Things to look out for when selecting an ISP for your business

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Originally posted here.

For many people, internet is one of the most necessary tools that help in turning the wheel of life. Imagine that you have to spend one whole day without using Google, posting photos on your social media platforms or checking emails/messages from friends. Internet for business-use makes it one of the most indispensable tools to carry out multiple operations. These tasks include video conferencing, training employees and much more. There will come situations when you would need to download large sized files, stay updated about the on-going events happening around you. You need internet and there’s no doubt about it.   

No matter what kind of business you run or team you work with, you won’t be able to last longer without connecting to the internet. Even a slow internet connection can decrease the productivity of your work. In the worst case scenario, it can affect the profit and loss margins of your work. Selecting the most useful internet connection adds value to your business. It becomes a make-it or break-it situation when opting for an internet service provider for yourself.   

All you need to do is select an internet service provider that conforms to your needs and fits your budget. Else, it is very easy to sign up for your first internet service provider. It requires you to consider certain variables when making a buying decision and then close the deal with your ISP.  Here are a few things that you can consider when selecting the internet service provider for your business.

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Is the bandwidth enough for your business?

This is one of the key elements and requirements that you as a business owner or manager should evaluate. The bandwidth needs of your business will depend on the nature of your business and the size of your business operations. Keeping this in mind, assess the ISP on the following basis:

  • How fast do you want your internet speed to be? 
  • How much bandwidth your business requires? 
  • Are you going to need a point-to-point connection?
  • How many devices or users will connect with the same network?

Once you’ve answered these questions, your next step is to learn about the different types of high-speed internet options. Here’s a list of the primary options to consider:

Cable Internet Service 

Cable internet service relies on the standard coaxial cable lines used to run television service. This is going to be one of the most popular options for homes as well as offices. However, the speed offered by these services gets slower during peak hours. This is because the bandwidth gets shared amidst different users. 

Digital Subscriber Line or DSL

This is one of the oldest internet technologies yet it is quite affordable. Keeping in mind the affordability of this type of connection, you can’t expect it to be reliable as well. This type of internet connection requires users to transmit data using telephone lines. The more distant you are from the line, the more inconsistent your connection becomes. 

Fiber

When it comes to using the internet from a business perspective, this is going to be a better option than DSL or Cable Internet connections. One of the biggest fortes of using Fiber internet is that it provides users with scalability. This means that you can start with a speed of 10 megabytes as well as 100 megabytes or maybe more. 

Ensuring your connection is secure

This is one other variable that you MUST consider and discuss when taking up services from your ISP. When it comes to security, Data Center security breaches is one of the biggest risks associated with small businesses. You can select from one of the many service providers that are available in the market. But there are some ISPs who guarantee protection against spyware, spam, virus and other threats. So keep your eyes and ears open for such options.  

Prompt Support and Access To Customer Services 

In case there is a sticky situation with your internet connection, you need an expert who gets you support services and goes an extra mile with that. You are dealing with machines, servers, and data that travels in bits and chunks. If your internet service provider lacks human intervention, it becomes a burden on yourself. So, it’s a better option if you switch your business internet service. In many cases, a customer support service is also worth it even if it costs you a few dollars. So having a 24/7 technical support and customer service is always an important thing to have. 

Short Installation Timelines 

Many internet services providers take around 30 to 60 days to get the internet connection up and running. This depends on area-to-area. When you are shopping for your business internet service provider, make sure that you understand and consider your and your service provider’s timetable and set the expected delivery time accordingly. 

Routing

We all know that the internet is a global system that comprises of a set of computers that are interconnected. These computers use Internet protocol suite or TCP/IP. This helps us link billions of devices across the world. Internet Service Providers connect your network in the office to many other connected networks and make up the internet connection you have. The ISP gets access to the network using transit and non-transit connections. This connection to all networks in the world is a route. 

Reliable and consistent upload and download speeds

You should be able to realize the upload/download speeds you need for your office. Do you need speedy downloads or uploads? Or you need to send and receives emails or files or browse the internet and get the job done. Also, keep in mind the number of users who will connect to your network at one time and what operations will they perform using the internet. Do ask your internet service provider if the internet service they provide fluctuates at a certain point in time.

When you select an Internet service provider, make sure that you know what you are looking for. This is going to predict the future of your business and the profitability of your business. You are the one who knows the full nature and whereabouts of your business and its operations. So the bottom line is that when you set out to find an ISP, ask for services by the one who understands your business needs. Also, make sure that they can make the necessary adjustments and accommodate your long-term goals and needs in the short-run as well.

Nathan John, Content Editor at Spectrum Offers

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