What should you include in your business internet connection? It’s one of the most important yet ill-understood questions a company can face. While there is no one uniform solution, these four tips can act as guidance points to help you chart your own course in figuring out the right Internet solutions for your company.
1. Consider Your Company’s Specific Needs
One of the biggest mistakes people often make when looking for business internet options is to overlook the individual needs of your company. Not every startup company has the same Internet needs as Microsoft or Google. On the contrary, they typically can’t afford the same speed, size, and complexity of IT infrastructure as tech giants like them. At the same time, you can’t hope to become a giant like them if your connection is slow or unstable. The key here is specificity. Review your needs with your company’s IT people and external experts, pick the features you need most, and focus on those. For example, if you want to focus on communication, you may wish to have VOIP features included in your package.
2. Know Your Internet Options
Just as important as knowing what kind of features are included in your Internet package is understanding the differences between different types of Internet connections. The days of dial-up are long past, and you don’t want to buy a similarly slow option for your company. Four of the most popular Internet options considered by companies in Canada and abroad include:
- Cable: Supplied by cable TV providers, this option can typically supply somewhere between 50 and 500 Mbps for download speed. However, connections are typically shared with other users also using the cable network, which can lead to severe slowdown problems at peak hours.
- Fibre Optics: This is the most expensive option, and typically requires specialists to handle the complex installation process. However, that’s because it’s also the most state of the art at present, offering up to 1 Gbps in terms of download speed. It also offers more consistent performance in bad weather than other options on this list.
- DSL: These tend to be among the most low-cost options on the market, but also tend to have a much slower download speed, often averaging around 15 Mbps.
- Satellite: Having your satellite provider offer you the Internet as well can be useful for businesses in rural areas, who may not otherwise have easy access to Internet hookups. On the other hand, this is another option that can be pretty slow, at just around 3 to 15 Mbps.
3. Beware Data Caps
There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a vacation or an important conversation on your phone, only to find out that you’ve run out of data and need to pay for more or be phone-less. In fact, just about the only thing worse than that from a data standpoint is for a data cap to strike your business’s Internet connection instead.
Some companies put details about data caps in fine print, anticipating customers will go over the limit and be forced to pay for more data.
Beware this kind of trickery by making sure you know exactly how much data you have in your data plan and what the terms of said plan are. For example, if you know that you’ll burn through data faster if you stream or use certain applications often, take that into consideration before purchasing a plan.
4. Invest in Encryption and a Cloud
Of all the features your company can choose to purchase for your Internet and IT setup, you should absolutely prioritize encryption. It won’t matter how fast your connection speed is or how well your Internet can handle VOIP calls if your data is hacked. At the same time, you’ll want to make that data as hack-and-crash-proof as possible by purchasing a cloud to which you can upload and access files digitally.