If your small business is like ours, you have probably realized the need for reliable, high-speed business internet providers to put your business on the fast track. Business internet service providers are here to improve your internet speeds and ultimately help your small business become more efficient.
What is the best Internet provider for small businesses?
It is very difficult to run a business without high-speed internet. In an age where everyone expects a social media presence and quick replies to their emails, the internet service you choose wields a lot of power. If your speed (measured in Mbps, megabits per second) is low, your whole business will slow down. Your business needs internet plans like it needs water. Or money, or insert your own analogy.
The first thing to do is to figure out your small business’s internet needs. Are you experiencing slow download speeds at the office? Do you wonder whether you have the fastest internet service available? You will want to take into consideration how many devices you use at your office, what your Mbps speed is, whether you want internet plans with unlimited data or if you can manage with data caps, and other basic questions. Be aware of any extra fees, including a possible termination fee, and watch for any changes in the monthly price. Treat your internet service like you would any business purchase: sit down with your experts and hammer out a workable plan.
(If you are curious about what your current internet speed is, go to fast.com and watch the website calculate your Mbps for you. This speed test will display a score that shows exactly how much data your internet service can process. A good number for a business is at least 50 Mbps, though some businesses require upload speeds as high as 1000 Mbps (https://www.business.org/services/internet/best-business-high-speed-internet-providers/)
Next, check out other businesses in your area, and determine who their service providers are and whether the service provider they use can deliver reliable internet connection. Their high-speed internet service may not necessarily be the exact one you should choose, but it’s a good place to start.
So while there are as many answers to this question as there are businesses, here are some providers we have researched:
Verizon is one of the biggest service providers out there. You may already be using Verizon’s phone service plan, which is renowned for being reliable. On its website, Verizon boasts a higher customer satisfaction rating compared to other internet providers, in terms of its customer service care. It is a fiber-optic internet provider, which means any bandwidth you pay for is your own—not your neighbors’. Overall, Verizon is a reliable internet choice for businesses.
This is an optic business internet provider that angles to meet small businesses’ needs. Its testimonies and offers are all related to people who have just started in the business world. Frontier Business includes services such as 24/7 customer service support and customizable internet provider bundles.
Frontier Business also offers phone services and bundles for their other internet plans. This is quite common. If businesses are good at providing one kind of internet service, why not multiple types from the same customer? If you are happy with your internet speeds, you may consider purchasing other packages this high-speed internet company has to offer.
Here’s another well-known name with a lot of credit and reliability under its belt. Recognized for its phone services, AT&T is a solid choice for your business. AT&T is a little more expensive when compared to the other options, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It just means that this provider should be worth the investment for your business. Cheap internet and “pricey internet” (though you would never see that term in a commercial) may simply be a reflection on the quality, and not necessarily unfairly priced internet plans. Do not feel you have to pay more or less than you need. Be honest with your small business needs, and stick to the budget.
Probably best-known for its internet video services, Comcast is another fantastic option. Better known under its Xfinity internet provider name, Comcast is a dominant provider of entertainment media and satellite tv services. While video streaming is its specialty, Comcast does not have as many options for general internet use. Not at first glance on their website, at least. Also, they are trying to corner the home market, not the business internet plan market. Still, it’s a great option if you run a business that streams shows for people in waiting rooms (doctors, dentists, repairs).
HughesNet satellite internet is a satellite provider service that is highly recommended for small businesses, according to business.org. HughesNet delivers cheap internet that may not have the fastest download speed, but it provides extra data during late-night hours. It should be noted that satellite is often less reliable than cable internet and fiber internet, but HughesNet satellite is still a competitive option for your internet plans.
If you are like most humans, your first thought when seeing the word “Viasat” is “gesundheit.” But business.org tells us not to rule it out for its odd name. Viasat is a satellite internet provider that is mediocre when compared to other satellite internet providers. However, it is also fantastic for rural areas or businesses far from the city. Unlike other providers, it does not shut off your bandwidth when you reach your data plan for their service. You may experience slower internet speeds, but you can always upgrade to a higher plan. Again, Viasat is not the fastest internet service, but it is an excellent option for satellite internet for businesses out in the boonies.
