8 Tips For Choosing the Right Business Internet Plan

Author: Kayla Stockdale/Wednesday, November 8, 2023/Categories: Business Internet

To say companies use Internet access to conduct business these days is quite an understatement. This makes it even more critical to ensure your business has the right type of Internet access to keep your in-office and remote-working employees productive and stay connected with your customers and vendors.  

How often do you check your email, research competitors, search the web for new products and check company social media posts? The Internet is central in producing information for external and internal audiences, conducting quarterly and annual earnings calls and messaging coworkers. And remote workers rely on Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Webex meetings. It’s safe to say that reliable Internet is essential to stay ahead of your competition. Consider the following factors when you’re looking into how to choose the best Internet plan. 

1. Identify Your Needs 

When choosing an Internet provider and plan, consider how you will use it. Low-speed Internet will work if you are searching websites and checking your email. However, suppose you are conducting business transactions, organizing Zoom calls and uploading images and videos. In that case, you will want to select a higher-speed Internet option

Also, remember that the greater the number of people using the Internet simultaneously, the greater the Internet speed you will need. So if your business includes many users, a higher-speed Internet option will work better.  

2. Check Out the Availability In Your Area 

When selecting an internet service provider (ISP), first, you need to know which options are available in your area.  

Urban locations tend to have more options than rural areas.Generally speaking, rural places will have fewer cable and fiber optic network choices. But many rural areas still have solid Internet options, with cable and fiber optic options expanding to small towns every year. 

3. Know How Much Speed You Need 

The most important thing to know about speed is that whichever plan you choose will determine how quickly you can access information and the quality of video and audio. 

A business Internet plan must ensure optimal speed to handle smooth day-to-day operations, especially during peak times. 

Download Speed 

Download speeds determine how long it takes to download data, files and videos and browse the Internet. The faster the Internet speed, the quicker you can perform vital tasks.  

Upload Speed 

Few providers offer plans with symmetrical download and upload speeds. In particular, upload speed becomes business critical if you use live streams, video calls, send or upload large files or need access to cloud applications. 

4. Look for Deals, Promotions and Promo Prices 

So many Internet providers offer incentive plans to sign up customers for the first year. Read through the fine print so you don't get caught unaware of a substantial price hike in the second year. 

Also, some Internet services offer free wireless routers to reduce your costs and other incentives like online backup services, personal website hosting and antivirus program subscriptions. If you already intend to pay for these services, purchasing a plan is a good option.  

5. Watch for Annual Contracts, Equipment and Hidden Installation Fees 

A monthly Internet plan fee is rarely your only cost. Providers usually add annual price increases and early termination fees if you cancel your contract before the end date, as well as equipment rental and installation fees. Try to choose an Internet provider offering fixed rates with no hidden charges.  

6. Find the Best Business Internet Network Option to Grow Your Business 

Many different types of Internet connections are available for businesses, but even though packages may look alike in speed and cost, they are not all the same. Without looking carefully into the details, you could end up with a plan that isn't right for your needs. Consequences include poor performance and downtime. 

Business Internet connections are available in two different network types: shared networks or dedicated networks. There are significant differences between the two. 

Shared Networks 

Shared networks are the most common type of business Internet connection. It has a reputation for low cost, fast download speeds and widespread availability. Many retail companies, small businesses and remote workers prefer this connection. 

The downside of using a shared Internet service is that speeds may vary because bandwidth is shared. This can make it challenging to use voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), video or cloud applications, send large files, stream or back up your data. And then there are no guarantees for the length of downtime and or reliability issues. It could take hours to get back up online. 

Shared network connections include: 

  • DSL cable 
  • Shared fiber 
  • Wireless 

Dedicated Networks 

Dedicated networks are highly reliable, with excellent performance and bandwidth speeds. These connections are built for your site so that bandwidth is predetermined and superior performance is guaranteed. This type of connection has symmetrical speeds, so your speed is the same whether uploading or downloading data. 

Larger companies generally prefer dedicated networks. It provides high reliability and easy use for VoIP, video and cloud applications.  

But the downside is the higher cost. Preparing a building that isn’t equipped for fiber Internet can be expensive. However, most businesses find it's worth the extra cost. 

Dedicated service providers offer service level agreements that provide credits for any outage lasting more than a few minutes per month, meaning the provider pays for any financial consequences.  

Dedicated Internet options include: 

  • Fiber: ethernet over fiber 
  • Copper: ethernet over copper, T1 
  • Wireless: fixed wireless 

7. Decide Which Type of Internet Connection Works Best for Your Business 

There are several factors involved that will help you decide the best type of business Internet connection. The most important are your budget and estimated usage. A shared business connection will work fine if you are limited to Internet searches, emails and basic applications, making the occasional downtime and performance issues acceptable. 

However, a dedicated Internet connection is the best option if you use VoIP, video, cloud or other mission-critical applications where downtime and poor performance are not an option.  

8. Reliable Customer Support is Invaluable 

Remember that a reliable customer support team available anytime can be a lifesaver. Technical difficulties are bound to happen, even with the most dependable connection. If you have excellent tech support, you can count on them to help troubleshoot your issue quickly.  

A knowledgable customer support team can help lessen the added strain on your internal operations and your clients, and allow you to build trust with your customers. 

Conclusion 

There are so many factors to consider when choosing an Internet service provider and an Internet plan, but ensuring you have the connection that gives you the right speed, reliability, security, price and customer support is vital to streamlining day-to-day operations. With the right Internet plan, your business will run smoothly and your customers will have a great experience.  

Our tech specialists will help you uncover hidden costs so there are no surprises at the end of the promotional period. Your current Internet plan might not be the best for your needs. Contact us at Consolidated Communications today. We are committed to helping you choose the the best Internet plan for your business.

Print

Number of views (390)/Comments (0)