The Ultimate Guide to Small Business Internet

With the second coming of the information senesce, we ’ ve seen the birth of SaaS, sophisticate CRM tools, social media, and other pieces of software that have made choice internet access vital to the productivity of a small or medium-sized commercial enterprise. Slow, unresponsive internet can decrease sales / selling productiveness and even lower employee esprit de corps, ultimately hitting the bottom occupation. A full connection has never been more important. unfortunately, buying internet and related services has not gotten any easier. New network types, technical school jargoon, emerging providers, and varying narrow characteristics can stand to make even an ace IT buyer ’ second purchase process unmanageable. Finding the best internet supplier and set of relate services shouldn ’ thymine be a pain. In this post, we ’ ll explore some of the biggest considerations you ’ ll face when buying internet access .

Network Type

All internet connections send and receive packets of data over some type of physical network, and the components underlying your physical last-mile internet infrastructure impact your connection ’ south focal ratio and dependability. In about every US municipality, there are anywhere from two to five providers capable of providing business-grade internet access, typically offering business owners multiple net types to choose from. We ’ ll take a spirit at a few below : Cable

  • What is it? Cable networks are typically built with coaxial cables running from points of consolidation to end users, sending packets of data across these bull wires referred to as coaxial or wheedle cables .
  • The good: Cable is ubiquitously available and about always cheaper than fiber. For businesses without complicate network or engineering needs, a cable connection is typically the easiest option to pursue. Network upgrades have made faster speeds available across cable wires as well .
  • The bad: cable connections are shared, best efforts services that pool bandwidth between users, leading to service degradation and low speeds during peak use periods. This is why connections can have varied speeds and levels of dependability throughout the day. copper is besides a less efficient medium for infection than roughage, leading to sometimes lower speeds and service quality over cable connections ( as opposed to fiber ). Speeds are typically heavy asymmetrical, meaning that you ’ ll get a much higher download accelerate than upload speed .


  • What is it? Fiber networks look a distribute like cable networks, except they deliver packets with electronics that emit pulses of light over fiberglass-based electrify .
  • The good: Light is a much more effective medium for signal transmission than electricity, so fast speeds and better quality of service is possible through fiber-optic networks. symmetrical connections and higher uptime are more coarse with character services .
  • The bad: Fiber networks are less broadly available than cable networks ascribable to the structure costs required to get them up and running. maintenance for roughage networks is besides more expensive, and repairs can take longer. high quality fiber services are typically more expensive than comparable cable or radio receiver services .

Fixed Wireless

  • What is it? Fixed radio receiver networks deliver packets to end users wirelessly over radio waves in a exchangeable fashion to how cellular networks transmit data. They even have wires running from their antennas to consolidation points, but require much less wiring than fiber or cable television networks because of limited last-mile wiring needs .
  • The good: Given that fixed radio networks don ’ t need last-mile wires to connect users, they can be built at a lower cost and deliver service more cheaply than wired alternatives. Installations can move a lot more promptly for wireless networks. In metro areas where fiber is broadly available, high speeds are accomplishable over wireless networks, and they can present an attractive lower-priced alternate to wired networks in the right circumstances .
  • The bad: Wireless connectivity amphetamine and quality can degrade with weather or meaning use. reaction time will likely be higher than with roughage or cable. In areas with low density and a lack of fiber infrastructure, radio receiver speeds will probable be very boring. Building possession will typically need to approve rooftop antenna for the network to get setup .


  • What is it? Satellite providers send your internet packets to satellites orbiting ground, that then redirect your packets back to their earth destination .
  • The good: Because satellite networks don ’ metric ton count on pumped-up infrastructure, they are available everywhere, even in the most rural areas. There is major invention in satellite-based internet ( see SpaceX ‘s Starlink ) .
  • The bad: Speeds are identical decelerate ( DSL-like ) and reaction time is very high gear because packets are sent to space and back. weather and even static objects like mountains can interfere with signal. This is typically alone a good option when it ’ s the alone option.

    Read more: Xplay, Barrie


  • What is it? DSL is run on copper call infrastructure with a mastermind line to each subscriber .
  • The good: It ’ s bum and available about everywhere .
  • The bad: This is 1999 ’ second internet access mode of choice. Speeds are awful and costs are comparable to cable. Speeds are often asymmetrical and distance-sensitive ( the promote from the central office you are, the slower the connection ) .

