Small Business Internet Connections
Whether your business is based from your home or a leased office it needs a healthy internet connection. Here is a brief guide on how to check the best service you can receive for your address.
Some basic terms:
- Bandwidth – people say “speed” of internet connection but really it’s the amount of data that can be transmitted:
- It’s usually shown as Mbps – Megabits per second (not Megabytes)
- With 10Mbps bandwidth, a 1MB web page would take < 1 second to download but a 1GB (ie 1000MB) file (eg TV show) would take around 14 minutes to download
- Asynchronous internet connections (like ADSL) have faster download than upload – so they are ok for viewing web pages but not so good for sharing files in cloud based applications
- Synchronous internet connections (like a fibre leased line) should have the same upload and download bandwidth.
- Contended internet connections are shared with others and each person’s available bandwidth will rise and fall according to how many people are using It in the area at the time.
- Uncontended bandwidth is entirely dedicated to the company paying for it so bandwidth is consistent.
- A converged internet connection allows data and voice traffic to travel together. The voice traffic should be prioritised – also known as Quality of Service or QoS
Find out your CLI
- CLI stands for Calling Line Indicator
- You will have one for each physical phone line
- It’ll be the same format as a local phone number and should be shown against “Line Rental” on the regular invoice from your telecom supplier
- It will also be written on the white box that BT fitted when the line was installed.
- You may have more than one line in use – eg one used for ADSL, another for a fax machine, another for a burglar alarm – any of these CLIs will suffice
- Go to Sam Knows to check broadband availability
- Enter your CLI and postcode
- The results summary will show you the available services and under “Locality” tab, the distance from the exchange. This distance determines the bandwidth you are likely to receive on an ADSL service.
For a business of 10 people or more, we recommend FTTC, FTTP or Cable as a minimum
- If these aren’t available, check “Wireless” tab
- If Wireless isn’t available, you may need a fibre leased line
- Because internet connectivity is so critical for an office to function, it’s sensible to consider installing a second connection from a different supplier to act as a fail-over. You’ll need to ask your IT supplier to configure your firewall so that it manages both connections and automatically fails over if one stops working.
For more information on how we can help your business get the best internet connection, call us on 020 3535 0680 or contact us to discuss.