Fast internet connection is something we all need nowadays, especially businesses. However, there are now so many broadband providers who offer so many different services with different features, it’s difficult to know which one is right for your company.
Business broadband is no different from consumer broadband. Both of them give you access to the same internet. However, the considerations for business broadband go deeper than price and speed. You need to know what would happen if your internet went down and what support you would get from the broadband company. You need to know that your security will be looked after, and whether it will provide you with any extra services.
Here are some essentials that you should look out for when choosing which broadband service to go with:
The speeds you get for a business broadband service depend on the type of broadband you want to pay for. If you’re on a budget, speeds will be the same as you get for consumer broadband which is typically around 15-18Mb download. If you are in a fibre enabled area (FTTC, BT Superfast broadband), it promises super fast speeds for all of your internet needs and it doesn’t matter greatly how far you are from the street cabinet or telephone exchange. Although if you don’t have fibre, then the speeds you get will depend on a number of factors, such as where your business is located and the how far you are situated from the local street cabinet or telephone exchange — the further you are from these, the slower your speeds, especially if you’re on a standard ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) connection.
Every business wants fast and reliable broadband at all times. If something goes wrong, it can be very costly to a business, especially if your business uses cloud based services like Microsoft Office 365 or VoIP. Therefore, a business broadband has to give more reliable and quicker support as there can be a lot at stake. Unlike consumer broadband, where the support is more basic and usually classed as best endeavours and support often confined to office hours, a business provider will give you access to a specialist support centre and engineers, available 24/7. Business broadband/connectivity solutions should also come with a published Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Security is something you will definitely need when thinking about which broadband company to choose from. Phishing, scams, hackers and even infected USB drives are a big threat to a business. Therefore, security is absolutely crucial. Business broadband providers protect against this by offering far more superior security solutions than you get offered on a consumer deal. Sometimes these can be included in the price, and sometimes it may require an additional subscription or hardware solution, you definitely need to invest in security as it could help you out in the long run. It is better to be safe than sorry.
An IP address is a fixed number which is given to your computer by your internet provider. The IP identifies your computer when it has access to the internet. Static IP addresses will stay the same and cannot be moved between ISP’s.
The contention ratio is the number of users sharing the same data capacity. The lower the contention ratio the higher the quality of service. The contention ratio is much lower for business broadband, depending on how much you’re paying. The only problems could be if you are around other businesses running on the same network, more people means lesser quality of service. If an internet connection is critical to the running of your business then a dedicated connection such as a leased line is highly recommended.
A VPN (virtual private network) pretty much connects your PC, tablet or smartphone to another computer (essentially a server) somewhere on the internet and allows you to browse the internet by using that computer’s internet connection. It also allows you to access the same network which then allows you to share files and applications and it’s no different than if you were physically connected to a network.
When you’re in a business you really do want the best internet speeds as possible. Although set up costs can be slightly more expensive, these are a few ways of getting faster speeds with your broadband;
Leased Lines are a dedicated connection for your business, as you don’t share your connection you benefit from exceptional speeds backed up by an SLA. You choose the connection speed that your business needs and have the flexibility to upgrade your leased line should your needs change. Speeds on a leased line are available from 10Mb right up to 10GB and as they are symmetrical your upload and download speeds are the same.
Fibre to premises (FTTP) takes the fibre optic connection directly from your local exchange into your building offering download speeds of up to 330Mbps and upload speeds up to 50Mbps. This may cost slightly more but it’s well worth the money if you are lucky enough to be in an FTTP enabled area. Be careful though some companies only offer this type of connection to consumers.