The concept of office has completely turned on his head. Thanks to the advances in technology, anyone can start a business and run it successfully from home. The line between home and office is blurring. Contractors, businesses, and freelancers alike can communicate with their clients on mail, texts, and video chats. The Internet has made all of this possible.
As an entrepreneur, you already have enough problems on your plate. You definitely don’t want to add an unreliable Internet connection to that list. To prevent Internet-related problems in the future, you should take precautions today. Choose the right service and the service provider for your Internet connection. Here’s how.
Pick a High Speed Internet Connection
When you are running a small business, you never know what kind of requests you are going to receive from your clients. They may want to chat with you online, send you a huge file loaded with customer data, or something else that requires high Internet usage. If your connection is slow, you will not be able to respond to the client immediately. This is never good.
It puts a question mark on your professionalism, and in the worst case, you may lose the client permanently. Moreover, if you have partners who work with you, a mediocre speed plan will simply not work. As your partner or partners connect to the same network, the Internet bandwidth will be shared between all of you and the speed will plummet.
As the number of connected devices increases, the speed of the Internet connection experienced by each user will go down. So, whenever you are picking an Internet service provider for your business, choose a high speed Internet service provider.
Fiber Optic networks offer the highest speeds, but are the most expensive as well. Right now, they have a very limited coverage. Cable Internet providers, like Comcast XFINITY offer high speed as well, but not in the same league as fiber-optic. However, they are cheap in comparison to the fiber services. The only major problem with cable Internet connections is that they slow down during the peak hours, because you are sharing bandwidth with other users in your area.
The good thing is that they are widely available as they are delivered via cable TV lines. Moreover, the cable companies come out with super attractive bundled packages for home Internet users. You can not only get a high speed Internet connection for your business, but also bundle it with a phone service and enjoy heavy discounts. If you take it one step further, you can bundle your TV service, phone service, and Internet into an ultimate package that your service provider will be happy to offer you at a fraction of its original price.
Emphasis Should Be on Reliability
The need for a reliable network increases manifold when you are running your own business. This one factor can make or break your business. Your Internet connection should give you high and consistent speeds that do not fluctuate drastically during your business hours.
Granted reliability is a critical factor, but how can you quantify it? You can always find out how reliable different ISPs are by inquiring the existing subscribers of the respective ISPs. They give you the most bankable reviews because they are already using the services. They will be able to tell you about how their connection speed changes over different periods.
DSL and cable Internet are two of the most popular Internet technologies out there. DSL connections usually offer higher speeds if you are situated closer to the provider’s office. Cable networks do not suffer from this problem, but as mentioned above, they may become slower during peak hours.
But, on any given day, a cable Internet is more reliable than a DSL connection. According to a Federal Communications Commission Report in 2016, most of the cable and fiber optic networks provide speeds as advertised. The same is not true for DSL networks.
When you are shortlisting an ISP for your business needs, try to avoid the plans that come with data caps. As a business owner, you will not have time to check when your Internet connection is reaching its data limit. Once you breach that upper limit, more often than not, you will be paying through your nose on per MB basis. No one wants that!
Also check what the so called ‘Unlimited’ plan means. Companies call their plans ‘Unlimited’, but some of them just mean ‘High data caps’. So, read the fine print and get a complete idea of what you are signing up for?
Ensure the Safety of the Network
This is a big deal for businesses. A lot of information that your clients share with you is confidential. If your Internet connection is not secure, then you are simply breaching your clients’ trust without even realizing it. Always factor in the ‘security’ aspect. Usually, top Internet service providers offer you malware protection, anti-virus, anti-spam services, and so on.
As a business, you should have a back-up of all your vital data. External hard drives and other storage devices are an option, but not a sustainable one. As the business-related data increases, the costs will mount up. Not only this, the external storage devices can also get corrupted.
Cloud storage is a good alternative to these devices, and the possibility of losing that data is very near to zero. You may wish to give them a try, and for them to be efficient and fast, your Internet should be fast, and reliable.
Good Customer Care Is Equally Important
Customer care is generally the last thing on our mind when we sign up for an ISP. We often have a singular focus on speed. But, what are you going to do when the speed suddenly plummets down, you are not able to open a particular website, or worse, the Internet just stops? That’s right! You are going to call the customer care.
Turns out your ISP is an irresponsible company, and their customer support doesn’t care about the subscribers’ issues. Now, it is your business that will incur losses. You cannot switch your Internet service provider in a moment. The situation turns even worse if you have signed a long-term contract with them.
You are like a sitting duck and you cannot do anything to improve the situation. In simple words, a bad customer support can quickly translate to BUSINESS LOSSES for you. Visit online forums, and talk to the existing customers of various ISPs to get a clear picture of reality.