Looking for internet service? Wondering how different plans add up? We’ve examined the current internet plans from Virgin and Bell, to see who has the better deal.
Each company has something slightly different to offer and either could be best bet for you, depending on what you need.
Here’s the scoop:
Virgin is playing it simple right now. It has two internet plans on offer. Consumers can get a 300 GB plan for $50 per month or for $65 a month, you can get unlimited internet access.
Virgin offers download speeds of up to 25 Mbps and uploading at 10Mbps, on both packages.
When looking at internet plans from Bell, it doesn’t offer a 300 GB plan, but its closest offering is 250 GB/month.
Bell’s offerings are considerably more expensive than Virgin’s, coming in a $80/month and $90/month. This being said, its download speeds are faster.
For $80/month, you can get 250 GB of internet with download speeds of up to 50 Mbps (twice as fast as Virgin’s) and upload speeds of 10Mbps (the same as Virgin’s).
For $90/month, consumers get even faster downloading with Bell at 150 Mbps (much faster than Virgin) and upload speeds that are 5 times as fast as Virgin at 50 Mbps.
When comparing Internet plans, here are some further facts to consider:
For a 3GB movie, it’ll take you about 2 minutes (120 seconds) to download it running at a download speed of 25 Mbps, which is not too shabby.
So really, the differences between the two companies’ offerings is a mere matter of minutes. If you're looking for simple home internet, it's not a big deal. If you're running an internet cafe, obviously you're in a different category.
In terms of GBs, watching content on Netflix uses about 1 GB of data per hour for each stream of standard definition (SD) video, and up to 3 GB per hour for high definition (HD) video.
Of course, some people may find that they don’t really care if they are watching in SD or HD, and would prefer to save some money. Others really want the best viewing experience possible on offer.
As a bench mark, we have 25 Mbps download speeds and 10 Mbps for uploads, here at home.
Uploading can take a while, but watching streaming content is pretty much OK. We often do nightly binge-watching of Game of Thrones (we're catching up) and 99.9% of the time, it’s seamless viewing.
As an aside, if you think you’d like to stick with Bell for your internet plan but need unlimited internet usage, you’ll need to go with one of their bundles. Outside of promotional deals that switch off after two years or so, for example, Bell doesn’t offer unlimited internet on its own.
To get unlimited Bell internet, consumers need to order a bundle that will include internet, Fibe TV, and home phone service. This will run you over $100 dollars/month.
So, if you don’t want extra TV channels or if you only use a cell phone and have no land line, it’s not a good deal.
Conclusions? If you are a fan of TV variety and like the convenience of a bundle, Bell’s basic Fibe TV/Internet/home phone package for $118/month could be for you, but only if you are set on keeping that home phone, when considering cable offerings from Rogers.
If you’re not, it might not be worth the cost. It depends on how much TV you watch.
It's true that Bell does have a promotion on right now that is offering unlimited internet, but this ends in 12-24 months, and soars much higher in price when it does.
And with cancellation fees, and set up costs that come when switching to a new company, you could come out behind. It's not guaranteed, but it’s possible.
Albeit, Virgin will very likely change their game in the world of internet plans by that point in time, and so it may be worth it.
The general low down: Virgin is the only one of the two that offers unlimited internet as a monthly service available on its own.
If you want a bundle that includes home phone, TV service and unlimited Internet, Bell’s your buddy. And if you really need speed, I’d go with Bell.
But if mere minutes of difference don’t really matter and it’s space and simply solid home Internet service that you want, Virgin has a better deal.