Top Considerations in Comparing a Business ISP
These days, staying in business requires being online, and that makes your internet service provider one of the most important partners you work with. If you lose internet and email access, even for a short amount of time, your business is bound to lose money. (Business ISP)
So when it comes to choosing your business ISP you need to make an informed decision. Here are some key areas to focus on when comparing your options.
Plain and simple, when something goes wrong you should be able to pick up the phone and speak to a professional. And since the internet never closes, your ISP should offer dedicated support options around the clock.
Don’t become too infatuated with shiny presentations and statistics during the sales process. What matters most is who’s available when your network crashes. Get a detailed explanation of the support process before you sign your contract.
Find out what would happen if your team loses email access on a Saturday evening. You can’t afford to wait until Monday to get something like this fixed.
One of the more confusing aspects with comparing internet plans is measuring data transfer rates. This is the speed at which files are uploaded and downloaded to your computer.
It is easy to calculate data transfer rates for residential services because there are only one or two computers being used. On the business side though, you are going to have multiple workstations…sometimes even hundreds of them.
Each one of your workstations should have a connection speed of 50 mbps for downloads, and 15 mbps for uploads. This will provide your employees with enough power to download sizeable files without losing valuable production time.
Remember, this is per computer and not a measurement of your primary network connection.
There are several additional internet-related services your ISP may provide for less than a standard retail provider. Cloud storage is a hot trend right now because it eliminates the need for you to maintain servers specifically for backup files.
Some business ISP’s provide a complimentary amount of cloud storage, which you can then add to as your needs grow. Virus protection is another essential service that can be managed by internet providers.
And finally, you might consider purchasing internet access through your existing IT company to avoid unnecessary barriers when trying to resolve major problems. (Business ISP)
Experience and References
In the same manner that you look at a potential employee’s past success to predict their future, you should take the time to investigate an ISP’s performance with other businesses.
Ask for a list of five current clients from your ISP that are of similar size to your company. Call the IT manager at these firms and ask them what they see as the pros and cons of the provider.
Searching online for complaints and legal cases is another method, but keep in mind there will always be one angry customer who takes things too far.
Trials and Promotions
There has been exponential growth in the commercial internet market, which has helped to keep prices competitive. In fact, there is so much competition in new account acquisition that you should expect a free trial period or signup bonus in most cases.
Some business owners will use free trials to run two ISP’s one month in order to get a hands-on comparison of their performance. No matter what you choose for your business, be sure to share the fact that you are shopping different suppliers, and ask if you qualify for any promotional discounts.
Choosing an internet service provider is key to the success and productivity of your business. Choose wisely and you won’t be bothered by slow computers and network crashes. Make the wrong choice and you’ll find yourself going through the whole process again in a few short months.