One of Spectrum’s benefits is its high minimum download speed. An article by business.org lists their speed as consistently hitting 100 to 940 Mbps; this minimum is twice as fast as what many businesses report they need. When you visit Spectrum’s site, they offer quotes on your business based on your address and office number’s area code. Its Internet and WiFi plan can be as low as $44.99. But take note—this price is only available when bundled with either their TV or Voice plan, which are $24.99 and $29.99, respectively. The Voice plan seems the best network option for businesses; it includes a business phone line and long-distance contacting to several places in North America (http://connectyourbusiness.net/Spectrum/CL/?tel=1-855-741-4990&kbid=118542).
As with all of these, be aware that Spectrum offers these low prices as a starting offer, and they may increase with time. Also, Spectrum seems to be popular, particularly in New York City. It doesn’t guarantee as high of speeds as Verizon, but what it does provide is faster than many of its competitors. So, if your small business wants to open an office in the Big Apple, Spectrum may be an option.
Google Fiber’s most significant advantage is that it provides reliable high-speed internet that integrates well with its TV and home phone plans. Its only disadvantage seems to be that there is not enough of it—this internet service provider only exists in certain cities! Check out Google Fiber’s website here to see if Google’s network reaches your small business. (https://fiber.google.com/?utm_expid=.ELF1DbWeTiuApFupIebq5w.0&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Ffiber.google.com%2F)
You may have heard of its services under a different name; it works with WebPass in some cities like Chicago and Denver. Google Fiber also includes a YouTube TV account, which might make it helpful for your personal internet plans, even if TV service is not what your business needs at the office.
The first thing that stood out to me while researching Century Link is that it has horrible reviews on highspeedinternet.com. Most of these reviews mention mediocre-to-horrible internet service, and almost all tell horror stories about Century Link’s customer service. Slow, rude, and seemingly apathetic to their coverage problems, my research was halted by the atrocious things I heard about this provider. To be fair, I only searched one random zip code, so maybe all the reviewers met with the same grumpy employee. Look closely at what your internet service providers for your area, not just what it is known for in other areas. But be careful. If you cannot communicate with a provider, it is highly unlikely that your problems will ever be fixed.
How much is business internet monthly?
There is only one short answer: it depends.
In all seriousness, there are enough providers out there that you can probably find one that works for your budget while still meeting your needs. I found several more providers that could be potentially viable network providers, but these are the ones that worked best in the areas I researched.
Providers and packages vary from place to place. They may be known under a different name in certain cities, or they might not exist at all in your city (Google Fiber). The customizability of your internet plan is endless. You need to know where you want to take your internet services. What does your small business need? You should definitely be running social media pages, but you probably want faster speeds for other reasons, like video conferencing, higher upload speed, blogging, and a site where customers can order your product. Look at how much high-speed internet your local office is using and find a plan that would expand its ability to work without overshooting and being needlessly expensive. You may even wish to see different options for different offices But make sure you study each provider’s bundle since some can include streaming or connection services for multiple devices.
With that in mind, please note that the following price estimates are exactly that: estimates. They will vary from state to state and country to country—and even from city to city. Also, remember that internet service providers will often charge cheaper rates at the beginning of your business’s subscription, then increase the price to the “full” amount later. I know, I don’t like it either.
AT&T starts customers off at $60 per month and is generally an all-around reliable internet partner. But this is on the higher end of the internet spectrum. (If you want to go even higher, check out Spectrum’s prices for providing internet to New York. Yikes. Then take a deep breath and keep reading).
Most services tend to offer $30 and $40 packages for high-speed internet itself. There are two caveats, though. First, as I said, many of these prices will rise over time. And secondly, some of these packages only come at their exclusive price if you bundle them with something else. This is because they are trying to sell a phone plan or a TV streaming plan along with their internet services. These may not be so bad if you are looking for a home internet provider. But most businesses expect employees to stream football games on their own time.
I would estimate that you can expect an average of $50 to $60 for internet per month, with the likely outcome of seeing your rates go up to $80 to $100. This is much less than I was expecting, but if it meets your needs, then everything works out. But be sure to do your research and find out which plan is best for you. You may want to include cloud storage in your internet plans. Pricing and offers for that are a whole different ball game.
What is the most reliable business internet provider?
It makes sense to ask this question—you want your money to be put to good use, right? If you have done your research, you will no doubt recognize that the three most prominent (in the United States, at any rate) are Verizon, AT&T, and Google Fiber. These are also the ones we recommend for most businesses. So do a little homework, contact these businesses and see what services they can offer you.