Today’s world depends on the Internet, which has become a paramount necessity in every institution, organization, and business. The best internet providers for small businesses should be affordable, dependable, and fast enough to handle your business’s needs. A stable internet connection improves the day-to-day running of your small business hence and supports your growing Company. However, when choosing your next internet provider, you should pick the one that is flexible and doesn’t force you into hefty fees.
Many small business entrepreneurs ask what the best internet providers for small businesses are. In this case, it depends on your specific needs, and you need to consider some factors before you enroll with any internet provider. However, every business, irrespective of size, requires a fast and reliable business internet option. Besides, sluggish, unreliable internet service can be a total mess to customers and employees, possibly losing sales, orders, and productivity.
Most importantly, considering the number of employees you have and the number of devices is a prerequisite in finding the best internet option for your small business. It would help if you chose the internet provider that offers the bandwidth necessary for the activities you perform in your small business. If you rely solely on the Internet to manage your business, go for the fastest speed.
How To Choose the Right Internet And Technology In Small Business
i) Tips on Choosing the Best Internet
Small business internet depends on the kind of activities you perform, whether it’s extra-large downloads, video conferencing, or simply web browsing. However, if your Company requires more than one solution from your providers, such as phone, cable, fax, or web hosting services, choosing a high bandwidth internet speed is most efficient.
Additionally, if your office primarily utilizes the Internet for emails and other essential functions, you must choose a provider’s lowest bandwidth tier. If you’re running a small business with many employees or debating between packages, consider springing for the speed above what you think you need. For many businesses, the Internet is essentially their lifeline. Thus it’s better to create a budget for high speeds, to avoid constant disruptions in your daily operations.
ii) Types of Internet Technology
For broadband internet service, there are different options to select from today. They include:
a) Fiber Optic Service
Fiber-optic service is an internet connection that uses light to send data through great distances at lightning speeds. Verizon’s Fios provides some of the highest speeds, as high as 940 Mbps download and 880 Mbps upload in select areas.
The upload speeds can support cloud applications and digital tools. Besides, multiple network users for customers and colleagues in your small business can engage through applications like web conferencing, video, and voice-over IP, which requires fast connectivity.
b) Fixed Wireless
Fixed wireless internet access is available with LTE and 5G speeds. Whether through cellular signals, hotspots, or fixed radio towers, Fixed wireless Internet offers options for remote and traveling businesses.
c) Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
DSL offers a reliable internet connection through regular telephone lines or cable to deliver fast download speeds. However, DSL uses a phone line or cable, which is more distance sensitive with stable and consistent speeds than other options phone-based dial-up internet connection.
A Cable Internet connection delivers data through coaxial cables. However, it’s an upgrade from traditional “over-the-air” broadcasting and applies to customers with distribution lines in their locations. This internet connection works using similar modems and coaxial cables that provide cable TV. Hence it is widely available in densely-populated areas.
Satellite connections are ideal for rural small businesses without access to another land-based broadband. This technology use satellites to beam the internet feed wirelessly to your installed satellite dish. However, satellite service is slower and more costly than other technologies, but it’s a good option in rural areas.
What Factors Do You Consider When Choosing Small Business Internet Providers
Not all providers are the same regarding small business internet providers. However, when choosing a small business internet service, pick a provider that provides a complete and reliable internet solution to all your employees and activities in your small business.
Generally, observe the following factors when choosing a small business internet provider:
Evaluate the upload and download speed you expect. Faster upload speeds save time and increase productivity when conducting high-bandwidth activities, like sending large files or backing up data to the cloud.
In most cases, the faster the internet speed, the higher the price. Identify a provider that provides a variety of plans and pricing so you can choose the most appropriate for your small business needs—and upgrade or downgrade whenever needed.
Many internet providers offer discounts and special deals for combining more than one service through the bundling option. Whether looking for a phone, VoIP, or TV, consider bundling as a convenient way to save extra costs when you require several services. Some providers feature internet security and online backup services at no extra cost as part of the bundle package.
iv. Contracts and Terms
Pick an internet service provider that offers terms you’re comfortable with and states exactly what you’re getting without hidden fees. The provider should address the following questions: Is a modem provided, or do you have to buy and install it yourself? Do you have to sign a specific contract with termination fees implications if you cancel early? Does the new provider provide “buy out” your old contract if you are already in a contract?
