Finding an Internet Provider for Now – and the Future
Read time: 4 minutes
Every business faces challenges. From things like choosing a location, setting up an online presence, hiring the right people, financing, running your operation and having backup plans, plus getting the word out to new and current customers. The decisions can begin to feel like a never-ending parade of paperwork and red tape.
Today’s businesses have another, more modern problem to add to their list: choosing a dependable internet provider – one that's the right kind of connection for your ever-evolving operation.
How do we choose between DSL and cable? What’s more important: customer service or download speed? Do we have to choose? Do we need to worry about latency? What exactly is latency? (Hint: keep reading to find out.)
If you’re a small business owner who’s not well-versed in the nuances of internet technology, you don’t have to worry. We’ve put together a few tips to help you make the choice that’s right for your business.
Ask Your Friends
First, do some research on different providers. We suggest asking your business colleagues about which provider they use – and others that they may have used in the past. You should make sure that your provider has positive customer feedback from not only your colleagues, but from online reviews as well.
Even the smallest disruption in service can be disastrous for a small or medium-sized business. A slow, unreliable connection will lead to problems like choppy web conferencing, delayed email and chat, glitchy video viewing and other issues that decrease productivity.
That's where latency comes into play. While you can have the right amount of bandwidth to power your connection, latency is the amount of time that it takes for your data to travel – which can make your connection seem unreliable. Your provider should be able to guarantee consistent service with consistently low latency, all backed up by strong customer support.
Protecting your business and your customers from possible threats is something every business owner should keep top-of-mind, especially if you have multiple locations or are dealing with sensitive data. Private networks are a great option that can help keep your information and your customers’ information safe. Having a dedicated fiber network or Ethernet service is a great option if you’re dealing with high internet demands or a complex security system.
Finally, you’ll want to find a provider who offers a good price-per-speed value. Put another way, you’ll want to find an internet service provider (ISP) who delivers the right mix of quick, scalable speeds and reasonable pricing. For many small businesses, a basic connection is all you need to perform online activities like email, video conference calls and web browsing. Stay within your budget by making sure you’re not overpaying for a standard connection – or for speeds you don't need.
Reliability. Security. Scalable speeds. Cost. It’s a lot to think about, but the choice doesn’t have to be a difficult one.