Is your internet provider allowing sufficient bandwidth to cover the needs of your business? Having access to the internet is essential for most businesses, as it enhances connectivity and accessibility between you, your employees, and your clients. Because of the reliance most individuals and businesses have on internet access, it can be infuriating to experience a crashing or even a sluggish, spotty connection. It can be just as infuriating to see the high cost of having the fastest, “most reliable” internet service. Between finding the right price, the right level of security, and the most user-friendly options, businesses need to consider the ratio of bandwidth availability and cost that their Internet Service Provider (ISP) offers.
High $peed Internet
When shopping for an ISP, your top considerations are likely to be speed, bandwidth, and price. The relationship between all these factors are usually linear, with price increasing in direct connection as the other metrics also increase. Shopping for an ISP that can provide you with the appropriate bandwidth to suit the demands of your home or business, at a price that matches your budget is a challenge. If you want to avoid worrying about productivity lapses or revenue loss due to slow internet speeds, does that also mean that you have to pay out the nose for connectivity? Let’s explore some of these ideas in more detail.
How Much Bandwidth is Enough?
Your bandwidth requirements are going to vary depending on the type of user you are, whether for your home or business. Additionally, the number of people and number of hours in a day that require utilizing the internet will also need to be factored in. For a small office whose internet usage revolves around average web functions (email and casual web browsing), a basic plan with a low price tag (read: bandwidth) might be the most cost effective way to satisfy all requirements. If this same office, however, connects with clients through a data reliant application, or must perform heavy file downloading, the business may want to choose a plan with a higher bandwidth allotment to ensure that familiar conversation, “Is your internet going slow?” doesn’t begin to spread around the office at the same time.
When you think about it, the sluggish internet connection is the modern day equivalent to the power going out. For many companies in the technology sector, not having the appropriate level of access to the internet can leave them at a standstill.
Here’s a quick guide that may be able to help get you started in the search for the optimal connection. This is a rough flow chart, but a good starting point:
Light – basic email and web browsing
Moderate – some file downloads, streaming music, streaming video/cloud services, VOIP
Moderate/Heavy – large file downloads (at high volumes), video web conferencing, +moderate options
Power User/Heavy User – High bandwidth demand, internet-based application user (intensive), multiple devices per user, +moderate/heavy options
Hidden Costs of Low-Priced Internet
If you’re trying to safeguard your business against internet connections faltering, or applications failing, you may be attracted to large ISPs that offer lower prices for seemingly high bandwidth speeds. These plans must be considered cautiously, however. Often times lower prices are available due to a contracted length of time with that ISP. If you’re not eager to see your prices increase after your contract period expires, this might not be a good fit. Service level agreements also may vary significantly. Will you have access to internet support 24/7? If not, how quickly will that support be available?
It is also important to know the downloading speeds versus uploading speeds, and recognizing how much your business requires of each. If your business relies heavily upon video conferencing or large file uploads, increasing your uploading bandwidth speeds may be an unexpected priority with additional costs associated.
Finally, to prevent large web workloads from pulling bandwidth away from your priority applications and uses, is your ISP able to guarantee bandwidth allocation to one area over another? This option may be available, but perhaps you are not aware of which areas of your business require the most bandwidth, and how much “dedicated” bandwidth you need. Will your ISP know which area of your business needs the guaranteed bandwidth, and will you be subjected to additional charges should your needs go beyond your contracted allotment?
Best Band for Your Buck
To keep the relationship between your money and your bandwidth speeds a happy one, consider multiple options including receiving your internet connection from a specialty provider. Dedicated internet access from Continuous, for example, offers a range of bandwidth options, working with you and your business to provide the most low-cost option that will allow the greatest bandwidth to satisfy your needs. ContinuousConnect enables you to manage your network traffic, ensuring that you can prioritize your bandwidth, we also offer 24/7 monitoring and customer support. Continuous IT support offers value where larger ISPs are unable to do so, as they get to know you, your business, and can offer expert advice on how to use an appropriate amount of well-managed bandwidth to grow your business. If you’d like to know more, visit our website and get in touch to get more options.