In this day and age, the internet is the lifeline of virtually every business. No, having a rock-solid connection is no longer optional – it is essential for uninterrupted flow of productivity. There are lots of different ways you can build your business’s network — from SD-WAN (take a look at this data sheet to find out more about this) to cloud computing so it’s important you do your research to find the best option for you. The only problem is that securing it can be a daunting task. There are a lot of internet service providers (ISPs) on the market doing their best to win your loyalty over. Moreover, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Before deciding on a provider to go with, you should always check out all of your internet options and consider everything from customer satisfaction to the fastest download speeds. So, where does one even start?
Well, do not fret because we got your covered. Here is a short guide on how to navigate the labyrinth of decisions and propel the organization forward.
Assessing your needs
The first step is to evaluate your business needs.
We are talking about not only the current but also future IT requirements. These involve all the ways in which your staff operates and customers interact with your brand. For instance, employees who stream videos and download huge files will need much faster internet and greater bandwidth than those who only browse the web and send emails. Likewise, a more sturdy connection is a must if you host a website and utilize cloud services.
For now, you can rule out residential broadband packages. Small businesses may be tempted to save costs opting for them, but this decision could backfire and face them with problems such as shabby upload speeds. Designated business plans are always preferable, as they offer better uptime, service, and support. More often than not, they also have more features available.
Figure out your options
Once that is all sorted out, you need to research options that you can go for. In general, most business owners can choose between cable, DSL, Satellite, Fiber Optics, and Fixed Wireless. It is not uncommon for providers like Orange to boast multiple solutions in their palette. The crucial thing to note is that all of them are associated with certain pros and cons. Lower cost tends to come with speed limit, while pricier, premium packages have superior download speed and high bandwidth.
It is always a good idea to have this agreement in place.
For good measure
Some other important elements to keep a close eye on are:
- Data caps: What are they and are there any consequences for breaching them?
- Restrictions: Are there any rules governing website hosting or online services?
- Uptime: How much uptime can you count on and what happens in case of an outage?
- Installation: Can you rely on IT pros to help you set up the connection?
- Hardware expenses: Are there any additional costs for hardware?
- Security aspect: Are security credentials on par with rising cybersecurity standards?
- IP address: Is it static or dynamic?
Whatever you decide, do not overlook a single detail and make sure to read the small print. Feel free to ask for any information you need and gauge the attentiveness of the ISP. Finally, think twice before committing to any package for a period longer than two years.
Cover all your bases
With the plethora of options available, making the choice is seldom simple. To come on top, you cannot rush the decision. Instead, take your time and do your homework. Factor in your needs, strategic goals, and business growth. Keep your options open – measure twice and cut once. Stick to business packages that blow residential plans out of water. Your investment should pay dividends in the long term, elevating productivity across the board.