The world relies on digital media for just about everything that goes on today. Business owners are depending more and more on broadband internet providers to be the heavy lifters in their business operations.
Sure, it’s possible to run a business without commercial broadband internet, but why would you? High-speed internet means having a stronger signal, better security, and quicker cloud access. As well as multiple-user support, less stress, and a better return for your money.
High Speed Internet
High-speed internet keeps offices running smoothly. Employees can share documents and printers without sending attachments via email. You can gather higher volumes of data at a greater speed, analyze it, and turn that into better business results. Faster upload speeds give you faster cloud storage and better live communication.
Without high-speed internet to drive your marketing strategy, you run the risk of losing out on possible revenue. With high-speed internet you can use instant communication to interact with active and potential customers. You can use social media to get your brand and message out to your target audience. You can build brand loyalty when you show them who your company is through multiple media sites.
With so much competition between broadband internet providers these days, it is difficult to choose the best one. Many communication companies have business broadband internet packages that provide options suitable for your business. It’s just about finding the right match.
Ask yourself these questions when evaluating your business needs:
1. What is the optimum download speed for your business?
Most broadband internet providers categorize their commercial internet packages based on download speeds measured in Mbps (megabits per second). You can whittle through the list of options quickly if you determine what speed you need for your business. How do you do that? Take a look at how many connected devices your business operates with daily.
Internet speed, or bandwidth, equates to the amount of data you can download, or upload in a second over your entire network. For example, you might have a bandwidth of 50 Mbps which works great if there is only one device, but when two people are downloading at the same time, they are sharing that speed 50/50. The more devices that are downloading at once, the smaller the share per device.
Here is a list of the speeds that work best to support your number of devices:
- For 5 to 10 connected devices you need a connection of 75 Mbps
- 10 to 15 devices – 150 Mbps
- 15 to 20 devices – 250 Mbps
- 20 to 30 devices – 500 Mbps
- Above 30 devices – 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps or gigabits per second)
2. What type of internet is best?
There are different types of internet connections used around the world today. Here is a look at the pros and cons of each type to help you decide which one might work best for your business.
• DSL (digital subscriber line) internet comes through existing phone lines. On the positive side, DSL is fast, convenient, and slightly cheaper than other alternatives. But the negatives are you need existing phone lines and you risk losing your connection whenever there are problems with the phone lines or electricity.
• Fiber-optic connections have the highest speed and the lowest latency. They are good for simultaneous use on multiple devices, great for video conferences, and transferring large data files. On the negative side, fiber-optics are not available everywhere and they do have a higher cost.
• Satellite internet is an option that works for rural areas where there are no DSL or fiber-optic connections. It isn’t a great option if you have another choice because of the huge distances between your devices and the satellite which creates a latency issue.
• 5G internet service is not available everywhere but the three major wireless providers in the U.S. have it in certain metro areas.
3. Residential or commercial internet?
Many providers offer both residential and commercial, or business internet packages. In most cases, business speeds are two to five times faster than residential connections, have no data caps, and no throttling, but they do cost more. While it’s true that most residential connections are high quality, business internet packages come with more features and benefits, making up for the higher monthly charge.
Residential internet generally comes with restricted upload speeds and best-effort service agreements. These are more affordable because more customers share the network, but speed is sacrificed. In advertising, providers use wording like “up to” xx Mbps, and that is their best offer, but expect a slower connection most of the time. Also, residential connections throttle their upload speeds. They might give you 20 Mbps download speed and 2 Mbps upload speed.
With business packages, you get a guaranteed performance agreement and generally get the speeds they advertise with parity, meaning your download and upload speeds are equal, which is vital for good performance.
4. What else does your business need?
- If you have multiple business sites to cover, you might look for a provider that bundles multiple bills into one.
- Does the internet package come with a static IP? Most business connections do, but if it isn’t included, make sure you can add a static IP when the service is set up. A static IP is the best choice if you host a web site or email service at your place of business. You can also access controls to heating, air conditioning, and video cameras remotely through a static IP.
- How much customer support do you need? If your broadband internet is business-critical, you should get a support package that provides help on a 24-hour, seven day a week, every day of the year basis.
- Do you want a provider that offers bundles of internet, voice, TV? Or, do they allow you to create a custom business plan that suits your requirements?
Choose the best broadband internet provider for your business
1. What providers are in your area?
When you have an idea about what your business internet needs are, you can look for the best provider. There are a lot of online tools you can use for free. Just enter your zip code and you’ll get a list of local providers. Some sites let you use filters to narrow the list of prospects. For example, you can click on fiber-optic providers and limit your choices even further. The results you get give you information like the company name, internet speed, cost, how to contact the company, and user reviews.
Once you have a few options, you can go to the provider’s site and look for the specifics.
2. Check the providers specifications
Before you commit to a broadband provider, make sure to read their specs. Get the specs and quotes for services that look suitable for your business so you can compare them. You should look for uptime, latency, and packet loss (small units of data called packets that don’t make it to the intended destination).
Check out the provider’s service level agreement (SLA). This gives the details on their service guarantees, service credits, and contract termination options.
3. Is the provider platform ready?
Does the commercial broadband internet provider you are researching support your business software? Do they support customer applications, SD-WAN, MPLS, or augmenting MPLS? In most cases, a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) does not carry bandwidth penalties and is super secure. But, augmenting MPLS allows your business to add internet links into a hybrid WAN to boost the performance of MPLS. These are details that you may have to get from a company representative.
4. Read reviews
Before you make your final choice, look for reviews of the provider’s service. You can find third-party reviews online, or ask friends, family members, and other local businesses to find out if they are satisfied with the provider.
In your search for the right broadband internet provider for your business, it is best to have as much information about your business requirements and what the providers in your area have to offer as possible. This way you’ll get a good fit and you won’t let yourself get fooled by a too good to be true offer.
Deciding what internet service to choose can be overwhelming. That’s where we come in! Visit our website to learn more about what True Service Connect can do for you!