5 Questions to Help You Buy Internet with Confidence

Your business internet connection serves as your front door to the world, connecting you with your customers and suppliers.  Therefore, selecting the right connection from the right provider is critically important, and yet most businesses don’t have access to all of the information necessary to make a confident decision.

So, how do you select the right internet connection for your business?

What connections are available at your location?

Available internet connections vary by location and by provider.  Typically, you’d have to contact each provider to find out what connections they offer at your location, and then attempt to compare the very different options to come to a conclusion.  An alternative would be to find a provider that works with all the large carriers in town, who can tell you which connections are available at your location, saving you the time of having to contact each provider individually.

How are the available connections different?

Internet connections can range in price from as low as $70 per month to over $2,000 per month!  While it may be tempting to choose the cheapest option, there are a number of factors to consider.  Connection prices reflect not only bandwidth, but also reliability, repair timeframes, and service level agreements.  We’ll share how each of the connections available to you are different, so that you can make an informed, confident decision.  One tool we use to break down these differences is our Internet Connection Comparison Chart.

How do you use the internet?

Today, many providers push higher bandwidth connections than necessary (as they generally deliver a higher profit margin), therefore understanding your actual business usage is critical to avoid paying for more than you really need. If your business internet use consists of regularly uploading and downloading large files, your internet needs are going to be significantly different than a business whose primary uses are sending or receiving email and using cloud based applications (i.e., Salesforce.com, Microsoft SharePoint, etc.).  Companies are frequently surprised at how little bandwidth they actually need when compared to the bandwidth speeds they often hear advertised. We can help make sure that the bandwidth you purchase is right-sized to your actual needs.

Do you use VoIP?

Does your business use Voice over IP (VoIP) technology for making phone calls, or are you considering moving to VoIP in the future?  If so, your internet connection becomes even more important. A connection without enough bandwidth to carry your phone calls or without Quality of Service measures in place will result in poor voice quality and dropped calls. Unreliable connections will leave you without phone service altogether until the connection is restored.  We can help select a VoIP-ready connection at your address, or help to determine if VoIP is right for your business.

How important is protecting productivity?

Some businesses rely on their internet connections more than others. Different configuration options are available to minimize risk of downtime for your business. Matching your configuration to your acceptable risk level is important.

High Risk | Internet & Voice on One Connection
This low cost option provides a single, shared connection for your internet and voice. This option is a suitable choice when only one connection is available at your location, or when internet and voice are not mission critical. It’s important to note that if this internet connection is interrupted, you will not have internet or voice service until the connection is restored.

Moderate Risk | Separate Internet & Voice – Two Connections
One connection is used for internet, while a second connection is used for voice, ideally these connections would come from two different providers. With separate voice and internet connections, a service interruption would affect one, but typically not both connections at the same time. Business operations can continue at least in part.

Low Risk | Two Internet Connections with Automatic Failover (AFO)
When a constant connection with customers and cloud applications is critical, be prepared with a backup plan for your voice and internet services. This custom configuration uses two internet connections that serve as backup for each other. The first connection is primarily used for internet and the second connection is primarily used for voice; however, if one connection fails, the internet or voice traffic it was carrying will automatically move over to the surviving connection until service is restored.

For years, POPP has been helping businesses make confident decisions by simplifying this complex information and providing objective advice.  We are passionate about helping businesses get the best value in business communications services.  Call us today at 763-797-7900 to connect with a POPP representative for a free consultation.  We look forward to serving you!

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