How to Choose the Right Internet Service for Your Small Business
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Your Internet usage is an integral part of your business infrastructure, so the quality of your service can easily affect your bottom line. Especially as businesses increasingly communicate with and serve their customers virtually, speed and reliability are paramount.
Although your choice in Internet providers will vary according to your location, you should expect nothing less than super-reliable connectivity and top-notch customer service from the provider you choose.
To make sure you’re buying Internet service that fits the specific needs of your business, here are some important considerations.
If you've ever been frustrated by a file taking too long to upload or stressed out when a video conference call with a client got disrupted, that's a sure sign you need to upgrade to high-speed business Internet. But how much speed does a small business really require?
For emailing, as well as light downloads and uploads, a basic package of anywhere from 15 to 25 Mbps is suitable. Do you use a point of sale (POS) terminal to process debit and credit card transactions? Then you'll want a faster speed, anywhere between 50 Mbps to 75 Mbps. For smooth audio and video streaming, working with multimedia sites and heavy file transfers, 100 Mbps is a good target speed.
Be sure to also inquire about the download speed and the upload speed, which will make a big difference depending on how your business uses the Internet.
Of course, your bandwidth needs will increase if the number of users and devices in your business grows. Depending on whether you have especially data-hungry applications and number of employees, your data demands may go above the demands of a typical business, in which case you may consider ethernet dedicated Internet, with expandable capacity and symmetrical upload and download speeds.
Ask your potential provider about any data caps, which are the limits on your bandwidth. Comcast Business has no data caps, so you can upload and download as much as you need to without worrying about exceeding your monthly limit.
When customers are relying on you, you need to know that you can depend on your telecom provider if something goes wrong. Don't be shy to ask how quickly your call will be answered in case of any technical difficulties. You should also ask whether the company provides 24/7 support and how long it takes for a technician to come out and attend to a problem.
You think about the future of your business every day, so it's important that your Internet service provider should be able to accommodate your business as it evolves and expands over time. More employees and devices, more files being transferred, greater use of cloud computing — all of these things will change your Internet needs. Does the provider offer an upgrade to your service, devices or package for free or a minimal charge? Check into how flexible your provider can be, and at what cost.
The same goes for your phone service. Chances are, you and your employees aren’t spending as much time at your desks as you used to. Whether working remotely or on the road, your phone service remains one of your most important lifelines to your customers — and a phone bundle like Comcast Business VoiceEdge Select, which allows you to take business calls anywhere, can be a lifesaver.
Your internet service provider should also protect your business from malware and spyware, offer anti-virus and anti-spam features, and include backup service in case of a server crash. Beyond that, you should implement active threat monitoring to protect Internet-connected devices for employees and guests from malware, ransomware, phishing, botnets, and more.
Take stock of the bandwidth required by your business before you contact potential providers and ask other small business owners in your area about their experiences with the providers they use. A speedy, reliable, and secure connection is an essential investment for your business — and for your peace of mind. Take time to find one that truly matches your business’s needs. See how Comcast Business can help.