Speed and Service

cords data network certain that you want a fiber or cable serve ? Got your supplier in mind ? now you ’ ll need to determine your internet speed and service tier requirements to make an inform purchase. See below for some factors to consider when picking a package. Bandwidth: This is the most frequently quoted “ measurement ” of an internet joining ’ sulfur quality. Bandwidth measures how much data can be transmitted through your internet connection on a per-second basis ( typically measured in megabits ). If you frequently use high bandwidth applications ( television pour, video recording conferencing, sending of big files ), then you ’ ll need a senior high school bandwidth joining. You ’ ll besides need to ensure that you have bandwidth to support all of the users on a given network ( employees in your office or visitors using your wi-fi network, for case ).
Latency measures how long it takes your impart data to reach a server and then come back to you, sympathize as the time delay between when you click something and when you see it. A fast association with high gear rotational latency can still feel like a dull connection, and this is where network type is most important. Fiber and cable have moo reaction time, while satellite has very high rotational latency. wireless connections can have high or low reaction time depending on utilization and net computer architecture. Fiber is typically the best reaction time option.
Upload vs. Download:
Cable connections typically won ’ thymine give you the same bandwidth speed when uploading rather than downloading due to how they provision networks. If you ’ re do activities that require fast upload speeds ( video conferencing, defile backup, sending files ), then you may want to ensure that you have a symmetrical connection or adequate upload focal ratio.
How Much Speed Do I Actually Need?
Internet rush requirements differ based on activities that the network is used for and number of users on the network. Some flying mathematics can help you understand your needs. To get a reasonable estimate of bandwidth needs for your office, determine whether or not most of your network uses fall into low bandwidth or high bandwidth activities as described below. If primarily low bandwidth, multiply the issue of users on the network by 3 for a reasonable calculate of mbps speed needed. If chiefly high gear bandwidth uses, multiply the number of users by 10. You ’ ll likely find that you need less bandwidth than you may have thought from this exercise, but keep in mind it ’ mho worth having some shock absorber in the sum of bandwidth you purchase, as incremental bandwidth is brassy and bandwidth consumption increases significantly with time due to modern applications, devices, and network uses. besides, note that a cable connection may not actually give you the bandwidth requested during periods of high network requirement.
Example Low Bandwidth Activities:
Internet browsing, social media usage, email, text chat, small file sharing, music streaming
Example High Bandwidth Activities: Large file downloading / uploading (or cloud backup), video calling, video streaming, online gaming
Other Considerations:
note that bandwidth doesn ’ thymine undertake network uptime, and that most cable connections are “ best efforts, ” meaning they give you up to the amount of bandwidth quoted, with significant service degradation during times of vertex use. besides, most cable connections come with asymmetrical speeds ( firm download but slow upload ). If your business has real IT needs and / or lots of users that are focused on productivity, it may make smell to invest in dedicate internet access ( DIA ) over character. DIA, which typically costs a spot more than basic internet access, guarantees the come of bandwidth purchased closely 100 % of the time, ensuring that you can expect to receive the speed you purchased faithfully. It besides typically comes with better access to support. If DIA is not available where you are, an alternate choice would be to get a pleonastic ( moment ) internet connection and use a lode halter to optimize traffic across both networks. In some cases this may be cheaper than purchasing DIA .

How to Actually Buy?

credit card checkout ready to go ahead and buy access for your clientele ? not so fast, the process can be pretty slowly and frustrating. First, you ’ ll want to determine what providers are available at your address, and then you ’ ll need to go talk to sales reps and get price quotes to submit a service order. unfortunately, there is no easy on-line way to determine what providers are available at a given address, and you may need to talk to other tenants in your building, or your building owner / director for an idea of who is available locally. then, you ’ ll indigence to call available providers to get price quotes. There ’ south no guarantee they ’ ll get you the right products, and they ’ ll about never give you the best available pricing. If this march doesn ’ thymine sound fun to you, and you ’ re not extremely excited about calling a ship’s company like Verizon, we recommend using a telecommunication agentive role. Agents work on your behalf to handle the telecommunication buy work for you – determining which providers are available, gathering you best price quotes, handling contracts, and helping you navigate accessory purchases ( cabling service, hardware, and so forth ). Best of all, agents are typically rid, as they get compensated from providers for what they sell, at no cost to you. Agents are everywhere, but finding a good one is unmanageable, as they ’ re regionally focused and you ’ ll motivation to find a trustworthy telecommunication agentive role with local cognition to ensure a legato purchase for yourself. further, you ’ ll indigence to validate that your agent international relations and security network ’ thymine upselling you unnecessarily or directing you to bad providers.

Agents don ’ thyroxine constantly do right by customers, and finding a good one is hard, which is why we started Lightyear. Our product is a fully functional “ virtual ” IT agent that guarantees best available price and lightning amphetamine, with a fully on-line customer intake. In many instances, we can get you to condense degree without the indigence for a single earphone call, saving you time to focus on more weight-lift needs for your clientele. When your contract is up for refilling, we ’ ll automatically monetary value check for you and ensure you ’ re getting the best pricing possible. If the buy process outlined above sounds frustrating, give us a try. Our services are completely free : ). careless of how you decide to purchase access, we recommend placing an order AT LEAST 60 days before your anticipate energizing go steady to ensure that you have time for likely initiation hiccups. Please email us at [ e-mail protected ] if you have any questions about the items discussed in this blog post .

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