Internet connectivity today is as crucial as water and electricity services for homes and businesses. We rely on it for almost everything now, from VoIP calls and emails to shopping and entertainment. Knowing how to choose the best internet for your business will help you derive the most value out of your services and help you save money on communication expenses.
If you have interactive applications like an online store, a quality internet connection helps you deliver the best user experience for your customers with high availability and faster searches.
When you need help setting up the internet or if you’re planning to switch providers, come to Integrated Communications for the right solutions.
Understanding the Terms
You will encounter many confusing terms when learning to choose the best internet for your business. Our quick guide will get you acquainted with every important terminology on internet connections to simplify your search.
Megabits Per Second vs. Megabytes By Second
The internet relies on electronic communications, and a bit is the smallest unit of electrical information. Combining eight bits produces one byte of information. So, megabits per second measure the time to transfer a million bits, while megabytes measure a million bytes. We also have kilo (1,000) and Giga (1 billion) measures, and they all fit into the following abbreviations:
- Megabits per second (Mbps)
- Megabytes per second (MBps)
- Kilobits per second (Kbps)
- Kilobytes per second (KBps)
- Gigabits per second (Gbps)
- Gigabytes per second (GBps)
Upload vs. Download Speed
Information has to travel to or from your connected device for internet communications to be available. We call it an upload when you send data from your computer and a download when you access anything from the internet. By convention, download speeds are usually greater than upload, but you might need the reverse when you do a lot of teleconferencing and online gaming.
Bandwidth vs. Broadband
Bandwidth measures connection capacity. For instance, if your bandwidth is 40 Mbps, that is the speed you’ll get when operating at maximum capacity. Broadband signifies the wide range of frequencies(bands) available in a connection. Essentially, every type of internet connection, except dial-up, qualifies to be called broadband.
What’s More Important as a Good Internet Service?
There are three main things to consider when choosing a suitable internet service provider (ISP):
Speed is often subjective, and the right choice will depend on the type of applications you intend to run on your connection. For many users, it’s their number one priority because they want their HD videos to load without buffering. Knowing your internet speed will help you maximize its use and compare it with what’s in the market to find out if you’re getting the best deal.
It’s worth checking how much speed your applications will use, as you don’t want to pay for more than you need, and you don’t want to struggle with a slow connection. Many ISPs provide different speed packages, usually marketed as bandwidth, and presented in megabits per second (Mbps).
Reliability is probably the most important factor, regardless of how good the connection is, yet it can be the easiest step to miss. If you are running a business, you can’t risk constant service disruptions. You can discover an ISP’s reliability by getting word from its existing customers. When you lack trusted sources for this information, it’s always easier to check their service level agreements (SLA’s). An SLA is a section of the ISP contract that states the uptime you should expect from the provider.
How much you’re paying for the internet should reflect the value you’re getting out of it. Speed and reliability come at a premium. If you have high expectations of these two features, prepare to pay more for the service.
How Much Should You Pay for the Internet?
You don’t want to pay for a $1000 dedicated fiber when a $60 connection could provide everything you need for your small business. But if you have a rapidly expanding enterprise with multiple users connecting to different services, you need the best internet that money can buy.
Choosing Your Connection Type
Connection type has an immense impact on internet speed, reliability, and cost. Most of the options you will find on the market will come as either fiber, dial-up, cable, satellite, and DSL.
- Satellite internet is the only service that is available everywhere. It is beamed down to the ground using communication satellites orbiting the earth. The service can be too slow, and most plans struggle to go beyond 100Mbps.
- Digital subscriber lines (DSL) provide internet access using the phone line system. The telephone service sets up a dedicated wire running on a separate frequency, so you can use the phone and the internet at one time.
- Dial-up internet uses the same line as your telephone to provide a connection. It is the cheapest mode but the slowest, and unlike DSL, you can’t use your phone when the internet is on.
- Cable internet runs on the same line as your cable TV service. The internet is usually bundled with cable TV packages from your local service provider.
- Fiber internet is one of the latest technologies in data transfer. It relies on fiber-optic cables for large volumes of data, much faster than cable. Fiber-optics contain glass fibers that light pulses instead of electronic signals, making them push more data through a single line.
While it’s not easy to choose the right connection type, some choices may be made for you by circumstances, like when you have to settle for satellite internet since you live off the Minnesota grid. Integrated Communications will help you find a suitable connection type if you’re unsure which one is right for you.
Finding the Best Internet Service in Minnesota
Integrated Communications is your one-stop-shop for broadband, business phones, fiber, and all telecommunication solutions in the region. Contact us today and explore how to maximize profitability using our no-stress solutions.