ways to find:

  1. Contact the cable operators, telephone companies, and nearby cyber cafes
  2. Get referrals from your neighbors, friends or people nearby
  3. Check the directories

If it is not there, it makes no sense to even dig further. You can surely read this post for extra information but you won’t be able to apply it.

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Since there is no comparison here, I am mentioning the Top 10 National Internet Providers:

  1. BSNL
  2. Bharti Airtel
  3. Tata Teleservices
  4. Jio Fibernet
  5. Reliance Communications
  6. Vodafone Idea Limited
  7. Hathway Cable
  8. GTPL Broadband Pvt. Ltd.
  9. Quadrant
  10. Asianet Satellite Communications Limited

I hope this will help you in decision making.

2. Speed & Price

What is a good internet speed?

5 Mbps is sufficient for streaming Full HD videos while you need a minimum of 25 Mbps speed to stream a 4K video.

It also depends on the number of members your WiFi serves – it is good to have more speed if you have a huge family.

But go for at least 5 Mbps.

Now let’s talk about the price.

Most of the time, the prices of local ISPs are lower if we compare to the national ISPs. That means you need to pay a higher price for the same speed if you subscribe to a huge brand.

The reason is simple. National ISPs have to maintain a huge team, marketing expenses, technicians, etc.

Meanwhile, local ISPs just have to purchase the license once and they continue to survive in a small local area with minimum expenses.

For instance, a local ISP ‘WiFi Dabba’ in Bengaluru is able to offer 1 GB Internet in 1 Rupee at a speed of 1 Gbps.

[Refer: Business Insider Report]

Winner: Local ISP

3. Security

Let’s understand that your ISP has all the control over your Internet. They know what you are doing on the Internet and which websites you browse in the incognito mode.


[Also Read: Can I remain anonymous by using Incognito, VPN or TOR?]

In this case, national brands are highly reliable.

Having a brand name is an integral part here. With great power comes great responsibility, as they say!

So, imagine Jio or Airtel found to be involved in data leaks or security issues. Their brand image would get tossed and they might face the permanent dent.

However, local ISPs never get caught even if they involve themselves in such fraudulent practices because nobody is keeping an eye.

Even if they get caught, they shut the business and start the same work in another name.

Don’t worry, these things don’t generally happen but chances are there!

Winner: National ISP

4. Customer Relationships

Your WiFi suddenly stopped working? Or you want to increase the speed right now?

Local ISPs do a better job here. You can call and talk directly at any given time.

They reside nearby and are quick to take action on your issues.

On the other hand, it is difficult for larger brands to have such relationships because your call will be directed to the call center first.

Till the time you are given a technician and he visits your home, your work is already doomed.

Winner: Local ISP

5. Monopoly

No doubt most of the local ISPs are good but some areas have a monopoly of one single Internet provider.

As they don’t have any direct competition and they know that their customers are not easily going to leave, they tend to throttle the speeds.

It means that they slightly reduce the speed at times to connect a large number of customers.

Consult with their existing customers, ask their reviews regarding the services and then decide the plans.

Meanwhile, national ISPs anyway provide low speeds but at least they don’t cheat.

[You might like: 10 Data Saving Tips]

Winner: National ISP

6. Large Areas or Multiple Offices (For Business Owners)

This point is not applicable to domestic users since they need the Internet at one single point.

If some business owner is reading this then you can check out with the National Internet Service Providers. They often have bundle packages for large companies and enterprises.

Moreover, local providers do not cover a large area.

Winner: National ISP

Choosing Internet Service Providers: Summary

Okay, I won’t check your patience by making you read for long. I’ll quickly summarize for you in 2 sentences.

  • If you are a business owner who needs a highly secured and good Internet speed then you can opt for National Internet Service Providers.
  • If your prime objective is to get high speed at cheap rates then you should go for Local Internet Service Providers.

I am personally using a local ISP of my area for my daily usage.

Are you already using WiFi or planning to install one? Let me know.


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