How to evaluate my internet provider

Finding good Internet providers isn't always easy, but it's an important consideration for any company. Nearly all businesses today rely on the Internet for essential activities, from communicating with clients to fulfilling orders. Don’t let your business suffer from the hazards of a substandard Internet connection. Ask these questions as you’re considering different service providers to make sure you choose the best fit for your company. 

Do You Have Dedicated Internet Access? 

With most residential Internet connections, you’re sharing your allotted bandwidth with others in your area. While this works fine for casual home Internet use, it can present a problem for businesses who need reliable online access and ample bandwidth. When you have dedicated Internet access, the bandwidth that you pay for is dedicated to you alone. With dedicated access, you can avoid the problems caused by oversubscription. 

If you don’t have dedicated Internet access, you can face unexpected congestion that will slow down your connection. If others on the same connection begin using more bandwidth than usual, it will impact your own business operations. If you rely on the Internet to get work done, dedicated Internet access is a must. You can get dedicated access for many different technologies including T1, Ethernet, and High Speed Access (HSA) connections. 

How Scalable is Your Internet Plan? 

Scalability is important for a growing business. You don’t want to have to wait for a complicated installation to get the added speed that you’re after. Don’t just research the Internet plan that’s appropriate for your business needs now. Consider the next upgrade, and the upgrade after that. The best Internet provider is one that can meet your needs both now and in the future, so you don’t have to switch providers entirely to get the connectivity you need. 

What Network Management Tools Are Available? 

A good Internet service provider will handle the finer points of your online access while giving you the tools you need to monitor and manage your side of the connection. Find out whether your provider offers an online portal and what features are available there. Online bill pay, utilization information, and performance reports simplify network management. 

A helpful online portal can also provide you with the troubleshooting tools you need to handle minor issues with your connection. Check out the information available to help with troubleshooting to determine how much you can handle yourself. Find out what days and hours customer support is available as well, and choose a company that won’t make you wait all weekend to get the information you need. 

Do You Need to Purchase Additional Equipment? 

Some Internet service providers will give you a connection without providing the equipment necessary to actually use it. Others will lease you specialized equipment that works with their Internet service for an added fee. It’s important to understand everything needed for your Internet connection, and the costs associated. 

The best Internet service providers are those who will lease you essential equipment, such as a wireless modem, for no added fee. This allows you to roll all your expenses into one efficient plan. 

What Other Services Are Available? 

Many Internet service providers offer additional services, such as phone access. A communications bundle that includes Internet access, a business phone line, and long distance calling can be an outstanding choice for your company. Combining your services will allow you to take advantage of low-cost packages while keeping your communications services together under the umbrella of one provider. 

There are many good Internet providers to consider, but the best pick will offer you the connectivity you need with ample flexibility to adjust and grow. You shouldn’t have to bankrupt your business for a good connection, either. Do your research and find an affordable plan that suits all your business needs.