Internet access is a critical tool for all businesses. Just imagine life without one.
But for a small business, choosing the right one goes way beyond cost. Besides bandwidth and speed, there are plenty of benefits and options you can add to your plan. With your business and its needs in mind, let’s look at some of the options and things you should consider before signing a contract with an ISP:
What type of service is best for you?
- DSL – This is internet provided by a telecommunications company. It is older technology that has some speed limitations but may also be bundled with commercial phone service.
- Cable – Internet provided by your cable company. Fast and reliable with robust options.
- Fiber Optics – Internet delivered by beams of light sent through special mirrored tubes. The description makes it sound strange, but it is the fastest and most secure internet connections possible. Fiber requires special wiring and equipment to use it, and it may not be available in your area.
- Satellite – Does not need cable or wireless towers to use which makes it a great (and in some cases the only) option for businesses in rural areas. Can be slow compared to other types of access.
What upload and download speeds and bandwidth do you need?
Everyone at your business will be trying to use the internet at the same time. Time is money so trying to get the most out of the least cost is not always the best plan. Your ISP should offer scalable options, so your connection and its speed grow along with your business. It’s also a good idea to understand the throttling and bandwidth caps under your plan.
What other services does the ISP provide?
- Security – The best services offer anti-spam and malware protection so ask what is covered.
- BYOD management – As more and more employees are using their own devices you should have the ability
- Static IP addresses – This is important if your business uses a virtual private network.
- Applications and third-party software – Many ISPs offer applications like web conferencing or cloud storage at reduced rates
How will they support you in case of outages?
You depend on your internet access, so support is a critical issue. Customer service really does make all the difference. Make sure there is a term of service disclosure or a service-level agreement with a guarantee of uninterrupted service. Also, understand the remedy in case you lose service. Is there a dedicated support line for businesses or will you be lumped in with residential customers?
Ally Communications has unique options to satisfy your business internet needs. We have formed an association with AT&T internet services to provide you with reliable service. We also bundle this with Verizon and Charter internet services to act as backups and network redundancy, so you are protected from a loss in downtime in case of network failure. Contact us today to see how we can save you money, solve your issues, and provide you with world-class service!