If you run a company, one thing’s certain: high-quality, reliable broadband is non-negotiable. But is it better to go for all the bells and whistles of a business broadband package, or should you plump for a cheaper standard home service?
There’s only way to find out… Read on to see which is the one for you with our guide to business broadband vs home broadband.
In a word, yes. Most business broadband packages will guarantee a superior service with a written service level agreement (SLA). This means your provider is bound to delivering a particular standard of service – high speeds, less outages and any problems solved within a fixed time period. If the provider doesn't stick to the SLA, you'll likely be able to claim compensation.
A home broadband provider will be much less likely to offer a guarantee of service. If they do, you can expect a much longer timeframe to solve connection problems.
As you might expect, business broadband is generally much faster than the personal type. You'll be able to upload files faster, have high-definition video calls, host webinars etc. With many providers offering fast fibre packages with speeds up to 76Mbps, some can offer up to 350Mbps.
And as a business customer, you'll get priority, so if there're busy periods when everyone in the area is logging on at the same time, your speeds will be protected.
You've also got the option to purchase a dedicated line (a leased line) that'll deliver broadband to your address alone. You can achieve any speeds up to 10Gbps this way.
Every provider should offer some level of cyber security, but business broadband providers should pull out all the stops to keep your company safe.
If you opt for a business broadband deal, you'll enjoy superior security software. Plus, depending on which provider you select, you might also get extra services like a provision to back up data or a VPN (virtual private network).
If you run your own business, then getting hacked could be a major setback and erode your clients' trust, so investing in a safe business broadband package might be a prudent move.
An IP address is the unique number used to identify your computer. If you pick a home broadband service, you'll get a dynamic IP address, so it changes each time you connect to the internet.
But if you want to access your computer remotely, run a website or host a server, you'll want a static IP address – another perk of a business broadband package.
A personal broadband service will come with a standard landline. You can usually choose to add on inclusive calls and features such as voicemail, but that's where the flexibility ends.
Choose business broadband and you'll receive much more, such as different phone systems, more than one line, business-specific numbers and even VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).
If you need more than just a resilient internet connection, you may be able to strike a suitable deal with your provider.
Some providers also offer services such as web hosting and servers, automatic online backup, numerous email addresses (specific to your business) and cloud storage. In most cases, you won't receive these extras with a home broadband package.
There's a big difference between business routers and residential routers. If you don't need to connect more than 12 computers, then a standard home router should be fine for your needs. A larger business will require a larger router than can supply a couple of thousand square feet and over several floors.
Ah, the million dollar question. You'll get more products and a superior service with business broadband, but that inevitably means forking out considerably more per month.
If you're certain you'll need those extras – web domains, multiple phone lines, email addresses, tighter security – then it's well worth spending more.
If you think you'll be fine on a residential broadband package, though, save your pennies and opt for a standard service instead. Just bear in mind that the savings you make may be cancelled out if you have problems with the connection and then can't get through to customer support quickly enough.
For a business owner, the ability to quickly resolve connection problems is vital to avoid losing revenue and to sustain a healthy relationship with clients. So it makes sense that the level of customer service is the biggest differentiator between business broadband and home broadband.
As a business broadband customer, you'll get better customer support, greater technical guidance and a quicker response than someone with home broadband. Should you experience any problems with your connection, you'll be given higher priority and go straight to the front of the queue.
Most business broadband providers will fix faulty connections within 24 hours, and if you're prepared to pay more, you shouldn't have to wait more than a few hours. This is in marked contrast to home broadband providers, who operate customer support at limited times.