As more and more services migrate to the cloud, so does the need for increased bandwidth. While still viewed as a relatively commoditized service, the speed and quality can (and do) vary by provider. Understanding how your internet bandwidth is provided will not only help you make better buying decisions, but will also help educate on the value versus commodity of bandwidth.
Not all internet access service is created equally. There are two main types of internet access: broadband and dedicated access.
Broadband – Primarily Cable, DSL, and Satellite.
- Broadband services are available to both residential as well as business customers.
- Speeds are asynchronous, which means that you’ll typically receive a faster download speed than you will an upload speed. For example, 5MBps download and 1MBps upload or 5x1.
- The cost is relatively inexpensive.
- The service is not guaranteed.
- The speeds are “up to” speeds, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually receive 5Mbps download.
- Service is geographically based. A single phone company central office will service a neighborhood or several neighborhoods. If there are a lot of subscribers in that central office, speeds may vary and fluctuate at certain times of the day.
Business Class Broadband – Primarily Cable, DSL, and Satellite.
- Broadband services for businesses vary slightly in that they are only for business customers.
- Speeds are still asynchronous, but you’ll see faster speed offerings for businesses.
- Business class service will often include one or more static (publicly routable) IP addresses.
- Service is more expensive.
Companies must make sure they have enough bandwidth for all employees to operate on a day to day basis, so understanding how their business uses the Internet is paramount in deciding whether or not a broadband or dedicated access service is preferable. Broadband internet service is fast and cheap, but not guaranteed. If your company is working on web-based applications like CRM and accounting software, ask yourself what happens if the DSL goes down for a day or two? What if it happens on a day you’re supposed to submit payroll?
Consider dedicated access if your business is currently considering or struggling with:
- Implementing Voice over IP – VoIP can be especially taxing on broadband connections, especially if that connection also has to serve the day-to-day internet needs of its employees. For more on VoIP and broadband issues, click here to read, “3 Most Common Internet-Related VoIP Issues.”
- Implementing a Unified Communication Solution – UC is extremely demanding and will almost always require some form of dedicated access. For more on Unified Communications, download our free Guide to Better Understanding Unified Communication and Mobility
- Utilizing the cloud for application services – As more applications move to the cloud, greater demand and reliance is placed upon the business internet connection.
Dedicated Internet Access Services (DIA) – Primarily T1, T3, and Metro Ethernet.
- Available to business customers.
- Speeds are synchronous, which means that you’ll receive the same rate of speed for both upload and download. A 10Mbps Metro Ethernet connection delivers 10MBps in both directions.
- The service is guaranteed and will be covered by a service level agreement.
- It is dedicated to you and only you. Think of it as a string between two tin cans. Your company is one of the cans while the service provider is the other tin can.
- Dedicated service will come with any number of static IP addresses.
While more expensive, dedicated internet access provides reliability and security. Reliable and secure internet access can greatly increase the productivity of your business. Imagine being able to video conference with coworkers and clients without the pixelated visual and choppy audio; that’s what dedicated internet access can help you with. Imagine multiple employees accessing the same web-based application while other employees are downloading files and making VoIP calls. Dedicated access enables and empowers businesses to do more with the Internet.
So whether you’re a small manufacturing company who uses the Internet a couple times a day to check email, or you’re the President of a 100-person professional services firm, knowing what types of Internet access exist and which may be the best fit for your company will be as important tomorrow as understanding which energy broker to use
Partner with Voice and Data Experts
As a full service voice and data provider, N2Net can provide quality dedicated connections to you at fair rates with on-site support (no offshore tech support). N2Net manages its own network and can guarantee your speed as well as call quality on VoIP applications utilizing a dedicated connection. To learn more about how you can do more with a better internet connection, contact an N2Net specialist today.
Need help selecting a service provider? Download our free Business Internet Service Buyer's Guide today.