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Choosing the Right Internet Provider for Small Businesses

As a small business owner you’re probably already aware of the importance of having a commercial website – whether this is to advertise your business offerings or to sell products and services online.  However, many SME owners are not happy with their internet service providers (ISPs) so choosing the right one for your business is essential for success.  Although there are several issues to consider when making the choice, here are some of the key factors that you should think about when choosing your internet service provider.

  • Does the Provider have Availability in your Area?  In some parts of the UK you’ll have a range of different providers to choose from, this is especially the case in areas of heavy population.  However, if you’re located in a more remote or rural area, the options may be limited.  Although satellite internet tends to be the most accessible option in remote areas, it may limit your connectivity because it is one of the least reliable options.
  • What Speed Does the Provider Offer?  Cable modem, DSL and wireless broadband all tend to have comparable speeds (depending on the package you choose) whereas satellite internet tends to run slower than other options.   While fibre is the fastest option of all, it may not be available in your area.  You also need to decide whether you need equal upload and download speeds – general browsing and email only requires a minimum of 1Mbps (megabits per second)  whereas file downloading requires at least 10 Mbps and video conferencing may require more than 25Mbps.  Choosing the right speed for your business requirements is essential.
  • What about Network Security?  While you must always, as a business website owner, implement measures to protect against cyber-attacks, if your business needs a high level of security and privacy, choosing a fibre network takes security to the next level.  Fibre is unaffected by the vulnerabilities that may come with cable and DSL internet which rely on copper cables and wireless internet’s open connection to radio waves. 
  • What about the Costs?  Internet provider pricing varies significantly based on availability, speed and services.  While satellite may be a cheaper option, you should be able to take advantage of affordable deals for cable, DSL and wireless internet by researching the options available and negotiating a package deal (such as phone and internet bundle).  Fibre costs more than other options and performs better, but is limited in availability. 

The internet service provider you choose will have a direct impact on both the productivity and profitability of your business, so it’s vital to make the right choice for your business needs.   Taking your business online is essential for success in the 21st Century so choosing the right ISP for your company will allow you to grow your business and ensure a steady cash flow.  Don’t get left behind when it comes to online business, check out the different providers and choose the best you can afford without bankrupting your busin