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Have you ever wondered how much effort you need to put in to take your business to the next level and attain maximum productivity in multiple aspects? No business, big or small, can reach the summit in one stroke. A number of critical decisions, with significant constructive impact, must be taken by a business to reach the status of an empire. With the corporate world more comprehensively digitized than observed ever before, it is vital for the productivity of any business concern to remain reliably connected at all times. A feat that requires up-to-the-mark internet service.

Today, selecting the right business internet plan is as critical as revenue generation. The advancement of technology has resulted in increased reliance on the performance of an internet connection so as to sustain productivity levels in every area of business operations. Even small businesses require a trusty internet connection for prompt and effective communication and seamless running of their operation, regardless of the size. With e-commerce becoming part and parcel of the modern-day commercial environment, dependence on the quality of the internet has skyrocketed. And it is only prudent to not exercise any leniency when comparing available business internet plans.

Think not twice, but thrice before you subscribe to any. Don’t rush. Be patient. Never underestimate the importance of the quality of an internet service that you select to help your business succeed. Any disruption or delay at your business’ end holds the potential for big losses, besides affecting productivity levels. And if recurrent, such instances can ultimately affect the reputation of a business, which surely cannot be tolerated.

With as many ISPs serving businesses across the country, it is understandable it is a time-consuming and rather a hectic undertaking to evaluate offerings from each available operator. Especially given the number of considerations that must be kept in perspective. For this reason, our today’s article endeavors to introduce you to 3 top business internet providers in the US, and their offerings. And we hope you’ll not find yourself repeating the same nagging question “how do I find the best business internet in my area” in your head once you’ve familiarized yourself with options in the market. But before getting into that, let’s have a quick look at key aspects you must consider as you go about decision-making.

Shopping for the Best Business Internet Plan

Check Availability 

It is not necessary the ISPs you find suitable for your business are providing internet service in your vicinity. So, before you spend time evaluating and comparing business internet plans from different ISPs do assure availability in your area by speaking to an expert.

Decide Bandwidth & Speed Needs 

The number of users and devices you expect to connect helps get an idea of the bandwidth needed. The more devices you connect to the network, the more this will strain the available bandwidth, and the larger would be the amount of data you must make accessible at any given point in time.

When the bandwidth gets taxed beyond its capacity, connected devices are bound to experience slower data transfer rate. For a business, it is, therefore, necessary that you have a fairly accurate estimate of the number of users and devices on the network, as well as the kind of activity and applications your business operation necessitates.

Select a high-speed business internet plan. If necessary and available, don’t shy away from considering Gig internet. With the right bandwidth and fast internet, you can aim for maximum productivity without facing obstacles.

Activity

Bandwidth Estimate  

Activity

Bandwidth Estimate 

Basic emails

1 Mbps

Social media scheduling

 2 Mbps

Email with attachments

15 Mbps

Streaming a webinar

5 Mbps (HD requires more)

Cloud-based services

5

Streaming online training courses

5 Mbps (HD requires more)

Data transfer & File sharing

5 Mbps

Uploading large files

2 Mbps 

Basic web browsing

0.5 -1 Mbps

Video conferencing

4 Mbps

Instant messaging

5 Mbps

VoIP calls

1 Mbps

Online banking & bookkeeping

2 Mbps

 VoIP video calls

28 Mbps

Remember to multiply the above estimates with the number of users at your business in order to get an estimate of the total bandwidth you’d need.

Read Through the Fine Print  

It maybe time-consuming but in the long run, you will find this practice worthy of it. Before committing to a contract take your time, and read through the details hidden in the fine print. Ideally speaking the SLA (Service Level Agreement) should carry guaranteed service metrics, so make sure to pay attention to all the info it delivers. Look for aspects such as latency, jitter, packet loss, uptime, outage compensation, response, and repair time etcetera. Plus beware of the implications of the more obvious contractual aspects such as its length, cancellation fees, and equipment cost & upkeep etcetera.

Gauge Customer Care & Tech Support 

Customer care & tech support is the unavoidable aspect of internet service. How proactive is the support you receive determines whether or not a resolution to a minor or major interruption is likely to come through quickly and without causing much hassle? While big companies have in-house IT support available, which can be effective to an extent, small business owners can find themselves solely at the mercy of the care provided by the ISP. So, this is an aspect of the service you must not take lightly.   

Prefer Flexible Contracts 

If you are a newbie with a small-scale business, you may feel uncertain about the internet needs of your business. You may not know if you’d be scaling your business operation in six months, which in turn can require a different business internet plan. Changes in your business needs may require you to cancel early and switch ISPs. So if possible go for flexible contracts to avoid paying hefty penalties for early termination of service.  

Bundle Services 

For savings, you should go for bundling services by including services other than the internet such as security, phone, TV, or wireless. It wouldn’t do you harm to ask for discounts from your ISP on installation and equipment when you negotiate the deal. 

