How to Choose and ISP for Your Small Business
Struggling to figure out which technology to go with for your new internet connection?
If you think that all internet connections are the same, you are not alone. While it may be true in some instances you will notice such as price and types of connections, you really have to shop around. Finding the best Internet Service Provider (ISP) that suits your needs is key. Continue reading as you are helped to understand internet types and which one may work for what you need in your business.
Internet Connection Types
As you begin to shop around for internet access, you’ll likely feel bombarded by so many marketing terms you may not fully understand. Words like High-Speed and Broadband are typically used to describe just about any type of connection you’ll find. Wideband, which is a new term, generally refers to connections that are or exceed 50 Mbps.
Here is a quick breakdown of the three types that are most commonly seen when looking for an ISP.
ADSL: This is generally the most common type most people see when searching for a business ISP. Even though DSL uses regular phone lines, you can multi-task with phone calls and data transfer easily. Your level of performance will depend on how close you are to your ISP’s exchange. Speeds usually reach up to 15 Mbps for downloads and 1mbps for uploads and can accommodate up to a dozen users simultaneously.
Cable: This is possibly the type most people choose. This type uses television cable lines to allow television viewing and phone calls along with internet use simultaneously. Download speeds for this type are usually from 50 to 100 Mbps for downloads and 2 to 10 Mbps for uploads. You will also be able to accommodate a few dozen users with this type of internet service with speeds only slowing during peak hours at times.
Fibre: This newer internet type is perhaps the best of the best as of now. The fibre optic lines for this type of internet have been heavily relied upon by the call centre industry for many years. Recently, this option has become more available to small business owners and even residential areas. Fibre optic lines allow 15 to 150 Mbps for downloads and 5 to 35 Mbps for uploads. Since this type of connection is so strong, you can accommodate television viewing, phone calls and internet usage simultaneously for 24 users.
NBN: This is Australia’s newest internet technology. The rollout has had much publication and not always favorable. The products can be delivered over HFC ( high frequency cable) FTTN (Fibre to the node – last mile here is copper) FTTP (Fibre to the premises) Wireless –( based on microwave wireless technology and/or satellite). Whilst speeds are advertised as up-to 100/40, in reality all of these services are fully contended. This means that speeds will vary significantly through the day.
Choosing the right bandwidth speed for you is going to be the biggest key factor in finding the best ISP. In general, the more people using the connection, the more bandwidth is required. You will also need to take into account whether you will need to download or upload large files daily or have other needs that may increase the level of performance you’ll require from the ISP. For example, choosing a lower Mbps speed for downloads than you need, will cause your download time to be prolonged.
Also, you will want to pay special attention to whether the ISP has a data cap during your billing cycle. Most ISP’s will have a data cap of a certain amount of usage. Knowing what that amount is will help you decide if you need a different plan or service provider.
The Fine Print
Be certain to read ALL of your service contracts and additional information they provide to you. Pay special attention to the fine print as well on these documents. The fine print is where you may find out more important information that won’t be told to you unless you inquire about it.
In the fine print you will likely even find information on termination fees and any other fees that could be incurred if you didn’t know they existed and the rules regarding them. When it comes to the information found in the fine print, you will want to take your time and even compare the information with other contracts being offered by other ISP’s.
Equipment and Installation Fees
Take special consideration to the hardware being offered by ISP’s before making a decision. Also, pay attention to whether the ISP will charge for installation, for the hardware itself, etc. It’s actually quite rare for an ISP to post this kind of information on their sites or even tell you upfront. Therefore, you must be diligent in asking about this among other things you may want to know about the hardware before making a decision.
The ISP’s are usually going to install the equipment for you, but it may be for only one computer in your office. You will need to remember to ask for information on how to connect other devices and computers if that is something you require. At times, you may need to purchase a separate router to include other devices or they may provide one free of charge.
Now that you have been made more aware of what ISP’s are and what you may require, apply this to your ISP search. Don’t forget to ask the pertinent questions and add more that specifically to what you need and are trying to accomplish with your internet service. Give the Com2 team a call on 1300 887 495 and we can help you understand what technology is available in your area.