BUSINESS/ OFFICE BROADBAND // General

Types of Internet Connections: Which is best for your small business?

December 19, 2022

Here, we have prepared a list of all the different types of internet connections along with their pros and cons, to help you choose the best option.

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Types of Internet Connections: Which is best for your small business?

The type of internet connection plays a big role in the availability, speed potential and performance of the internet, thereby definitely impacting your business. So, it is important for you to critically examine all the options in the market. 

Types of Internet Connections

Internet Connections can be categorized based on various factors such as latency, range, strength, connection, bandwidth and contention. 

Carefully examining each type of internet connectivity, its advantages and disadvantages can help you choose the best type of Internet connection for your small business.

The main types of internet connections that are available are:

  1. Shared network 

  2. Dedicated Internet Access (DIA)

  3. DSL Internet connection

  4. Fiber Internet

  5. Cable Internet

  6. Fixed Wireless

  7. Satellite Networks

 

Let’s take a look at them in detail:

Shared Network 

Due to its low cost, fast download speeds, and widespread availability, this type of Internet connection is the most popular. Small businesses, retail outlets, or larger organisations use these Internet connections as a backup link.

In a shared network, you and other nearby users split the bandwidth of a shared network connection at the provider's local node or box. A shared broadband network, which enables numerous users to access it, is one of the most prevalent examples of shared Internet. 

Although the bandwidth is shared across many customers, this does not give businesses access to or a look at individuals' private information on another network. 

Pros: 

  • Highly cost-effective as you won't have to pay for the whole connection.

  • The security will be just as good if you have your dedicated line if you have your firewall.

 

Cons: 

  • Speeds will vary depending on how many people are using the connection at once.

  • If a problem arises, it can take longer to fix if you can't contact tech support directly.

  • dependability and downtime issues

  • VOIP, video, and cloud apps, among other important applications, are all affected.

  • Large email transmissions, file transfers, streaming, and data backups can all be significantly hindered or made almost impossible.

  • Prone to power outages, which may linger for hours or days.

 

Dedicated Internet Access (DIA)

Dedicated internet means your business has a direct personal fibre line. Unlike traditional broadband services, DIA does not require your business to share bandwidth with other customers. 

This type of service is extremely efficient and works faster than that of your traditional internet service provider, as there is no shared traffic or slowdowns. Dedicated circuits provide internet to a single location, meaning bandwidth is only available to the circuit owner. 

DIA is most suitable for businesses such as hotels, banks, Real Estate, medical practices or firms that cannot afford inefficient bandwidth and slowdowns. 

Pros:

  • Robust Network Security

  • Get the bandwidth you paid for

  • High internet speed

  • High-speed downloads and uploads

  • Guarantees the quality of the internet traffic by Service Level Agreement 

  • 24x7 Customer Support

 

Cons:

  • DIA is significantly more expensive than regular broadband.

  • Installation might take additional time and effort (depending on your ISP)

  • Requires equipment installation, network provisioning, and truck rolls.

 

DSL Internet connection

DSL uses a phone connection to connect to the Internet. You can use both your phone line and the Internet simultaneously, unlike dial-up.

Telephone lines are used by a DSL digital subscriber line for data transmission. The distance from your provider's facilities affects the DSL speed. All of the current phone numbers can receive high-speed internet access via DSL thanks to local phone providers.

It is a suitable choice for routine tasks like email or simple web browsing. It can enable audio streaming, video conferencing, cloud backups, and sporadic downloads with maximum download and upload rates of 15Mbps and 1Mbps, respectively.

Pros: 

  • Widely accessible because it was established on pre-existing phone lines.

  • Compared to satellite or broadband Internet connections, DSL services are less expensive.

  • Similar to phone service, each Internet subscriber to DSL has a dedicated circuit.

  • Having multiple users online at once has little impact on how busy DSL connections are.

 

Cons:

  • The quality of a DSL connection is distance-sensitive, meaning that the closer you are to the central office, the better the connection. The speed slows down and the signal weakens as you move away, though.

 

Fiber Internet

One of the newest competitors in the broadband market is fiber-optic Internet connectivity. You can get extraordinarily fast speeds with this technology, and small businesses can rely on it completely for their daily operations.

The system makes use of fiber-optic cable, which impressively has a data transmission rate of up to 70% of the speed of light. Additionally, fiber-optic cables are less vulnerable to extreme weather than other older cable types, reducing disruptions. Additionally, it successfully withstands electrical interference.

