When it comes to choosing your business Internet provider, there's no shortage of options out there, from large communications companies to small cable providers to discount startups.
As a small business owner, you want the most reliable and fastest Internet service that your budget will allow. After all, communication is the foundation for good business, and in our digital world, high-speed access is critical for instant access to customers and suppliers.
But businesses today can barely keep up the explosion in demand in recent years for increased bandwidth. Employees now need the capability to work on multiple devices, in multiple locations, virtually 24/7. In fact, it's estimated that by 2017 there will be three devices connected to the Internet for every human being on Earth. (Cisco)
And because high-bandwidth applications such as HD video streaming and business apps are rapidly becoming the new business standard, it's important to keep an eye on what the major Internet Services Providers (ISPs) are offering in terms of new products and services. The fact is, Internet speeds that were acceptable for business just a few short years ago might not be the best option for you today.
But with so many players in the market, what should you look for when selecting an Internet service provider? What key features are the must-haves that will really make a difference to your bottom line today—and tomorrow?
First, you need a very reliable Internet service that is working when you need it. It could hurt your bottom line if you lose customers and sales because of unreliable Internet service.
Next, remember that a higher speed is better. The more connections you need, the higher the bandwidth. Some applications, such as file sharing and online backups, require higher upload speeds. A fast Internet connection allows for:
For broadband service, there are a number of options to choose from today.
Fiber Optic Service
FiOS, an advanced fiber optic service, operates over a 100% optical network using light to send data over great distances at incredible speeds: "the speed of light." FiOS offers the highest speeds available on the market today for small businesses, as high as 500 Mbps download and upload in some areas, and is sold exclusively by Verizon.
These unmatched speeds enable multiple users on your network to download, upload, stream, and share files simultaneously. Currently, FiOS is available only in certain areas.
DSL, which stands for Digital Subscriber Line, offers a reliable Internet connection over regular telephone lines to deliver fast download speeds. Because DSL uses a dedicated line, the speeds it provides are very stable and consistent. Verizon brands its DSL service "High Speed Internet," and it is available in many business areas.
Cable delivers data through coaxial cables. It was developed as an upgrade from traditional "over-the-air" broadcasting and is available to customers with distribution lines in their area. One key disadvantage to cable technology is that customers in a geographic area share the bandwidth, so they may experience slow response times during peak periods.
Satellite connections use satellites to beam the Internet feed wirelessly to a customer's installed satellite dish. For customers in rural areas, they are often the only broadband option. However, satellite services tend to be both slower and more expensive than other technologies. They are limited in their ability to connect to streaming content, and can be disrupted by weather.
It's important to understand that when it comes to selecting your business Internet service, not all providers are the same. Look for a provider who offers you a complete and reliable communication solution that will allow your employees to share information quickly and easily. In particular, keep the following factors in mind:
For more information on which affordable Internet services you qualify for and how Verizon can help make you "small business ready," visit Verizon Small Business online today. Customers who order online, including with chat rep support, get the best prices.
Reliability. Verizon offers FiOS to small business customers so that they can enjoy the exceptionally reliable performance of 100% fiber- optic Internet access service, and unlimited data usage. Even at peak hours, FiOS Internet customers get amazing Internet speeds up to 500/500 Mbps (in select areas), and unlimited data usage for their office and phone service with 99.9% network reliability.
Service. J.D. Power ranked Verizon "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Very Small Business Wireline Service."
Speed. And now it's even better. Verizon was the first in the industry to offer SpeedMatchSM, which offers equal upload and download speeds to send data as fast as it's received. The highest level is 500 Mbps up and down!
Verizon also offers its High Speed Internet (DSL) service to business customers. This gives small business owners a consistently fast speed (up to 10-15 Mbps downloads and 1 Mbps uploads) that can be counted on every day, with 99.9% network reliability.
Breadth. Verizon offers an extensive range of Internet services and bundles to meet your business's needs. Combine this with a Worry-Free Guarantee and professional on- site installation, Verizon can positively impact your business' bottom line today—and tomorrow.
Support. Verizon offers professional on-site installation. An expert technician will get your Internet service up and running at a time that's convenient for you so you can stay focused on your customers. Additionally, Verizon offers same-day repair service for small business Internet and voice services.
Cost. Check out the latest deals on Verizon Small Business bundles and start saving money for your business. Verizon offers a Worry-Free Guarantee . If you're not totally happy, Verizon will refund 100% of your money up to 30 days from the start of your contract.
Contract and Terms. Verizon puts it in writing by providing customers with a written price quote of the services they order. You also get a purchase summary that shows the first and subsequent bills, so you know what to expect each billing cycle.