With COVID-19 quarantines still underway, more businesses are relying on the internet to reach customers. Broadband providers have experienced a traffic surge between 30 and 50% for mobile and fixed networks. Internet use has reached a high of 70%.

If your company isn’t working with a reliable business internet provider, there’s a chance you’re falling behind.

Do you know how to choose an internet provider for your business? Here are seven tips to get you started. By focusing on these qualities during your search, you can find the right fit for your team.

Discover how to get the internet for your business with these tips today.

1. Speed

When looking for a business internet provider, most companies prioritize bandwidth. Your bandwidth needs can vary based on the size of your operations. The type of work you do can determine the bandwidth you need as well.

Failing to choose the right bandwidth could slow you down. If your internet is too slow, it could impact your team’s productivity.

To determine your bandwidth, ask yourself:

  • Do I need point-to-point connectivity?
  • How many devices will transfer data?
  • How fast do we need the internet to run?
  • How much bandwidth does the team currently use?

There are a few options you can choose from when exploring your high-speed internet options.

For example, many businesses are choosing fiber-optic internet when they need a balance between download and upload bandwidth.

Fiber is also an ideal choice if you want to scale your business. Whether you’re growing or reducing your team, you can scale our bandwidth based on your needs. This option can help you make cost-effective choices for your business.

Either way, your internet provider can increase or decrease your fiber bandwidth without scheduling an installation.

You might choose cable internet instead. Cable internet requires a standard coax cable line. These lines were originally used to provide companies with internet service.

If you decide on cable internet, it’s important to note that you’ll share your bandwidth with other users in the area. This could slow your internet speeds down.

Ethernet over digital subscriber line (DSL) utilizes old internet technology using dial-up modems. While this option might impact your bandwidth, it’s also one of the most affordable options.

If you’re prioritizing speed and reliability, however, you’re better off with one of the options above. You can learn more about high speed internet here.

2. Security

Over 43% of cyberattacks are directed at small businesses. Unfortunately, only 14% of small businesses are able to defend themselves.

These hacks cost businesses about $200,000 on average.

The Internet for businesses should always keep security in mind. If your system isn’t secure, you could put your customers’ personal information at risk. If hackers steal their information, consumers might not trust your business in the future.

Hackers could also steal your financial information or privileged business files. If those files are posted online, it could mean the end of your business.

If you want to learn how to choose an internet provider, consider your security needs. You’ll want an encrypted wireless internet connection to prevent hackers from accessing your system. Encrypting your system will also allow you to monitor online activity.

If suspicious activity occurs, you detect it as soon as possible.

Choose an internet provider that can protect you from viruses, spam, and spyware. You can choose an internet provider that prioritizes their own security, too. Do they run background checks on their employees?

Consider looking for a business that completed SSAE 16 validation audits, which review how the company manages its security.

3. Support

What happens when your business internet shuts down? Your entire business might get stuck, causing productivity and efficiency to halt. When searching for a business internet company, look for someone who offers accessible support.

Do they provide high-quality customer support? Is the team patient in an emergency? Do they go the extra mile when helping their clients?

You can read company reviews to learn more about each internet provider. You can find reviews on their website or Google My Business listing.

Look for a company that offers 24/7 technical support as well.

If your internet service shuts down, you might struggle to file a service request online. Instead, make sure the internet provider offers phone service, too. The next time you have an issue, you can call them to find the help you need.

Do you need to combine your business internet and phone services? Ask the internet provider if they offer both. Combining these services could help you save money.

You also won’t have to deal with more than one vendor.

You never know when an emergency might arise. A company that offers the support you need will have the ability to keep you up-and-running.

Their Process

Before buying the internet for your business, ask each internet provider about their process.

How will you send in requests? How often will they review your existing system? Will they contact you if they notice a problem?

How large is their team? Do they have a big enough team to respond to multiple tickets at once? Will you have to wait your turn before someone can respond to your request?

Does the business normally experience delays? How long do those delays tend to last?

Learning more about an internet provider’s process can give you peace of mind. After all, you want to work with a business that’s on top of their services.

If the internet provider only works with a small team, they might struggle to meet your needs. If they take too long to respond to service calls, your company will suffer for it. Make sure the provider you choose can meet your company’s requirements.

4. Location

Many businesses look into the internet provider’s location before making their choice. Some national providers fail to offer services in certain areas. If your business is in a rural area, you might find your options are limited.

As you begin developing a list of potential providers, research their location. Do they cover your area? If so, will your location impact the service you receive?

Make sure to confirm the internet provider can meet your needs and expectations before you hire them.

5. Timeliness

If your entire system suddenly shuts down, you’re going to need immediate help. Otherwise, your entire business will stall. When looking for an internet service provider, ask about their response time.

Can they respond to a service call quickly? How long does it take for them to respond to an outage? When will their service techs arrive onsite to troubleshoot the issue?

How will the company help you in a worst-case scenario?

If it takes one or two days before a team can arrive, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, those delays can impact your business. While you’re waiting for an internet technician to arrive, your customers will sit around, waiting for you.

6. Capabilities

As you learn how to choose an internet provider, it’s important to focus on the future instead of only the present. Technology changes all the time. As technology develops, hackers find new ways to breach your firewalls.

Look for an internet provider that takes a proactive approach. What problems have other clients experienced regarding their internet? How can the internet provider help you avoid those problems?

It can benefit your business to choose someone that’s future-oriented.

For example, you might want to choose a provider that offers IPv6 services. As the next generation for IP addresses, IPv6 will soon replace IPv4. In fact, IPv6 was created to respond to the issue of IPv4 address exhaustion.

Look for an internet company that remains up-to-date with the latest trends in their industry. As new technologies emerge, they’ll have the ability to provide you with new services. Instead of falling behind the curve, you can remain a step ahead of hackers and competitors.

7. Cost

Over 80% of businesses fail because of cash flow problems. Of these, 29% fail after running out of money. If you want to set your business up for success, you need to consider costs before you choose an internet provider.

Internet costs can range depending on the bandwidth you choose and how many members of your team are using it. Remember, you’re getting what you’re paying for. If you have a huge team that sends out and accepts large files throughout the day, you’ll need a larger bandwidth.

Otherwise, your team’s productivity could struggle.

Take the time to review the details of your contract with each internet provider you contact. What’s included in the contract? Are there any additional costs you might have to worry about in the future?

Ask about scalability, too. How much will it cost if you need to increase your bandwidth? How long will it take?

Look for an internet provider that meets your budget and internet needs.

Select the Best: 7 Qualities to Look for in a Business Internet Provider

Your business internet could impact your entire company’s productivity. By prioritizing these qualities, you can find the best internet provider in the area. Make sure the internet provider you choose meets your expectations.

With their help, you can speed up your internet and improve your security.

Looking for more helpful business tips? Explore our latest featured articles today.