Factors to consider while choosing a business internet plan

Today, all businesses, small or large, need a stable and fast internet connection. Whether it’s a simple job like sending emails or communicating with customers and clients globally, every business requires an internet connection for effective operations. However, with a plethora of internet providers and their offerings, it becomes quite difficult to pick the best plan. Hence, here are some factors that must be considered while choosing the best internet plan for your business.

Factors to consider when choosing the best internet plan for business

Type of connections available
Usually, the type of connection available depends on the area the business is located in. This allows one to either choose between a range of internet connections or limit themselves to one or two options at best. Some of the most popular internet service provider (ISP) connections are:

DSL
Also known as a digital subscriber line, DSL is a broadband connection that employs phone lines to provide access to the internet. While this type of connection is quite budget-friendly, the internet speed provided can be quite slow. Furthermore, the distance between your business location and the ISP’s exchange can greatly affect the quality of the internet connection and its speed. In most cases, a DSL connection can prove functional for small-scale businesses and shops that have only a few employees.

Cable
Cable connections use special cables known as coaxial cable TV lines to connect the business to the internet. Generally, this internet connection type is faster when compared to DSL, but it can be expensive. Most cable connections offer speeds that can handle several people uploading and downloading large files at the same time. However, the speed received may depend on the distance between the business and the cable company’s office. This type of internet connection is usually opted for by medium-sized businesses.

Satellite
An internet connection option that can be used by businesses located in remote or rural areas—satellite connections utilize satellites to transmit data from one point to another. While satellite connections can be expensive, they provide the same speed as a cable or fiber connection. Another downside of this type of connection is that they can be affected by weather and can become slow or inconsistent during extreme weather conditions. A satellite connection can prove useful for businesses that do not have any other viable option for an internet connection.

Fiber
Fiber connections, better known as fiber optic connections, transmit data in the form of pulses of light through glass fibers without any electromagnetic interference. This makes fiber optics one of the fastest, most reliable, and most popular types of internet connection available in the market. Most good quality fiber optic connections can provide internet speeds up to 1000Mbps. With that being said, this type of internet connection is one of the most expensive options. Hence, they are considered best for businesses that require high bandwidth. So, if a business uses the internet for activities such as hosting servers, video conferencing, and video over internet protocol (VoIP), a fiber optic connection can be perfect to ensure global connectivity and reach.

Internet speed needs
One must consider their needs when choosing an internet plan for a business. For instance, a small-scale business with less than 50 employees may need fast internet speeds for transferring large files or video conferencing. In addition to the above, if the business has multiple offices or sensitive customer information, it’s vital to have high-speed internet with sufficient bandwidth. Hence, it’s imperative to assess the needs of the business to avoid being stuck with low speeds or unnecessarily high prices. Thus, here are some examples of online activities and their required bandwidth.

File sharing: 2 to 5 Mbps per person
Video streaming: Standard definition video – 1.5 Mbps, High definition – 3 to 4 Mbps per person
Video conferencing: 2 to 4 Mbps per person

Typically, a newly launched small-scale business may feel comfortable with an internet speed ranging from 10 to 25 Mbps. However, an increase in operations and online activities may require a speed between 100 Mbps to even 1 Gigabit.

Further, one can assess the needed internet speed for their business by adding the bandwidth requirements of all their online activities and multiplying it by the number of employees or devices.

Customer support
Good quality ISPs provide reliable customer support through detailed usage reports. This allows one to scale their required bandwidth as the needs of the business grow. Additionally, business internet plans with 24/7 customer support ensure minimum downtime and loss of money. Hence, while choosing internet plans, one must inquire about assistance, whether by phone or chat, and the availability of on-site technicians. This allows the business operations to run smoothly at all times.

Cap on data
Depending on the internet plan chosen for the business, ISPs impose data restrictions on certain accounts. These limitations can either be in the form of a higher price or a throttle down on the bandwidth. While a cap on data is usually common in residential connections, they can be levied on cable, DSL, and even fiber optic business plans.

In addition to the above factors, one must also consider the contract length, availability of services, and the reputation of the ISP while choosing the best internet plan for their business.

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    Artificial sweetener

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