How to Choose the Right Internet Service for Your Business

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shutterstock_69217369Choosing the right Internet service is about working out your business needs, both now and in the future, and then finding an Internet Service Provider (ISP) who can supply them at the best price. The following are some of the things you need to consider and the qualities you should look for in a business Internet provider.

What are your current and future needs?

The first thing to consider is how many people will be using the Internet connection. This will dictate how much speed you will require. The more people using it at the same time, the slower the speed, so you need to factor in how many staff you have and then look for a speed that will allow you all to work most productively.

And speed isn’t just about download speed. If you move a lot of big files around, particularly backing up to cloud services, or you do a lot of video conferencing, then upload speed is just as important.

Once you know what speed you need, then you should look at what your requirements might be in a year from now. If you’re a small business that is growing rapidly, then what you choose today may not be suitable tomorrow. So you need to factor in what staff numbers you might have then and what your Internet requirements could be. Then look for an ISP who allows you to scale up easily, without being locked into an inflexible contract.

What should a good ISP provide?

There are more than 200 Internet providers in Australia now and most offer professional-grade Internet plans for business, so there is plenty of choice. But price is only one consideration.

A good Internet Service Provider should also offer the following:

  • Hardware, such as modems, included in the plan.
  • Free or low cost installation and simple setup.
  • The opportunity to bundle your Internet with other services, such as your phone service.
  • A contract that allows for scalability as your business grows.
  • Sufficient data allowance for your monthly needs.
  • Value add-ons such as free email addresses, virus protection or personal webpages.
  • Reliability of service, which can be ascertained beforehand from ranking websites and customer reviews.
  • Customer support in the event of an outage or problem, which should be 24/7 and include phone, email and chat.
  • Industry-grade security, including anti-spam, anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-malware.

To find a good ISP, first find the ones who tick all your other boxes and then compare those providers on price. This can be done on any of the comparison websites, where provider details are laid out in easy-to-compare tables. Once you have your short list of providers, contact each of them and ask for a quote.

Hopefully, the time you take to research and compare ISPs will pay dividends down the track. After all, you would be just as careful about any other supplier you engaged for your business and Internet Service Providers should be no exception.

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