How to Move Your Internet

Date Published:  June 18th, 2021Date Updated:  March 09, 2023

Updated 4/19/22

Summary: Moving? Packing up your whole home to move can be overwhelming. There are a lot of pieces to keep track of — including your internet connection. So how do you move your internet service? We break down when you should tell your internet service provider, how to set up your installation, why you should back up your documents and prepare to work offline, and why speed tests are important. Ready to get moving?

You’re getting ready to move — yay! While moves can be exciting, they can also be stressful. How should you keep track of everything? How far in advance should you find moving help? Well, EarthLink created a handy moving checklist for you to stay organized while you’re combing through your home. To sign up, simply enter your email below and enjoy a smoother move!

But just as important as booking your moving van or hiring the movers, you need to have internet service at your new place. Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, a high-speed internet connection isn’t something you’ll want to go without.

But how exactly do you move your internet? Believe it or not, just five simple steps.

Step 1: Tell Your Internet Service Provider You’re Moving

Regardless of where you’re moving, you’ll need to tell your current internet service provider (ISP) that you’re moving. Most ISPs recommend starting this process at least two weeks in advance. That way, you have plenty of time to schedule an activation date and set up installation.

If you’re happy with your current ISP, you’ll also be able to find out if your new address is serviceable. You’ll want to double-check this even if you’re moving within the same town or area. As a bonus, you might be able to get faster speeds at your new home.

Need to change ISPs? We have all the information you need on how to choose the right internet plan, from speeds to data concerns. (Psst — if you’re in the market for a new internet provider, we offer the most coverage across the country.)

Step 2: Set Up Your Installation

When you’ve decided on your service provider and your high-speed internet plan, you’ll need to plan for installation. Some providers will need you to be home while they install your new service, so choose a time that’s convenient for you.

If you’re able to self-install your internet, make sure you’re having the equipment shipped somewhere you’ll still be able to get it. In other words, plan in advance so the equipment is headed to your new locale and not being delivered to the house you’re leaving on the day you move.

An ideal scenario is having an overlap in your internet service — this allows you to stay connected at both homes until you’re fully moved. If that’s not possible, you may be able to use your phone’s hotspot to use for essentials while you’re waiting on installation.

Step 3: Back Up Your Documents

Whenever you make a big change to your internet service — or your devices — make sure your important documents are backed up. You can do this manually, through an external hard drive, or you can opt for an automated backup system. The automated systems will copy your information to the cloud, which is actually a secure server. It keeps your information safe without having to remember to make a copy.

Some internet service providers offer data backup solutions or cloud storage for their customers. If you have this set up but need to change ISPs, consider moving everything bit by bit (or byte by byte). Migrating massive amounts of data takes time, so we recommend breaking it up into smaller pieces. That way, the chances of something getting lost in the shuffle are reduced.

You can also look at this as a time to get rid of digital files you no longer need. If you’re only keeping a handful of important documents, you can store those on an external hard drive or your device until your new cloud system is up and running.

Step 4: Prepare to Work Offline

Getting your internet service scheduled ahead of time will reduce the chances that you’ll be stuck offline. But you might still have a few hours of spotty internet while your moving expert gets you set up. If you’re accustomed to working in a cloud-based system (like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive), download any relevant files you may need to access. However, most of these systems require you to configure it for every document, so make sure you have that set up before moving day.

You can also download your favorite entertainment such as playlists or podcasts from Spotify and Apple Music, movies or series from Netflix or Hulu, or books onto an e-reader. If all else fails, you could take the time to unpack some of those pesky boxes. (We know, we know. It’s the worst part of moving.)

Step 5: Run a Speed Test

This step is especially important if you’ve self-installed your new internet service, but it’s not a bad idea even if you had professional installation. Find a free internet speed test — and rest assured that yes, speed tests work. A speed test measures the upload and download speeds of your internet — or how quickly you can send and receive information online — as well as the amount of delay you’ll experience.

These tests are a very accurate way to determine if you’re getting the internet speeds you’re paying for. Most high-speed internet plans do fluctuate throughout the day, but your results should be close to what your internet service provider advertised.

You can run a speed test through your browser and receive your results in about 60 seconds. If it’s close to your plan, that’s it! If it’s slower than it should be, consider retesting at a different time or location. If it’s still slow, it might be worth calling your ISP.

Ad that states: Move away from slow internet. Move to better internet. No fiber internet data caps, the nation's largest network, no credit checks, and speeds up to 5 Gigs.

Don’t you wish the entire process of moving was just five easy steps? Unfortunately, we can’t help you label your boxes, but if you follow these tips, and let your internet service provider know you’re moving in advance, you’ll minimize the chance of service disruptions during your process. If you’ve got questions about more moving tips, enter your email at the top of the page to download our moving checklist — it’s got everything you need.

If you’re ready to switch to a high-speed home internet plan with no credit checks, get in touch with EarthLink today at 866-618-0264. Current customer? Call one of our Moving Experts at 844-921-8141 to get the transfer process started.

Michelle Ricker

Michelle Ricker

Michelle Ricker is the Content Marketing Manager for EarthLink. She's an internet expert who loves to break down why connectivity topics are relevant to everyday life. With more than five years of writing experience, she thrives on storytelling and well-placed punctuation. She graduated with her M.A. from the University of Cincinnati but currently lives and works in Atlanta.

See all posts from Michelle Ricker.