It depends on what you want to accomplish. Generally speaking, term insurance usually takes care of your need 80% of the time. Typically, one owns life insurance to cover obligations they have when income ceases due to death, such as providing for spouse and children's living expenses, education for children, a mortgage payoff or other outstanding loans.
Term life insurance comes in two major forms: annual renewable term and level-term. I typically recommend the latter with conversion privileges during or at the end of the term. Terms are typically offered for 5-, 10, 20- and 30-year periods.
When you expect there is a permanent need to carry insurance through your lifetime, consider whole life, universal or variable life. Depending on your goals and pocketbook, each has es and minuses that need to be weighed before purchasing. Permanent insurance is much more expensive than term insurance since, as long as you make adequate premium payments, the insurance stays in place until you die. Some people buy permanent insurance to satisfy an estate planning goal, leave a legacy, make a charitable commitment. However, these are not the main reasons the average person needs life insurance.
I'm a strong advocate of utilizing an agent rather than an insurance broker who offers products of one insurance provider. That way, you get to compare policies, ratings of companies by AM Best (very important to go with a company rated A+) and premiums. Ask friends who might know reputable agents in your area. A group we use for both term and permanent insurance is Low Load Insurance Services. They are located in Tampa, FL and conduct business e via email, online, phone conferences. I highly recommend them. They can be reached at 1-877-254-4429.