If your business engages in frequent heavy web browsing, online backups, and constant file sharing, fiber-optic is the best Internet option for you.

Additionally, this type of Internet connection is ideal for often streaming HD audio, using VoIP services, hosting servers, and using sophisticated cloud-based services.

Pros:

  • High-speed internet

  • Fast download and upload speed

  • Delivers a remarkable user experience on all internet-connected devices and platforms.

 

Cons:

  • Expensive

  • Not available everywhere

 

Cable Internet

Cable Internet gives customers access to high-speed internet through a cable television network. As a result, you can access the Internet using the same network that offers your cable TV connection. Coaxial cables are typically used for cable broadband, however, emerging technologies now utilise hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) connections.

If you regularly share files, browse the web, and perform online backups, cable Internet is the best option for your company. In addition, it has rapid downloads and modest upload rates, making it a useful connection type while using VoIP services and HD audio streaming.

Pros:

  • Fast and reliable

  • Simple to set up

  • Widely available 

  • The connection won't be affected by proximity to ISP

 

Cons:

  • slower speed during congested hours

  • Expensive if looking for better plans

 

Fixed Wireless

Fixed wireless internet, as opposed to other common connections like DSL and cable, is delivered wirelessly via radio waves sent by internet towers.

Similar to how cellular networks transfer data, fixed wireless networks wirelessly distribute packets to end users through radio waves. Although they still have wires connecting their antennas to consolidation points, compared to fibre or cable networks, they use far less wiring overall.

Fixed wireless internet often has no limitations and offers users speeds that are comparable to or even faster than those provided by wired broadband services.

Pros:

  • Hassle-free option, as it is easy to install

  • Cost-effective

  • Quick installations

  • High-speed internet

 

Cons:

  • If there is a poor line of sight between your location and the PoP, connecting to the internet could be difficult.

  • Depending on what alternative connection types are offered in your location, getting fixed wireless internet may not be the most affordable choice.

 

Satellite Connection

A satellite is used to transmit an internet signal from your internet service provider (ISP) to you when you use satellite internet.

It differs significantly from wire-based, land-based internet services like cable or DSL. To keep people in touch and give access to modern communication and information systems, it makes communication networks easily accessible in remote places of the world.

Satellite Internet comes to the rescue if your company is situated in a remote or rural area without access to landline Internet services like cable, fibre, or DSL.

Notable satellite connection providers are HughesNet, Viasat and Starlink.

Pros:

  • Low installation cost

  • Available everywhere

 

Cons:

  • Slow Speed

  • High latency

  • Signals can be disrupted by the weather and even immobile objects like mountains.

  • Very expensive due to less competition

 

Which internet connection is the most suitable for small businesses?

Which internet connection type is best for you, then? It could be tempting to simply select the quickest internet for your business and move on when it comes to selecting among the different types of internet connections. 

But in some circumstances, that can be excessive. There is no one size fits all solution. However, you can keep these things in mind:

  • Does your business rely on any online applications

Businesses are using the internet for more than simply email and depending more and more on Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for various business operations Higher bandwidth and faster speeds are required for more intensive use. It makes sense to invest in high-speed connections if you run a graphic design or video production business, or even if you frequently utilize video conferencing and communicate with high-resolution, data-intensive files.

  • Does your business handle private consumer information?

The last thing you want to do is put your client's information at risk, especially if you operate in a field that deals with extremely sensitive data, like the healthcare or financial sectors. Cyber attacks on small businesses are becoming more and more regular.

As a result, you might want to look into an internet connection and service options that, if at all possible, also offer tools for monitoring cyber security as well as for business continuity and recovery. By doing this, you will be able to safeguard your data while taking advantage of all the advantages of a high-speed internet connection.

  • How many people work for you?

You may require more speed and bandwidth as the number of employees performing data-intensive tasks increases. So, if you have many employees in your small business, go for the types of internet connectivity that are dedicated to your business i.e. DIA network. 

 

Conclusion

There is no one way to decide which of these different types of Internet connection is superior. After all, everything is dependent on the demands of your particular business.

The connection you select should, in the end, provide you with a balance between fees, speeds, and service requirements.

However, keeping the above points in mind while choosing the type of internet connectivity can help you make an informed decision.

 


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