In the modern era, a business would not survive for long without an internet connection. Even in cases where the internet is not the primary means of doing business, it is still important. For instance, employees will use it to communicate important information to each other. Besides that, customers will want to reach a business for inquiries. The easiest means would be the internet. They can leave a message, which can be responded to later. Unlike a phone call, that would require an employee to be present at all times. Use Wirefly's comprehensive search tool to find and compare the best business internet providers for your company's needs.
With Business Internet, Reliability is Key
Depending on where the business is located, a person may have only a few choices. Even when the choices are limited, careful analysis is still needed. It ensures that the business gets the most for the cash they spend.
Types of Business ISPs
In the past two decades, the options for internet provision have evolved a lot. These technologies continue to advance on a yearly basis. If a business has been using a single option for a while, it may be time to examine new options. One may find that they are missing the opportunity for a major upgrade. However, each option has a few limitations that are unique to it.
For one, there is the issue of availability. Some internet types though efficient, have a limited distribution network. It is crucial to conduct research on the options that are accessible in one’s region before making a choice. The common types of internet are:
Cable - The internet is transmitted to business premises via the cable company. It is the most common type of internet. In addition, cable internet offers great value for money.
DSL - The telecommunications firm provides DSL internet. However, this type of internet has a number of limitations. For one, it does not match up to the amazing speeds possible with other types of internet.
Fiber Optic - The internet is provided to a business via the use of beams of light passing through a special type of tube. The fiber optics internet is among the fastest types of internet. Speeds of as high as 1 gbps can be achieved with ease. The major limitation of fiber optic internet is the inaccessibility in some areas. Special types of devices have to be put into place first. Consequently, it is usually more expensive than all other types of internet. The main benefit for a business is that higher speeds are possible. Besides that, the internet signal is unaffected by electric interference or the weather. Besides that, this type of internet is almost impossible to hack compared to the use of copper wires.
T1 Internet - T1 internet connections are dedicated fiber optic connections designed for businesses who need an extremely fast and reliable internet connection for their computers and phone system.
Satellite – It uses a satellite to bounce an internet signal from one place to another. This type of internet is at times the only one available in remote areas. It does not require the user to be close to any towers or cables. The satellite is considered high-speed. However, satellite internet is slow compared to other types of internet. The top speeds possible are only 15 Mbps. It is quite slow for a business that relies heavily on the internet. For instance, it is possible to achieve about 150 Mbps on cable internet.
Fixed Wireless – It is a type of internet, which relies on a radio signal from a single point. The point may be a cell phone or a tower. Achieving high speeds on this type of internet is possible. Up to 40 Mbps has been recorded. However, things like trees and other solid objects easily interfere with the signal strength and quality.
Dial-up Internet – It is the oldest type of internet. However, this service does not exist today. The slow speeds have made it impractical for use in the modern environment.
Most ISP providers do not provide only internet. They offer multiple services as part of a package. Thus, it would be prudent to look for an internet company that delivers the full package. It should offer the business television service, business phone service, and email too. When these services are bundled correctly, it can save the business a lot of money.
Most providers today offer the full package for internet connectivity. For instance, they will also do the Ethernet service for business. When they handle such aspects for the business, it makes everything easier to manage. They have experience, and they use experts for the job. It reduces the expenses of having to hire an expert in-house. Ultimately, it leads to lower operational costs for the business.
A business should look for an internet provider that offers consultative services. Their expert will visit the business and assess its needs. The ISP will usually put forth suggestions for things that could improve the efficiency of the business. For instance, they may suggest making upgrades to existing technologies. A good ISP provider is able to advise a business on how much bandwidth it requires. The calculation is based on the number of employees and the number of devices in use. A business may also be made of new options like remote management of devices.
Getting the Right Amount of Bandwidth and Speed
It can be frustrating and damaging to a business when it takes hours to upload or download important data. By choosing lower speeds to save money, a business could be hurting its interests.
The essence of purchasing internet is not to choose what barely makes the business run daily. It needs to account for peak hours when multiple devices access the site at once.
When considering the internet bandwidth and speed, it is important to ask about bandwidth caps and throttling. Inquire whether the ISP limits the download rates based on the time of day. Ask about any other factors that lead to limitations. Some ISPs have many limitations contained in the fine print. You will need enough bandwidth and speed if you have a business VoIP system providing your company's telephony.
A business should always be wary of providers that offer almost no security protection. Quality ISP firms offer anti-malware, anti-spam, anti-virus, and anti-spyware defense. Ensure that the internet provider provides the details of the amount of protection offered. In addition, request to know if they cover the mobile devices that connect to the system.
The backup cover is also quite important. If the system crashes, a good provider should restore anything that was on the network from the backups. If the backup at the workplace is located at the business premises, it may be time to move to cloud-based backups.
Important Things to Consider
Static IP Address – A business will enjoy many benefits from having a static IP address. It is especially critical for business that uses a Virtual Private Network.
Port access – Port access is crucial for a business that has a server hosted locally. Port access should not be limited if that is the case. Some providers have limitations ports that are needed by software. For instance, the browser utilizes port 80 to access the web. Additionally, it utilizes port 25 for email services. If software requires accessing a random port like 2467, some internet providers will not allow it. Thus, the software would be rendered unusable.
Third Party Software – Some ISPs offer their clients third party apps that lead to increased functionality. These apps are offered at a small fee. They include apps like cloud storage and conferencing applications.
Making the Right Business Internet Choice
Seek to understand what has worked for others in the past. Wirefly helps you compare business Internet plans in your area by entering your ZIP code. Advice based on experience is invaluable. At times, there may be a new service provider. Thus, one may settle for less than they deserve. While many websites inform people on what they can find, good business internet is much harder to find on such sites.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Although the ISP always offers help, businesses that rely on the internet for their service require more support. It has more to lose if the Internet experiences any kind of slow down. A good internet connection ensures sales and that employees are productive.
A business should use an Internet provider that offers a Service Level Agreement. It is a guarantee of uninterrupted uptime or close to it. A person should look at the remedies offered if Internet connectivity is interrupted. The common remedy offered is credits off the bill if the internet goes down for more than a set period.
In addition, one should inquire if the ISP has support phone lines for businesses. Besides that, find out how competent their tech personnel is at handling issues.
The Future of Business Internet
One needs to find out if their ISP is prepared for the changes that are coming. The internet is evolving, and a good ISP should tweak their services to respond to these changes.
A good example of future changes to the internet is the development of the IPv6. This internet protocol is set to replace the use of IPv4. The reason for this is that IPv6 offers an unlimited amount of IP addresses.
The reason why IPv6 will play an increasing role in our future is that more devices have internet capability than ever before. If these devices have a unique address in future, it makes it easier to configure the internet. That means that it will cost less for the business to connect to the internet.
When searching for an ISP, it is important to think about these issues. One could dramatically lower costs while increasing efficiency with just a single inquiry.
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