Are you considering upgrading your internet and bandwidth or switching your internet service provider (ISP) altogether? If yes, then there are a few things you should be aware of before making your decision. However, sorting through all the technical language and nonsense can be both confusing and time-consuming. That’s why we’ve put together a few important items you should consider, along with key questions you will want to ask your ISP.
First, there are a few different terms that get thrown around when speaking about internet and bandwidth. It is important to understand what each of them means so that you can make an educated decision. Let’s review!
Asymmetric Internet Connection
An asymmetric internet connection means that there is a difference in your upload and download speeds. This means the data speed and file transfer rate are different in each direction. So, you may have a high download speed that allows you to easily download files, however, your upload speed is slower which means you may have trouble sending your own files or video conferencing. Asymmetrical connections are typically better suited for residential use or small companies that do not rely heavily on the internet. If you are a business that heavily relies on the internet, you will want to consider a symmetrical connection.
Symmetric Internet Connection
A Symmetrical internet connection means your upload and download speeds are the same. It makes for fast data speeds in both directions. This is ideal for offices where multiple people are connecting and transferring data simultaneously. If you do a lot of video conferencing, large file sharing, use the Cloud, and need fast speeds and a reliable connection, then you should consider a symmetrical connection.
Coax Cable Internet
Coax is a type of cable used to transmit data, internet, and video and voice communications. Data can be transmitted quickly and without interference due to its copper core. It is commonly used by internet providers to send data to your modem, which then transmits it through your ethernet connection giving you high-speed internet access.
Coax is commonly available and generally an affordable option. However, this type of connection is asymmetric which means you may have fast upload speeds but slow download speeds. Keep in mind you will be sharing this connection with other businesses in your area. You may see a drop in performance during peak business hours when everyone is trying to use the same resources.
Fiber Internet Connection
Fiber-Optic Internet uses flexible strands of glass to transmit information as light. This advanced technology makes for a faster connection and allows a symmetrical connection so your upload and download speed is the same. You also get the advantage of a dedicated line which means you will have more reliability and better performance. A bonus, especially for businesses in the Savannah area, fiber cannot be hit by lightning, so you don’t have to worry about a thunderstorm directly affecting your internet. Fiber connections are beginning to become more widely available, however, it is slightly more expensive than coax. The main difference between coax and fiber is that fiber allows for high internet speeds over greater distances while copper wires work best over shorter distances and drastically reduce your bandwidth.
Hybrid Fiber Coax
Hybrid fiber is a combination of optic fiber and coax. The main backbone is made of optic fiber while the last leg is a coax connection. This hybrid connection allows for greater bandwidth and connection without driving the cost up. The coax connection also adds greater stability. One thing to remember with hybrid is that your connection will still be shared. While you will see better performance than a coax connection, you may still see small dips in service at high peak times.
Now that we understand a few key terms regarding your business internet connection, let’s look at a few MUST ASK questions for your ISP. These questions are important for making sure you get exactly what you need for the best price.
What is the most reliable?
Your internet service provider will start spitting a few different options that are available for you in your area. As a business owner, you likely want to focus on the option that will deliver a reliable connection so that there is no interference with your day-to-day work. Talk to your provider about a service level agreement (SLA). This agreement specifies how reliable the connection should be, how quickly the response rate is if something interrupts your connection, and how you may be able to pursue compensation if they don’t meet the uptime expectations.
How much do I really need?
Take a minute to ask yourself a few determining questions. What do I use my computer for? Are my applications located in the cloud? What other programs are in the cloud? Are my phones? How much media streaming occurs in the office? It is important to determine what the performance needs of your business are. You do not want to end up paying for too little or overpaying for too much. While 15-25Mbps may be just fine for a small business with one or two employees that periodically access the internet, it surely will not suffice for a bigger office where employees are constantly accessing the internet and transferring large documents. Don’t let your internet provider oversell you on your services. Take the time to thoroughly review the needs of your business first.
What is the contract length?
Most internet service providers will require you to sign a contract with a two-year term. Make sure you thoroughly review the contract. Will they be imposing a data cap? Some ISPs charge you more or slow down your connection if you exceed your data limit. Discuss termination fees. You may even ask if they offer any kind of free trial before signing. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a two-year contract with an unreliable internet provider.
Choosing the right internet service provider to serve your business is important to ensure your business is operating at its best. With multiple providers in the Savannah area offering multiple services the task can seem overwhelming. Speros offers complimentary carrier services to local businesses not just our existing clients. We will help you find fast and reliable internet and voice services and look for savings on your internet and phone bills. Call us today to speak to our carrier specialist about your business internet. 912-354-8900.