Internet has become inevitable for running any business. Big business giants opt for business internet plans. But, when it comes to small business owners, they are concerned much about every dollar that they spend.
As the business internet plans are costlier compared to the regular residential plans, many small business owners prefer residential plans.
Business internet plans have their own advantages, which are customized to suit to business requirements. Let us discuss about few important factors about business internet plans so that you can decide on whether residential or business internet would be suitable to you.
Faster Internet Speed
Gone are the days when dropping of connections was very common. Nowadays the business expectations are more, whether it is a small business or large business.
They expect an internet connection which never drops, allowing the employees to do heavy browsing, uploading and downloading of videos and files, and other online activities like conducting trainings through online videos and conducting webinars.
All these activities require a reliable high speed internet. Business plans generally offer high speed internet plans ranging between 25 Mbps and up to a few Gbps.
But, there are small business units which consider the cost alone and opt for residential internet. In those cases, the uploading speeds might be much slower compared to the downloading speeds.
Webinars and video conferencing require both good uploading and downloading speeds. A high speed business internet would be suitable for uploading and downloading videos and files.
Let us take a quick look at the best business internet providers like Verizon, AT&T, Spectrum, Frontier, CenturyLink, and Comcast business internet, their maximum download/ uploading speeds, and prices offered by them.
|Maximum download/ uploading Speed
|Starting Price per month
|Fiber: $84.99, DSL: $39.99
|Fiber: $40, DSL: $39.99
|Fiber: $19.99, DSL: $20
Most of the business organizations, small or big, require dedicated internet connection for their business. These dedicated connections provide a reliable internet without any delay in data transmission.
When the connection is not dedicated, then the uploading and downloading speed will not match. So, there will be disturbances in video conferencing, video training sessions, and other such activities requiring video and files uploading and downloading activities.
Residential connections have Shared Internet Access (SIA) which is shared by many users. The shared internet connection would have disturbances in performing video streaming and other online activities like upload and download of videos and files.
Business plans of providers like AT&T, Verizon, and Spectrum business internet generally have dedicated connection which provides such Dedicated Internet Access (DIA).
Because of the existence of dedicated connection for business, one can have a reliable and consistent internet service without any interruption. This is one of the main reasons for using business internet for small and big businesses.
Service Level Agreements for Business
For business operations, the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are provided by the internet providers. These SLAs guarantee you the service that they have agreed to give.
If you don’t get the reliable service, consistency, speed, or any other factors as agreed upon, you have the right to call the customer service and ask for discounts or credits or compensations in any other form.
Business plans would be slightly costlier. But, you can find that your business plans are worth paying for the SLAs that you get, with which you can get a guarantee of possessing a reliable internet service.
Satisfactory Customer Service
You can expect an excellent customer service when it comes to business class. But, it would not be the same in case of residential customers.
Business customers can expect a 24/7 dedicated expert service without which your business operations might incur a heavy loss.
Moreover, because of the existence of SLAs, the customer service representatives take a good effort to address to the needs of the business customers.
This might not happen in case of residential customers. If you are specifically concerned about the budget and go about taking a residential connection for your business, you might not be able to resolve your issues related to delays or lag in data transmission, interruption or disconnection during video transmission, and the like.
Business Phone Service Option
There are business internet providers like CenturyLink, Verizon, and Comcast business internet who also combine business phone options suitable for your business.
When you bundle your business internet with business phone options, it has several advantages like cost saving, single bill, and dealing with one dealer with ease.
All these profitable options may not be there if you opt for residential connection. Even if you can bundle the services with a single provider in case of residential internet, you might not get reliable business internet with several other advantages like SLA and DIA.
Provision of Static IP
There might be certain specific requirements for certain businesses. You might need to host your website or whitelist your website. For such needs, you might require a static IP. The static IP generally doesn’t change.
This is possible only with business plan and not in case of residential internet. Thus, to do all these business specific operations, it is important to opt for business plans.
Points to Consider While Choosing Your Business Internet Provider
The different types of providers like cable internet, DSL, fiber, and satellite provide business internet to their business customers.
Cable providers are able to provide high speed internet required for business operations through the coaxial cables. But, they are slower than the fiber connection.
DSL providers are providing their internet service through the dedicated phone lines. DSL providers can also provide high speed internet suitable for business operations.
Fiber optic technology provides internet service to its business customers through the glass or plastic fiber using the light signals. Fiber optic technology provides the maximum speed required for running business establishments.
Satellite technology also contributes to business internet. They have a wide coverage. It is present throughout US. But they have lag or delay in data transmission and have certain other disadvantages like data caps and higher price tags.
Depending on your usage and business establishment size and demand, you can opt for the suitable technology.
Even if you do not have the providers using cable, DSL or fiber network in your area, you can be sure to get a satellite business internet provider in your area though there exists certain disadvantages in satellite based network.
Wide Range of Plans
Business internet providers are generally preferred for the advantages that they provide for business operations. But, for small businesses, it is only because of the heavy price tag attached with the business plans that people go for residential plans.
But, the residential plans have their own disadvantages like inconsistent internet service, low speed, and others which might not be suitable for your business operations.
For customers with such regrets, the best internet providers in US like AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, and Spectrum business internet offer a wide range of plans, where the cost varies with the speed that they opt for.
There are business plans whose costs are quite affordable when there is a requirement of average speed level. So, the customers who have small business establishments with low budget can choose their internet speed accordingly.
Coverage is yet another factor to be considered while choosing your plan for your business operations. Top providers would be having a good coverage in many parts of US. So, if you choose to open another office or move your office premises to some other location, you might find it easy, if you choose a provider with a good coverage.
Moreover, when you operate from rural areas, there are providers like Viasat which provide coverage in such areas. So, you can choose such providers for your business.
Bandwidth is one of the important factors to be considered while choosing business internet providers. There should be sufficient bandwidth to handle all the employees located at large campuses.
Depending on the size of the company and number of employees, the plans with the apt bandwidth can be selected.
When business internet plans with higher bandwidth is chosen, you can easily cater to the needs like video conferencing, webinars, and the like.
Deals and Offers
Certain business internet providers provide deals and offers like money saving options on bundle packages, integrated VoIP solutions, discounts meant for high speed business plans, and others.
It is better to check for the best deals and offers provided for dedicated business internet options. This will bring about profits to your business.
Also some of the business internet providers have no-contract plans dedicated for their small business customers. They can easily opt for business plans without signing any contracts. They can try out without signing for the contract whether the plan works out for them.
There are ISPs who provide free cloud storage and backup facilities and Wi-Fi services for the business customers. You can also try out for such best deals.
Business plans have several specific advantages like symmetry in speed, high speed connection, DIA, SLA, and reliability, which may not be true with residential internet.
Though the price tags are slightly higher with business plans, there are wider plan ranges to choose as per your speed and budget requirements. Thus, choosing business plans for business would be beneficial.