As a business owner, you will know that having a fast and reliable broadband connection is essential to the success of the business. While business broadband deals offer you the same product as standard residential packages, there are some key differences you should know about when deciding which one is right for you. Business broadband packages are usually more expensive, but they come with some advantages that you won’t get with home broadband. This guide will run you through the differences, and help you decide if it’s worth investing in business broadband.
We’ve probably all experienced our internet going down at some point, and the irritations that can bring. When we lose our broadband connection at home, it can be annoying if we’re half way through the latest episode of our favourite Netflix show, or we can’t log onto Facebook to upload the photos from last night. But a lost internet connection for our business can be disastrous. That’s why broadband providers will prioritise their customer service and technical support for their business broadband customers.
A good broadband connection is vital to keep your business operations running smoothly. If your server or website goes down and is not fixed quickly, it could result in lost revenue and reputation for your business. A functioning internet connection is also essential for your employees to keep in contact with customers and suppliers, so when it goes down you will want the issues to be resolved as quickly as possible.
Business broadband deals offer you a much higher level of technical support than a home broadband package. Most providers will guarantee that any problems will be fixed within 24 hours, although you can get this down to 2 hours on the more expensive packages. You will also have less waiting time on the phone when you call customer support, as broadband providers will prioritise their business customers over residential customers. Some business broadband packages will offer you a personal technical support contact, so you can get almost instant support and advice around the clock.
Most business broadband providers even promise to offer a higher level of service in their contracts. Business broadband deals often include a service level agreement, which guarantees a certain level of service and support, and you can claim compensation if you feel your needs aren’t being met.
Business broadband deals will usually offer much higher speeds than home packages, ensuring a reliable and smooth-running of your business. While the average broadband speed in the UK is around 16Mbps, business broadband packages will often provide much higher speeds than this. With fibre optic broadband, most business broadband deals will offer speeds of up to 76Mbps, although some could offer speeds as high as 1Gbps.
Upload speeds are also generally much higher on business packages, allowing you to upload pages to your website and make important video calls much more efficiently than you would do at home.
The speed of your broadband is affected by the contention ratio, whether at home or at work. The contention ratio refers to how many properties are sharing the same data capacity over your provider’s broadband line, and the more properties there are, the slower your connection will be. However, with business broadband packages, your connection will be prioritised over residential customers, so you won’t face the same bandwidth issues at peak times when your all your neighbours are using the internet at the same time.
Your IP address is a unique code that identifies your computer when it’s connected to the internet. With a home broadband package, you will have a dynamic IP address, which means it will change every time you go online. However, business broadband will usually provide you with a static IP address, meaning it will always be the same.
A static IP address is useful for your business, as it will allow you to host your own server and website, and also allows you to connect to your business computer remotely, allowing you to work on the go.
A lot of our lives are now controlled online, from banking and shopping to staying connected with friends. Staying safe and secure online is important for all of us, but as your business will often hold important information on the financial details of both the business and your clients, a breach in security would be a disaster. Therefore, business broadband usually offers a higher level of online security than you’d get on your home broadband, ensuring that your data is totally secure.
Most business broadband packages will include free anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software to protect you, your business and your clients from cyber criminals. Business broadband should also offer you greater protection from data loss. The last thing your business needs is to lose all your important files, so a business broadband deal will allow you to back up all your files in a secure online location.
Depending on how big your business is, you could find that a standard residential router just won’t cut it. If you have a small office, or you only have up to 10 computers, you could get away with having a residential router. But anything more than this and you’ll be better off with a business router. They are much more powerful and can provide greater coverage over a larger distance and over multiple storeys. They also generally provide a greater level of security, such as a built-in firewall or a VPN server.
With all the extra benefits that come with business broadband, getting a business package will obviously cost you more. But it’s worth paying that little bit extra if it means your business runs smoothly and efficiently. You pay more each month, but you’re rewarded with a much higher level of technical support, better speeds and stronger security.
To find the best broadband deal for you and your business, you need to first figure out what type of broadband will best suit your company and then you can start comparing packages. You can use our business broadband comparison tool to help you find the cheapest and best deals available. You’ll need to provide your business’s postcode so we can provide you with an accurate list of what’s available in your area. You’ll be able to compare not only prices, but speed, usage, contract length along with other perks too.