How to Choose the Best ISP

Internet access is just as crucial as other utilities for most organisations and even homes. From client communication (email, VOIP, etc.) to credit card processing, most businesses rely on the internet. Some businesses just cannot function without connection to the internet. A growing number of home users are using the internet as their major source of leisure, in addition to their business demands. This is attributable to the rise of social media and video streaming services. The goal of this article is to highlight some of the most significant considerations when selecting an internet service provider (ISP) for your business or household.

Availability

Unfortunately, in rural areas, this is the most important deciding factor. If the provider doesn't serve your area, a high-speed cable or fibre connection won't help your business. A surprising amount of businesses and homeowners have only a few options, which usually include satellite internet and either a broadband (AT&T U-Verse, Comcast Xfinity, etc.) or 4G-LTE network.

Speed

Even when demand is at its peak, a business must guarantee that it has enough speed to avoid disrupting daily operations. For some clients, the most crucial element in choosing an ISP is speed. They merely want access to the fastest internet available in their location. This is entirely dependent on your location and the services provided to you as a business or customer. When comparing plans, the “Bandwidth” is the figure to pay attention to. The transmission medium's bandwidth is simply the amount of data it can handle per unit of time. Some clients are fortunate enough to enjoy fibre connections with speeds of over 1000 Megabits per second (Mbps), while others in rural areas are stuck with 3 to 6Mbps DSL connections. Also, just because a speed is claimed does not guarantee that it will be delivered. It's always a good idea to check with nearby businesses to see what kind of speed you may expect.

Cost

An ISP must strike a decent balance between speed and price in order to make sense for you. For example, if you run a small business out of your house, paying $1000 per month for a dedicated fibre connection is unlikely to be cost effective. Price isn't as important to certain businesses as quickness and reliability.

Type of Connection

How quick the internet “feels” is largely determined by the type of connection used. Despite having reasonable download rates, satellite internet is renowned for appearing "slow" (Up to 25Mbps on HughesNet). The reason for this is simple physics. Your satellite sends a signal into space that travels about 22,000 kilometres. The satellite in orbit then contacts a network centre to locate the required location. This data is subsequently relayed to an orbiting satellite, which then relays it to you. Even if light travels at the speed of light, this operation takes nearly 500 milliseconds, plus any additional request processing time on both the server and client sides. I know that doesn't sound like much, but if you're used to a regular connection, adding an extra 1/2 second to every activity makes it seem so slow. In comparison, 4G-LTE signals have a delay of roughly 100 milliseconds, compared to 400 milliseconds or more for satellite connections. Other connections, such as Fiber, have far reduced latency, frequently less than 20 milliseconds.

Reliability

The most important component, especially for commercial customers, is reliability. It is frustrating and unhelpful to have inconsistent internet. If you work in a field where you can't afford to have your internet service go down, you should look for an ISP that offers a Service Level Agreement (SLA). SLAs are service agreements that specify how dependable a connection should be. Customer service and dependability go hand in hand. Whatever the quality of the connection, something will go wrong at some point. Whether it's ageing technology or a physically damaged line, there's a good chance you'll run into problems at some point. The speed with which they can assist you in getting back up and running is a sign of good customer service. Most firms cannot afford to wait several days for new hardware to arrive. They demand a better quality of service, which a smart service provider recognizes.

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Friday, December 10, 2021