Qualities a Small Business Should Look for in an Internet Service Provider

Internet is a major factor when it comes to running a business establishment. Choosing a service provider is however of utmost importance. Below are the things to look for when you compare internet service providers.

Speed – There can be a considerable disparity in terms of bandwidth speed. Ideally, you will choose an ISP that offers enough Mbps to efficiently perform daily tasks without so many Mbps that you end up spending more than necessary. Most plans for businesses start at 10 Mbps and utilize regular DSL. Others are significantly faster at 24, 45, and even 100 Mbps and will use T1, T3 or Ethernet connections.

Cost – When it comes to pricing, there are a couple of factors to take into consideration. First, there is the initial cost of getting set up which can include a modem, router, and firewall protection. Some vendors may also charge extra if a technician is required to come to your business to assist with installation. If you need other services like telephone and television, some companies will offer package deals where you pay a bit more, but save more overall than if you purchased plans from multiple vendors.

Contract – In most cases, the length of a contract with an ISP will range from one to three years. If you’re not looking for a long-term commitment, you’re better off sticking with a one year contract. Otherwise, you may be able to save more in the long run with a two or three year contract. You should always read the fine print of policies and terms of services before signing a contract so there are no hidden surprises later on.

Reliability and Security – The last thing you want to deal with is downtime due to system instability and/or security issues from viruses or malware. When you compare Internet service providers, you should see how seriously they take security. A quality vendor should have some sort of anti-virus and anti-malware in place to keep your network safe from threats. Ideally, they will also offer a backup protection plan in case a major glitch occurs. This way, your operations can continue as normal and you can keep customers happy.

Tech Support – It’s also crucial that you have immediate access to professional tech support workers when you need them. A good company will offer 24/7 support through a variety of channels like telephone, online chat and email. You never know when you’ll experience an issue, so it’s important that you can get in touch without any hassle. It’s also nice when they provide this support at no added charge.

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