An internet connection is just as essential for most companies and homes as other utilities are. Many businesses use internet access for everything from customer communication (e-mail, VOIP, etc.) to sending and receiving payments.
Most companies just can't run without internet connectivity. An increasing number of home users use the internet as their primary source of entertainment as video streaming platforms become the norm, not to mention social media.
Highlighted here are the key things to consider when selecting an internet service for your business or home. Read on for more information.
The Speed You Need
Firstly, learn what internet speed or more precisely what bandwidth means, so you can understand what you're getting. Bandwidth, commonly measured in megabits per second, is the maximum rate at which data can be downloaded.
When you only use the internet for general web browsing, e-mail, and social media, you do not need more than 1 Mbps. Video streaming appears to consume the most bandwidth, so households operating simultaneous streams may want to opt for higher speeds.
You need more bandwidth if you typically do more data-intensive activities and have more devices on the same connection. You can calculate how much Internet speed you need through this Internet speed calculator.
Remember, just because the speed is advertised, doesn't mean that's the speed you are going to get. To see what kind of speed you can realistically expect, check with neighbors using a similar service.
Check Options in Your Area
Once you know what internet speed you need, you can check out websites such as Broadband Now and In My Area to get an idea of which providers are serving your area. They give a snapshot of local internet service providers. Remember that they do not show all available options, so further searching may be helpful.
You'll probably have internet access in most metro areas from either a cable provider, a telecommunications company or a satellite network, and maybe even fiber-optic access. You may not have access to such a range of options in a more rural place, but you'll probably be covered by a satellite broadband provider.
Your cable provider's Internet service will likely deliver the fastest and most reliable speeds, even though this comes with a higher price tag. The internet from a phone company over digital subscriber lines, known as DSL, appears to be less costly than cable, but also slower.
Satellite internet has the broadest reach, but it can be sluggish and expensive. Delivery of fiber optic internet is reliable and swift but is a relatively rare method.
To make sense for you, an Internet service provider needs to strike the right balance between speed and price. For example, if you run a small business out of your home, it probably won't make sense for you to get $1000 a month for a dedicated fiber connection.
To other companies, the price doesn't matter as much as speed and reliability. To a growing small business with 25 employees, the same $1000-per-month dedicated fiber connection just does not make financial sense. You need to weigh the pros and cons.
Household connections are often less expensive than businesses because, in most cases, the number of users is lower. Companies with ten or more people may have to make an investment reasonably close to $300 or more.
Choosing the right service from ISP is perhaps the most critical decision that applies to your home or business connectivity. Hopefully, this article has shed some light on the different factors that should play a considerable role in making your decision.