Do you run a business that requires a lot of data and computations? Do most of your employees use desktops and laptops for their tasks? Then one of the prime concerns for your business is internet speed.
The United States has over 345 million internet users as of mid-2019. This number will likely grow in the coming years. This will also spike data consumption.
But with more users, internet speed will take a hit. This is not good for your business because of its adverse effects.
Hence, you need business internet providers (ISP) who can deliver the speed and performance that you need. With numerous options available, how do you find the right ones for your business?
Continue reading below as we give you a definitive guide in finding the best and most affordable ISPs.
The Types of Connections
Before we discuss the key considerations, let us first touch on the different types of connections. The type of internet connection plays a big role in the speed you will get. Let’s take a look at the four major options below:
Residences and businesses use cable internet since dating back to the 1990s. This option uses coaxial cable TV lines to transmit data. Though it still gets the job done in terms of speed, it is already prone to numerous hiccups.
For example, if there are too many users in the same area, expect the speed to slow down significantly. Additionally, you may find most cable plans steep in terms of pricing.
The Digital Subscriber Line or DSL is like the in-between of ISP connections. It uses your traditional phone lines to transfer data. However, it is many times faster than your dial-up connections.
As for the pricing, it is one of the cheapest available. But since it offers mid-tier speed, it caters mostly to smaller businesses with only a few employees.
This option may seem impressive at first glance. But if you examine its performance, it isn’t leaps and bounds compared to cable. Moreover, satellite internet is more expensive than cable internet and other ground-based options.
If there is a plus to it, you can enjoy connection even if you are in an area where there are no wires.
Last but not least is the Fiber connection. This is perhaps the direction where most, if not all internet connections will end up in the future.
It works by transmitting data in the form of pulses of light. These pulses pass through plastic strands or a microscopic glass. It also doesn’t encounter electromagnetic interference, making it the fastest form of connection available.
The downsides are the steep prices and limited reach. There are still numerous states in the country that do not have a fiber connection.
Tips for Finding the Best Business Internet Providers
Choosing among different business internet providers is tricky. All will try to sing the same tune. But if you look closely into the details, you will find that some do stand out from the rest.
Here are some of the key factors you must consider when picking an ISP:
Consider Your Requirements
First and foremost, you need to consider the specific requirements of your business. You need to find an ISP that meets your business needs.
Generally, you will find providers offering different tiers of services. Each tier caters to a specific group of customers. Of course, the tiers come with varying price points.
If you have a relatively small business, DSL or cable internet are your best options. They will likely fit your operational budget while giving you the right level of performance you need.
This is also where you consider the bandwidth. For starters, you may consider getting a plan that offers 10 Mbps. This is enough for small businesses with requirements revolving around sending emails and maintaining a website.
But if you’re running a bigger company, you need a business-grade or enterprise-level of connection. This is the type of connection that accommodates video conferencing, cloud services, and VoIP. In such cases, a plan that uses fiber optics is your best bet.
Scalable and Flexible Connection
Another factor to consider is the connection’s scalability. This pertains to the ISP’s ability to adapt to your requirements if your business grows rapidly in a year or less.
As your market grows, so will your bandwidth requirements. As you cater to more customers, you need a faster and more reliable internet connection. With these in mind, you may not have the luxury of time to switch to another provider if ever your original ISP fails to meet your growing needs.
Pick a scalable and flexible provider like Shentel Fiber. Keep in mind that time is of the essence in any business, and you wouldn’t want to waste any of it.
We mentioned earlier that fiber internet is not yet available in some areas. Thus, you need to make sure that the connection you need is available in your vicinity.
You can go online and key in your ZIP code. From there, you will find the list of providers in your area and the plans that they offer.
Solid Track Record
Like any other product or service, you need to do some research on the ISP’s track record. Find out what their customers are saying about their services. Are the clients generally happy?
Also, before signing any contract, look into the details and fine print. Check the terms of service, as well as the acceptable use policies. Determine the caps and limits of the data or bandwidth.
Additionally, you need to be clear when it comes to the contract length.
High-Level Customer Support
Last but not least, go for an ISP that offers 24/7 tech support. This is crucial especially for businesses that run from morning till night. Find a provider that offers live chat and phone assistance.
Cover All Bases
By connecting with the right business internet providers, you can provide seamless services without overpaying. But a reliable internet connection is only one part of a bigger puzzle. You must cover all the bases.
Learn more about improving your business and your processes through our other articles. We discuss important topics and offer tips that will help increase your bottom line.