Business Internet Info

What is Business Internet?

Most people equate Internet service with the service they receive at home. However, if you run a business, you know that businesses have different needs. People using the Internet at home are generally streaming, emailing, browsing the web or using interactive websites, activities that are not very intensive. In fact, most residential Internet is on shared lines, which means that many homes may be connected to the same line. Tech support is first-come first served and “best effort,” meaning that if something goes wrong, you might have to wait a day or two for a technician.

Businesses that rely on Internet can use residential service if they want to, but Business Internet has a lot of benefits for companies of any size, from a solo entrepreneur to a huge enterprise with hundreds of employees. Business Internet is designed to handle a much higher volume, especially of uploads, than what home use creates, because businesses do a lot more with the Internet than most people do at home. Business Internet is usually contractual because entrepreneurs want guarantees that their businesses will run smoothly and without interruption. Technical support and service calls are a vital part of most business Internet contracts, since many of them have provisions to compensate business customers for any downtime.

How Do Businesses Use Internet?

The biggest difference between residential and business Internet comes from how businesses put the Internet to use. This can vary with the size of the business, since more employees can equal more Internet use.

Here are just some of the many ways most businesses use the Internet for their commerce:

  • Competitor Research to see what other companies are offering and how to compete.
  • Public relations to gauge customer interest and reach out to current and perspective customers. Many companies are using social media to make contact with the public.
  • E-commerce and advertising, so customers can shop and make purchases from the from privacy of their own home or from any device with Internet capability.
  • Storing data, from customer information to marketing reports and even medical or financial records.
  • Inbound and outbound calling for sales and support. More businesses are using VoIP services to make their phone calls.
  • File sharing, from single-page documents to large manuscripts.
  • Web conferences, which save time and travel expenses.
  • Hiring and human resources, not only maintaining employee files but even as a portal to apply for employment with the company.

All of these activities require more bandwidth than most residential services use, as well as reliable service to insure workflow. The fast pace of business demands a faster pace of Internet use, making business Internet a great investment for any business.

What Does Business Internet Offer?

Because businesses have more intense requirements than at-home Internet use, business Internet offers features that are not available with residential Internet. These include:

Static IP

With residential Internet, your IP address can change every time you connect, when you reset your modem, or even when there’s an outage. Business Internet offers a permanent IP address, so businesses can keep the same address no matter what. This improves security of the connection as well as any networks for in-house or remote employees.

Service-Level Agreement (SLA)

Even the best Internet service provider cannot guarantee against accidents and natural disasters interrupting service. Businesses cannot afford to be offline, and service providers recognize that. Many offer service-level agreement contracts that outline procedures and expected response times in the event the Internet experiences interruptions. Even if a tech visit isn’t needed, businesses can get priority customer support and even be compensated for losses resulting from an outage.

Dedicated Connection

Bandwidth is how much data is traveling over an Internet connection. With residential Internet, many users might be using the same line, which means both you and your neighbors are relying on the same bandwidth to be online. This is measured by a contention ratio, which evaluates the number of users on a single connection. When everyone is online around the same time, the Internet lags because everyone is using the shared bandwidth. Business Internet means your business gets a line all its own, dedicated to making your business run more efficiently.

Cloud Service Availability

Whether your business is small or large, there is data that needs to be stored, backed up, and managed, as well as kept private. A cloud is a virtual server that stores data online and can be managed either by your company’s IT department or by an outside contractor. Businesses using voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) will also rely on a cloud to make and receive phone calls. Large businesses can use a cloud to free up their IT departments for other projects, and smaller businesses without IT departments can have all the benefits of a cloud without worrying about the maintenance.

Unlimited Data

A lot of residential Internet plans have a maximum, called a data cap, of how much data each account is allowed for use. If a home goes over the maximum, the provider might charge the account extra or automatically change your plan to match your use. Some providers “throttle” your speed by slowing it after you pass the data cap. Most business plans have unlimited data with no caps or throttled speed.

Parity

Most Internet plans advertise their download speed because most residential Internet activity involves downloading. Whenever you open videos, files, games, or Web sites, your computer is downloading information. Upload speeds are not usually advertised because they are much slower for residential Internet: a residential connection might download at 25 Mbps, but upload at around 2 or 3 Mbps. When the download speed and the upload speed are equal, this is called parity. Business Internet plans offer parity because that’s what their clients need. Documents, manuals, video conferencing and VoIP calls are just some of the many business operations that rely on parity to run smoothly.

Tiered Pricing

Businesses are not one size fits all. They have different needs based on the type of business, the size of the business, the amount of uploading and downloading required to operate, and a variety of other factors. If you are a small business, you don’t need the same services as a corporate office with hundreds of lines. Most business packages are tiered, meaning you can pick the package and features that you need, without paying high prices for services you don’t.

What Types of Internet Are There?

What type of Internet you can get depends on what is available in your area. Some also cost more than others, so it’s a good idea to consider your needs before committing to a plan.

  • DSL Internet to see what other companies are offering and how to compete.
  • Cable Internet uses cable TV infrastructure to provide service. Like DSL, it can be bundled with cable service, and some cable companies also offer telephone service.
  • Copper Internet includes T1, T3 and Ethernet Over Copper (EOC) lines. They are costly to install but very fast, and some places already have them.
  • Fiber Optic Internet transmits data as light particles rather than electricity, making it the fastest. Since it is an emerging technology, it can also accommodate upgrades as your business grows.
  • Satellite Internet beams the signal from above the Earth’s atmosphere, which is perfect for areas that cannot get other lines due to cost or geography.

What Types of Internet Are There?

at type of Internet you can get depends on what is available in your area. Some also cost more than others, so it’s a good idea to consider your needs before committing to a plan.

  1. Determine your bandwidth needs, including:
    1. How many lines will be connected to the Internet. The more lines are being used, the more bandwidth the business will use.
    2. What employees will be doing on those lines. Light usage, like email and Web browsing, doesn’t take up a lot of bandwidth, but multi-media usage such as large downloads and or video conferencing will keep even a solo entrepreneur’s bandwidth full. Use of apps and devices also adds to bandwidth. Parity is necessary for consideration because a lot is uploaded by businesses and because video conferencing counts as both an upload and a download since it is transmitting both ways.
    3. Consider getting a little more than you need if your business is expanding to ensure your bandwidth has room to grow with you. Do this now and save hassle later.
  2. Multi-tiered service is best option for your money, including for service contracts. Do you have a tech team? If not, the support is worth it. Get the tier that fits your business.
  3. Bundled service also helps cut costs and red tape. Bundles often include telephone or television services and can cut overhead costs as well as combine many of your services into one convenient bill, which helps your business ensure continuity.
  4. Consider regional services as well as national ones because they understand the region, especially if you are in a high-traffic area like Chicago or NYC. 

The Right Service at the Right Price

Whether you run your business solo out of your home or you are in charge of a large corporate office with hundreds of employees, business internet can connect you more efficiently to your customers. Call us for tiers and pricing and let us handle your business internet needs.

Our specialists are standing by to craft the perfect solution for your organization.

Our specialists are standing by to craft the perfect solution for your organization.

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