Comparing Business Internet Providers: Who is Best?

Ready to take the leap with a new business internet provider? This key decision could prove transformative for your company. But with so many choices available, how do you select the right plan?

Factors to Consider When Comparing Business Internet Providers

It's not all about speed or price — although both are important, of course. Just as critical? Scalability, reliability and customer service. Keep the following considerations in mind as you assess various providers and packages:

Internet Speed

Technically, there's no such thing as too fast, especially in an age of video streaming and cloud storage. That being said, you'll need to strike a careful balance between speed and price. Dial-up internet (yes, it still exists) may cost next to nothing, but horrific loading times can translate to lost business opportunities. On the other end of the spectrum: lightning-fast fiber optic service. For businesses that consistently move large data files, fiber is non-negotiable. Others, however, can get by with cable or DSL.

Scalability

Your business is growing quickly. An internet plan that suits your company now may fall short in just a few months. Nothing's certain, however — why pay extra now for growth that may never occur? Ideally, you'll find a scalable solution that allows you to increase speed and bandwidth alongside your expanding company. An ideal internet provider will work closely with you to address your company's evolving internet needs.

Transparency

Take a close look at the fine print. Internet plans may boast exceptional speed, but may also include data caps or other restrictions. Prevent nasty surprises by working with upfront providers. Upon browsing a prospective provider's website or chatting with a representative on the phone, you should understand your full range of options and know exactly what to expect.

Bundling to Reduce Costs

In an internet age, there's still a place for TV, business phones and other modes of communication. Why pay separate bills for every connection? Companies that provide multiple services allow you to save via bundled plans. On the flip side, some companies with bundling options essentially penalize customers who forgo TV or phone service. Compare similar plans from various providers to determine which is best for your situation.

Reliability

What happens if your internet goes down while working with a major client? The fastest connection will get you nowhere if you consistently question the strength of your connection. Reliability is critical, as is 24/7 support.

Determining What You Need in a Business Internet Plan

The best internet provider caters to your business and its unique needs. For example: if you're a solopreneur with modest internet needs, you may benefit most from a light-duty connection bundled with business phone services. You'll enjoy a reliable, reasonably fast connection, but also significant savings. If, however, a regular day at your company includes video conferences, cloud storage, and dozens of sizable downloads, a more robust plan may prove necessary.

Before you proceed, think carefully about your company's current internet needs. How many users do you intend to accommodate? Do you primarily collaborate with employees, clients and customers online? Highlight a few priorities. This newfound understanding will guide your search for the ideal business internet provider.

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