Thinking about switching business internet providers but aren’t sure who to choose?
There are 1,398 business internet service providers in the US. That’s an increase of 4.3% since last year. Each state they’re ‘the best ISP’ but who should you entrust your online connection to?
This article examines 5 key factors to consider when choosing the best business internet provider.
Read on to see why a solid SLA is essential. Discover why reliability is more important than cost. And why you should always read the small print of the contract before signing.
What Is a Business Internet Provider?
An Internet Service Provider or ISP enables you to connect to the internet through its always-on network.
Unlike residential services, business internet providers recognize the need for a dedicated solution. They offer a more robust service list which often includes:
- Static IP addresses for direct file access to a local server
- Multiple wireless hotspot access
- Dedicated customer support
- Cybersecurity protection
This product list comes at a higher cost so it’s essential to choose the right provider from the outset. To help, we’ve outlined 5 key factors to review before signing up.
1. Choosing an ISP You Can Trust
Reliability should be at the top of your list when choosing an ISP for your business.
Always vet the provider by researching their reputation. Read online reviews and if possible speak with existing customers. Weed out those with lower scores but don’t eliminate the ones with a higher price tag just yet.
Having an always-on connection that works will save you money in the long run.
2. Solid Service Level Agreements
An SLA guarantees your internet connection and acts as a contract between your business and the ISP.
Service metrics like latency, packet loss, uptime, and response time mean you know exactly what to expect if things go wrong. Some of the best business internet providers like Cox offer 99% uptime reliability. They also offer business internet backups and cloud-based security.
Find out more on the Cox Business Authorized Agent web page.
3. Constant Customer Support
You need to send an important email and your connection goes down. You reach out to your ISP’s customer support only to find their response times are three hours by email.
Having a consistent support line brings peace of mind which can’t be undervalued.
A local number also helps to resolve problems quickly. Check to see what support services the ISP offers and how those processes work in practice.
4. High-Speed Internet Service Provider
There are two speeds to check: download and upload.
Download speeds relate to the data that you download or save from the internet. They’re usually a lot higher than upload speeds or the information that you send from your computer.
Make sure to compare different packages. Don’t always opt for the cheaper option as speed and bandwidth will only increase in importance.
5. Cost and Contract Length
Costs and contracts lengths vary but one fundamental rule is not to lock yourself in long-term.
Be sure to read the small print especially about leaving your contract early. There should be an opt-out clause if you discover the service is poor in the first few weeks.
Best Business Internet Provider Guide
The best business internet ISPs offer more than just fast speeds.
Consider ongoing support and reliability as the two most important factors. Your business will rely on the internet more and more so don’t settle for a lesser service.
Read more in our business internet provider guide on our blog.