The Best Business Internet Providers You Must Know About

No matter which region your business is operating in the U.S., the following 3 business internet service providers can serve your needs well. A search for “internet service in my area”, “best business internet in my area”, or “best business internet providers is likely to pull up some of the best business internet plans from AT&T Business, Comcast Business, and CenturyLink Business. Names you must already be aware of if you are located in an area where these industry giants also deliver residential services.  

AT&T Internet for Businesses

AT&T is a household name in the US. There is no denying that. AT&T Wireless carries its name right across the U.S., and so does AT&T Internet across its 21 service states. AT&T Fiber brings one of the best residential plans available in the market. Likewise, AT&T Business Fiber steals the show with its value-packed plans. With prices starting as low as $50/month, you can sign up for business internet plans with speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps. No need to bundle, and no annual contract to bind you, plus you get unlimited data.

AT&T offers a myriad of internet solutions for businesses besides its super-fast and affordable Fiber internet. You can get a dedicated private connection, and for small businesses in remote locations, there is wireless broadband on offer. While you do not have to bundle, you can save every month by bundling internet with AT&T Phone for Business.

Whether it is AT&T Fiber, Wireless, or Fixed Wireless, you can rest assured the service can power the growth of your business. An ISP’s reputation is an important factor to consider. And, AT&T meets the criteria with #1 ranking (by J.D. Power) in Customer Satisfaction for Large and Medium Business Wireline Service and its ongoing commitment to creating the world’s most advanced internet experience.  

Comcast Business Internet

Xfinity Internet is another household name in American homes. While Xfinity from Comcast serves US residents with the largest Gig-speed network that spans 35 states, Comcast Business provides powerful internet solutions to businesses of all sizes.

Comcast Business internet is fast and reliable and keeps you connected at flexible prices. Your business can thrive on the Ethernet Dedicated Internet from Comcast, which delivers speeds up to 10 Gigs. Service is available to small & medium-sized businesses. And is ideal for activities and applications which devour data. Cloud storage, audio streaming, web conferencing, and data-hungry applications, are all well taken care of. The best part is you get equal upload and download speeds.

Comcast Business Mobile is a service designed only for Comcast Business Internet customers, and gets you flexible data options, nationwide 5G coverage at no extra cost, and compatibility with the most popular devices in the market today. A great addition to your business internet plan.

Above all, professional support is always at your beck and call!

CenturyLink Internet for Businesses

CenturyLink Internet is one of the top services available in 35 states. Not only does the CenturyLink network cover residential neighborhoods with its services, but small and big businesses. CenturyLink is known to have a presence in rural America making it a great choice for small businesses operating in such regions.

Businesses in CenturyLink footprint can benefit from high-speed DSL as well as Fiber plans. Small business plans can look after the needs of up to 10 employees at a single location, and offer flexible internet, voice, and business applications. CenturyLink Business Internet plans for medium-sized concerns are fit to cover up to 1,000 employees at one or more locations, and offer network, Managed IT, and Cloud solutions.

Small businesses can grow with high-speed DSL plans which offer up to 100 Mbps download speeds with unlimited data for $50/month, or if needed pick from CenturyLink Fiber plans which offer up to 940 Mbps download/upload speeds for $65/month. The service comes with no annual contract, does not ask you to bundle, and there is no data overage charge!

CenturyLink small business phone service provides business VoIP and traditional landline services. Add more lines or features and customize it to fit the needs of your business. The traditional landline phone gets you clear high-quality calling with Voicemail and other essential calling features. While the digital service delivers an advanced phone system with a variety of features that help optimize your business operation.

CenturyLink carries a reputation for price consistency. You pay a low and predictable monthly rate, and you get to pay as you go with no need to stress about a cancellation fee. Moreover, CenturyLink Internet service for businesses comes backed by round-the-clock support, so you are never alone.

Final Thoughts

No business can stand without achieving holistic integration which spans its stakeholders, workforce, operations, and management. And internet access is critical to any such undertaking. Which makes it all the more important to know the needs of your business when you set off to pick the best business internet service provider. We hope the discussion today helps make your decision-making process easier and your effort fruitful.   

FAQs

How much speed do I need for my business?

The speed required by a business would vary according to the number of connected users/devices.   Moreover, if the number of connected users/devices on the network is up to 5, you can settle with 100 Mbps download speeds. However, if you are running a larger business and the number of users/devices is around 30, you must consider 1 Gig internet with up to 940 Mbps download speeds.  

For a fairly accurate idea, you can run a speed test at different times to determine the average speed which will cover your business needs under all circumstances. Make sure you check the speed both on a wired and wireless connection.

Why is corporate internet more expensive than home internet?

Unlike residential internet which usually comes with a few perks that fit personal and family usage, business internet plans are cut to fit the needs of commercial concerns. That is why business internet services come with more value-added features and benefits. Secondly, residential internet comes with restricted upload speeds, whereas businesses need fast upload power to conduct their operations. Also,  the best business internet service providers deliver guaranteed service and uptime and compensate subscribers for losses incurred by an outage.