Who is the Best internet providers for small business
1) Verizon Fios Business Internet
If available in your area, Verizon Fios Business is the best internet provider for your small business. The Company delivers DSL and fiber connections to suit the most speed needs and budgets. However, you can find a plan featuring as little as 3 Mbps speed or the fastest plan available at 1,000 Mbps. Verizon Fios offers symmetrical speeds, so your upload speeds correspond with your downloads.
The downside is that Verizon Business needs a contract of one to three years, based on the plan. Verizon Fios Business provides five internet plans featuring download speeds from 75 Mbps up to 940 Mbps. The prices start from $64.99 per month for the first year, then $69.99 monthly for the second. Again, up to $214.99 per month for the first year, then $224.99 monthly for the second. Notably, fees and equipment costs aren’t included in those prices.
2) AT&T Business Internet
AT&T Business ranks the best internet experience for your small business, from reliability to customer service. AT&T Business offers a static IP address service for its DSL and fiber services. However, the pricing for AT&T Business ranges from $15 to $25 based on the plan, which enables you to get a permanent internet address. Besides, bundles are also available, including adding cell phone service to its 100 Mbps fiber plan for $99 per month.
Most importantly, business owners who need the highest possible speeds with the most sophisticated features can select one of their three best Internet Service packages, which deliver to customers internet speeds of up to 400 Mbps.
3) Viasat Business Internet
Viasat Business is a suitable option for small businesses where landlines can’t reach. The only downside with satellite internet, including Viasat Business, is that the cost per megabit is more than any landline internet connection. Plus, you get soft data caps on plans with unlimited data, as your speeds reduce once you reach a specific download limit.
However, all plans feature a two-year contract. You’ll also have to pay a $300 installation fee, plus a $10 monthly equipment lease. Viasat’s business internet plans start with download speeds ranging from 35 Mbps to 100 Mbps, which compete with most other broadband providers.
4) Spectrum Business Internet
Do you require high-speed Internet for a small business but feel hesitant about signing a long-term contract? Spectrum connects you to cable internet speeds of up to 1000 Mbps contract-free. Spectrum, a Charter Communications brand, offers cable internet to US businesses.
This Company provides three high-speed cable options to small business customers that include 100, 300/400, and 940/1000. Besides, Spectrum bundles start at an incredibly affordable $44.99 per month.
5) Frontier Business Internet
Frontier offers business internet plans through Verizon Fios networks; hence expect high-speed, symmetric-speed fiber plans throughout the country. However, each plan features free access to Frontier Business Suite, which is regularly an $800 per year plan, this package includes a SmartVoice line and wi-fi enabled cell phone. Plus, access and backup of 200GB of data in the cloud anywhere you are, a multi-device security pro, and an optimized wi-fi router.
All Frontier’s high-speed internet plans cost $150 per month except the 2 gig option. Besides, each fiber plan features free installation, which saves you a bit of up-front cash. One of the stated downsides is high latency though you get a low price for high-speed plans.
What Internet Speed Do You Require For Your Small Business
The first step in choosing the best provider is determining how much speed your small business requires. However, the answer to this question depends on the number of employees that will use the Internet simultaneously and the activities:
The following table can help in deciding the internet speed to pick for your small business:
|No. Of Employees||Ideal Speed||Recommended use|
|1–2||15–25 Mbps||Web browsing, Checking email and Sharing small files|
|2–5||25–50 Mbps||Sharing huge files, Video conferencing and Using point-of-sale software|
|5–10||50–75 Mbps||Remote work, Sharing large files and Backing up data|
|10–12||75–100 Mbps||Sharing huge files, Backing up data, Web hosting and ecommerce|
|12–15||100–150 Mbps||Video conferencing, Streaming and Downloading and uploading files to cloud servers|
|15–20||150–500 Mbps||Daily data backup to cloud servers, Web conferencing and Multiple ecommerce sites|
Communication is a requirement for good business outcomes, and in this digital world, a fast and reliable connectivity option is essential for seamless access to customers and suppliers. However, a small business can opt for internet solutions that provide reliable, fast, and simple Internet that also meets their budget. Choosing a poor small business internet provider will negatively affect your business operations and performance.