Are you wondering whether or not you can have two internet providers in the same house, or on the same property?
This is an excellent question, and there are lots of benefits that having a second internet provider can give you.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about setting up a second connection. From how it’s actually done to solving the most common issues you’re likely to face, we’ve got all of the answers you’ll need.
Finally, we’ll cover some of the benefits you’ll receive get from getting a second internet service provider.
Let’s get to it!
Can You Have Two Internet Service Providers In The Same Home?
Yes. Generally speaking, it is no problem at all to have multiple internet providers in the same household.
Whether you want to get a second package from the same company or you want to use a different provider altogether, you will be able to do this as long as the necessary lines / equipment are able to be used at your address.
Note however that there are some exceptions.
First of all, some internet providers have a strict rule that you can only have one instance of their service per address. So, if you want to purchase a second package, you will need a separate address.
Secondly, in some cases, this even true for guest houses or in-law suites – unless they have a separate address, they may not be able to get a separate internet package from the same ISP.
So, you’ll have the best of luck when attempting to purchase internet packages from different providers. This often gives the best benefits anyway, which we’ll talk more about later.
Guest Houses May Need Additional Lines Dug
Note that if you’re hoping to pay to deliver separate internet to a guest house (or in-law suite), you may need to have digging done on your property and additional line laid in order for internet to be provided there.
This only applies to DSL, cable, or fiber lines of course, as satellite or wireless internet does not require any lines to go underground.
Depending on the distance between your home and the additional guest house, this can amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars in extra fees.
Additionally, note that the speed and reliability of DSL connections can be affected as distance increases – even slightly. So, you may not experience the exact same service quality in both houses.
Why Might You Want Two Internet Service Providers?
So, now that we know that having multiple internet providers in one house or property is possible, is it worth it?
There are a few good reasons why you may consider paying for an extra ISP – and we’ll cover them below.
1. Speed Vs Ping
The first reason you may wish to have two internet providers, is that each internet provider may offer you a benefit that the other one can’t.
For example, people in rural America have very few options for internet. In fact, high-speed internet wasn’t available at all until Starlink came around, offering satellite internet to just about everyone at a reasonable cost.
While Starlink may offer high download speeds however, it does suffer in terms of stability, jitter, and ping. This makes it a poor choice for things that require a completely stable internet connection, such as competitive online gaming.
In these instances, it may make sense to get an additional DSL line to your home. Despite having a much lower download and upload speed, the improved ping and jitter will make for a much smoother online gaming experience.
(Seriously – a 10 mbps DSL line is usually better for gaming than 150 mbps satellite internet.)
Even if Starlink isn’t available in your area, the same can be said for those using a mobile hotspot or WISP.
Secondly, you may consider getting a second internet provider in the same household if you are currently experiencing issues with reliabiltiy.
This is common for people who use satellite internet, a wireless hotspot, or get access from a wireless internet service provider (WISP).
During bad weather or peak hours (when the towers become heavily congested), internet speed can drop dramatically, or even cut out entirely.
If budget isn’t an issue, getting a second ISP to switch over to during these times can ensure that you’re still able to access the internet without as many interruptions.
3. Splitting The Bandwidth
Next, having a second internet provider in the house – even if it’s just another line from the same company, can help split the bandwidth up between the two.
This is particularly valuable if you are doing something that requires constant downloading or uploading, such as streaming video.
It is also quite useful if you have multiple people in the house, each with their own devices.
Let’s say that your current ISP can give you up to 25 mbps. The problem is, that bandwidth is split up between all the devices trying to use it.
So, if you have two people downloading at the same time, each person’s actual speed may be significantly lower.
Therefore, using a second ISP in the same house can help alleviate bandwidth issues and get you closer to your maximum speed at all times.
4. Data Caps
Finally, some internet service providers have severe data caps – and only let you download a certain amount of data each month.
After the data cap has been passed, they may severely throttle your internet speed, or hit you with extra fees that can mount up quite quickly.
So, if your ISP has a data cap and you’re constantly hitting it, first see if they have any sort of unlimited data option that you can purchase (Comcast / Xfinity is one example.)
Otherwise, it may be worth getting a second internet provider to help with this.
Generally speaking, you can have multiple internet providers without any issues. As long as they are able to get the necessary lines / equipment to your house, you can get service with them.
In fact, having two internet providers is often an excellent idea, particularly if you don’t live in an area with high-speed cable or fiber connections available.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about getting multiple internet providers on a single property, please ask them using the comment form below.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister