Finding a reliable internet service provider is a decision that should not be made lightly. Having a reliable ISP is a very crucial part of operating your business effectively. As your business stores a vast amount of information online, it is necessary to find a plan that not only meets your budget, but meets your needs. You see, your ISP is a critical infrastructure that helps to support your organization’s internet connectivity, email, commerce, and general business operations. So whether you’re operating an online business or a brick and mortar, who you choose as an internet service provider will greatly affect your organizations success. 

So here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Service Type

There are several types of internet connections including dial-up, cable, DSL, and Satellite. You will need to first determine the pros and cons of each type of service to determine which is best for your business. Overall, dial-up and satellite connections are a lot less reliable and a bit slower, while DSL and cable connections are more reliable and a lot faster. Find out which types are offered in your area.

  1. Bandwidth

How many users do you plan to have connected to the same internet service? The more employees you have on the internet at the same time, the higher the potential load on the connection. Bandwidth advertising at 3Mbps is typically a good start for a staff of about six people; however, if you have a larger staff, you’ll want a larger bandwidth to decrease the load times during those peak hours of use. Spend some time educating yourself on how to assess your bandwidth needs when choosing an internet service provider.

  1. Speed

There’s nothing less productive than a slow internet connection. This is especially true for those who have an online business as a fast internet connection is necessary for optimal customer service. Select an ISP that offers varying levels of speeds to meet your needs now and in the future as your organization expands.

  1. Reliability

It is extremely important to look at the reliability of an internet service provider. A reliable internet connection is one that is easily accessible at all times. While downtimes and connectivity issues can arise, opting for an ISP that is unreliable can cost your company in the long run. You can check customer reviews to find out more about their reliability as it pertains to downtime and connectivity issues.

  1. Security

Any well structured network should come without any risks to your organization. In most cases, security risks on the internet start from how y our connection is dealt with once it reaches your router. Look for an ISP service provider that offers protections that include hardware firewalls as well as other security protections.

  1. Technical Support

With the click of a button something could go terribly wrong with your internet connection. Depending on how heavily your organization relies on the internet, this could put business operations to on hold for a significant amount of time. Therefore, look for an internet service provider that can assist you any time you’re in need. Check to see that they have reliable technical support on call 24/7 as you never know when a problem might arise.

  1. Additional Services

Many internet service providers also advertise additional services that could help improve your business. Such offers could include phone services, email accounts, and more. These services are often offered as a package deal therefore making it an economical advantage as well.

These are just a few of the factors that should be considered as you begin looking for the ideal internet service provider for your small business. It might be commonplace to assume that all ISPs are the same; however, this is far from the truth. Along with the above recommendations, be sure to check out the reputation of the ISP before signing a contract. Customer reviews often provide a glimpse into what your experience will be as well. Once you’ve done all your homework, you’re ready to choose a reliable ISP that meets all of your needs and doesn’t go over budget.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].