Changing ISPs Does Not Have to Be Painful writes Learning how Internet connectivity services work will prepare you if you ever need to upgrade your service or change providers ó and how to avoid being left in the lurch gives a good overview of how to SAFELY and EASILY (well as easy as possible) change your ISP.
Here’s a checklist of items to help smooth your ISP transition:
* Maintain your old connectivity for a month or so: Doing this means you won’t be left hanging without Internet service if something goes wrong during the migration.
* Make the change on a weekend: Or during off hours to minimize the impact on your connectivity. With proper planning, the outage might be as short as a few minutes.
* Change your domain records: If you maintain any externally facing servers from your office network, you will need to update your DNS (Domain Name Service) records. Your new provider can help you with this process.
* Change the MX (Mail eXchange) records: If your provider hosts your e-mail accounts, you need to update the MX records to point to the new IP address. The new vendor will help you with the process, but it will take a couple of days to take effect. To make sure you don’t lose any e-mail during the transition period, list the new provider with the highest priority, followed by your old provider.
* Change your router’s settings: Let your service provider help you if you’re not sure what your new router settings need to be. Most broadband services use DHCP to give you an IP address and other settings automatically when you plug in your router to the network. For a bit more money you can request a fixed IP address, but unless you’re computer knowledgeable and hosting your own mail or Web server, it’s not worth the extra expense. If you requested a fixed IP address, you need to update your DNS server and gateway information at the same time.