How We Make Money

Last Updated On: August 23, 2018

How we come up with our ratings

Here at, our biggest goal is to help you find the product or service that works for you. Sure, that also means finding the best products and services on the market, as well as reviewing the ones you’re most likely to come across in your research. But ultimately, which product or service you should choose depends on your individual needs.

That’s why we take a neighborly approach to reviews. We’re like that friend who knows both the fanciest restaurant in town and the best diner for 2:00 a.m. French toast. Whether you’re looking for a new internet provider, a home security system, or a streaming device, we’ll help you find the one that fits you best.

Why we don’t always number our rankings

We’re on a quest to find the product or service that’s right for you. So we recognize when something is flat-out the best of the best, but we don’t want to declare it number one when we know it may not be right for everyone.

We give our “best of” rankings designations to help you find what you’re looking for. For example, if you rent an apartment and don’t want to pay a lot for home security, our Best Overall home security provider might not be your first choice, but our Best for Renters provider will guide you in the right direction.

In our individual reviews, you’ll see an overall star rating for a service or product, which will give you a broad idea of how well it works, how it’s priced, and how it stacks up to the competition.

However, you may still find something to love about products that we give lower star ratings. We make a point in our reviews to let you know what kind of people will like which products—even if we weren’t super impressed overall.

What organizations we trust

We don’t want to rely on product ratings from organizations that base them only on money or influence. We try to steer clear of prejudiced reviews and grades when we quote outside organizations in our own reviews.

When we do quote grades or reviews from other organizations, we strive to quote the most reliable sources. Some of our favorites include the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

How we research what we write about

We’re all tech geeks around here, and we love to test things ourselves. If we can personally test a product, you can bet we will. When, for whatever reason, we can’t get our hands on an actual device or system, we rely on extensive research, interviews with actual customers, and reliable customer reviews to form our opinions and rankings.

We never promise companies a positive review in exchange for free products. If we ever do receive a product or service for free for testing, we will still give you our honest opinions and recommendations.

What methodology we use for reviews

Exactly what methodology we follow to write reviews and come up with ratings depends on which product or service we’re looking at.

Internet services

We want to help you find the best internet plan for the lowest price in your area. But most areas have only a couple of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) available, and it can be tough to choose between them.

In our ISP reviews, we examine top competitors in the space and pit them against each other in our versus and “best of” comparisons so you know which ISP will let you watch Netflix on your laptop without making you want to throw it across the room.

Factors we consider for ISP reviews:

  • Price
  • Customer service experience
  • Speed
  • Contracts (lengths, fees, etc.)
  • Availability
  • Technology
  • Data caps

TV providers

TV providers and ISPs often overlap and bundle their products. If you’re going to get both internet and TV from the same company, it better be the best of each—or at least the best one for your needs.

Factors we consider for TV provider reviews:

  • Price
  • User experience
  • Customer service experience
  • Contracts (lengths, fees, etc.)
  • Availability
  • Channel selection (premium channels, sports, add-ons, etc.)
  • Technology (DVRs, simultaneous streams, mobile access, etc.)

How we make money

Our staff likes to get paid and we like to keep the site ad-free, which is why we have affiliate relationships with a number of brands. If you decide to buy something we’ve reviewed, we might make some money.

Our relationships with brands do sometimes affect how quickly we review their products/service, and how visible they are on our rankings pieces. However, affiliate relationships never affect our actual opinion of the product or service. We do not write positive reviews just because a brand tells us to. (Not even if they ask nicely.)

We also maintain affiliate relationships with multiple companies that compete for your business, which means we may earn commissions no matter which product you buy. Ultimately we leave the choice to you,  the consumer. 

If you want to see a review for a product or service we haven’t looked at yet, just let us know, and we will consider it. We want our site to be as comprehensive and helpful as possible and we’ll review as many products and services as we can—even if we don’t make money from that brand.