Billions of people across the world have access to the internet. As a matter of fact, the internet and its adoption have become so prolific that many seek to qualify internet technology as a utility!
We can't overstate the importance of having access to the world wide web when you're lounging around your house. A place where the internet is perhaps even more of a necessity though is at your place of business.
Therein lies the purpose of this how-to choose internet provider post!
Our team has talked to business owners and has leaned on our own experience to boil down key considerations you'll want to mull over when selecting an ISP to keep your company connected. Continue reading to learn how to find the perfect provider for your needs.
The type of internet technology you'll use largely comes down to your service area.
In a perfect world, you'd be able to have internet serviced to your business through a high-speed fiber-optic cable. That though would require cable to have been laid by a company in your community.
Rural businesses that don't have access to wired connections will need to explore DSL internet or satellite services. These technologies cover more areas but do so at much slower speeds.
Assess which types of internet technologies you can expect per your location. Then, consider doing business with a provider that offers the fastest and most reliable tech that's on the table.
When people complain to us about their business internet, one of the two most common complaints we get is bad speed (customer service is the second common complaint).
Speed is affected firstly by the type of internet technology you're using. Be reasonable about what you can expect based on what's available to you. After you've determined what a reasonable speed range is, your next step will be to find out what speed within that range your ISP offers.
If satellite technology offers speeds of up to 15/mbps in your area and your provider only offers 5/mbps through their satellite connections, move on.
We've all experienced internet outages at some point in our lives. That (hopefully) very occasional occurrence is part of working with complex technology.
Some service providers experience many more outages than others though. A small handful has even become notorious for their abysmal "up-time" (percentage of time their services work).
You never want to get locked into a long-term contract with a service provider that has up-time lower than 98%, especially if your business needs the internet to get through the workday. If you're in a rural area, acceptable up-time rates may be slightly lower.
What's important is that you understand what the best up-time rate in your market is and use that as your baseline when shopping for services.
If you're experiencing trouble with your internet during a busy workday, how helpful is your ISP going to be in solving your problem? As many people will tell you, several internet providers are infamous for providing exceptionally poor customer support.
While it may be hard to do if you can find an internet provider that seems to be attentive when you talk to them, take notice. A good culture of supporting customers can mean the difference between your internet being down for a few hours when problems strike versus a few days.
Data caps seem like a thing of the past given the market's move towards "unlimited". You'd be surprised to find though that several internet operators, have small-print data caps that could bring your company to its knees.
Inquire with a provider you're considering as to whether or not they'll impose data caps on your business. If they will, ask them what that cap is and what the average business customer uses in data per month to see how likely you are to hit that cap.
In most cases, caps are set excessively high so as not to disrupt standard business operations. They're mostly in place to stop people from reselling their internet bandwidth.
As you move through these how to choose internet provider steps, you may find it helpful to get other people's perspectives on a provider you're considering. This can be done by looking over review boards.
When pouring over sites like Yelp and Google to get a sense of how others feel about an internet service provider, try to grade companies on a curve since a lot of your options may have generally bad feedback.
Finally, when choosing an internet service provider, you'll want to look at how many companies are charging and what promotional rates they have available on their internet packages.
Low-cost internet doesn't always mean good value internet. Often, the lowest cost providers offer services that are borderline dysfunctional.
Try to seek value more than savings when you're hunting for the internet and you'll set yourself up for success!
Have More How to Choose Internet Provider Questions?
Thousands of types "how to choose internet providers" into their Google search bars every month. Many of those people are business owners that want to equip their companies with the tools they need to succeed.
If you're in that boat, we implore you to lean on the tips we've shared when sorting through your ISP options.
Should you find yourself in need of more guidance, our team welcomes you to browse additional content on our blog for more hot tips!