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Business internet providers

Which is the best internet service provider for you?


When it comes to choosing your business Internet provider, there’s no shortage of options out there, from large communications companies to small cable providers to discount startups. As a small business owner, you want the most reliable and fastest Internet service that your budget will allow. After all, communication is the foundation for good business, and in our digital world, high-speed access is critical for instant access to customers and suppliers.

But businesses today can barely keep up the explosion in demand in recent years for increased bandwidth. Employees now need the capability to work on multiple devices, in multiple locations, virtually 24/7. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2022 there will be 3.6 networked devices/connections to the Internet for every human being on Earth (Cisco).

And because high-bandwidth applications such as HD video streaming and business apps are rapidly becoming the new business standard, it’s important to keep an eye on what the major Internet Services Providers (ISPs) are offering in terms of new products and services. The fact is, Internet speeds that were acceptable for business just a few short years ago might not be the best option for you today.

But with so many players in the market, what should you look for when selecting the best Internet service provider in my area? What key features are the must-haves that will really make a difference to your bottom line today—and tomorrow?


Reliability is essential and faster is better


First, you need a very reliable Internet option that is working when you need it. It could hurt your bottom line if you lose customers and sales because of unreliable Internet service. Next, remember that a higher speed is better. The more connections you need, the higher the bandwidth. Some applications, such as file sharing and online backups, require higher upload speeds. A fast Internet connection allows for:

  • Increased productivity from quick file download/uploads.
  • Better communication online with customers and colleagues via email, social media, and instant messaging.
  • Effective website hosting offering the best possible experience for customers, with fast load times needed to allow customers to browse product pages and make purchases.
  • Improved efficiency for sharing and real-time editing of documents with customers and colleagues.
  • Faster updates of critical operating systems, software, and anti-virus programs.
  • Easy access to prospects, customers, and colleagues in distant locations.

It’s important to take time and think about which small business internet service provider is right for your business.


Choosing the right technology


For broadband service, there are a number of options to choose from today.

 FIBER OPTIC SERVICE: fiber optic service, operates over a 100% optical network using light to send data over great distances at incredible speeds: “the speed of light.” These blazing fast speeds enable multiple users on your network to download, upload, stream, and share files simultaneously.


DSL: DSL, which stands for Digital Subscriber Line, offers a reliable connection over regular telephone lines to deliver fast download speeds. Because DSL uses a dedicated line, the speeds it provides are very stable and consistent.


CABLE: Cable delivers data through coaxial cables. It was developed as an upgrade from traditional “over-the-air” broadcasting and is available to customers with distribution lines in their area. One key disadvantage to cable technology is that customers in a geographic area share the bandwidth, so they may experience slow response times during peak periods.


SATELLITE:  connections use satellites to beam the Internet feed wirelessly to a customer’s installed satellite dish. For customers in rural areas, they are often the only broadband option. However, satellite services tend to be both slower and more expensive than other technologies. They are limited in their ability to connect to streaming content, and can be disrupted by weather.


Key factors to consider


It’s important to understand that when it comes to selecting your business Internet service, not all providers are the same. Look for a provider who offers you a complete and reliable communication solution that will allow your employees to share information quickly and easily. In particular, keep the following factors in mind:


  • Reliability: What is the provider’s reputation for reliability? Do they have a proven track record in the industry?
  • Service: How are they rated in independent customer surveys?
  • Speed: What is the upload and download speed you can expect? Faster upload speeds save time and help increase productivity when performing high-bandwidth activities such as sending large files or backing up data to the cloud. Another important factor to consider is whether the bandwidth you are buying shared or dedicated to your business.
  • Breadth: In most cases, the faster the Internet service, the higher the price. Look for a provider who offers a wide variety of plans and pricing so you can find the plan most appropriate for your business needs—and upgrade whenever needed.
  • Support: If you experience outages or other problems with your business Internet, how quickly can you get assistance? Does the provider offer online, phone, and chat customer support? How painless is the installation process?
  • Cost: Many ISPs offer discounts when you package their Internet service with their phone and/or television service, a practice called “bundling.” Some providers include Internet security  at no additional cost. Check to see if the provider you’re using offers bundled rates at a discounted price to save you money.
  • Contracts and Terms: Does the provider you’re considering offer a firm, written estimate, spelling out exactly what services you’ll receive? Is a modem provided, or do you have to purchase and install it yourself? Do you have to commit to a certain contract length with early termination fees if you cancel early? Choose an ISP that offers terms that you’re comfortable with and that spells out exactly what you’re getting.

Small business owners need reliable and fast Internet service to keep them connected to their customers and suppliers. VASSIC is here to help you navigate through the maze of service offerings.

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