Best Business Internet Service 2020

When searching for a business internet provider, there are many factors to consider. It requires researching the various types of internet service providers available for businesses today.

BY: MARK ANDREW ON MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2020
Best Business Internet Service 2020

When searching for a business internet provider, there are many factors to consider. It requires researching the various types of internet service providers available for businesses today.

It can overwhelm many, which is why you must narrow your search to choose only the best.

You may not know much about download speeds or upload speeds. What separates cable internet from DSL internet might be confusing.

But you need to become familiar.

You must get to know the differences between business internet service providers (ISPs). Ensure you pick the fastest speed internet connection for your business.

Internet Service Language

If you are among those who wonder what in the world are data caps? You are not alone.

Many small-business owners find it challenging to choose an Internet provider, as the internet has its own language, which most do not speak fluently.

Technological Terminology

If you have already looked at internet packages, features, and add-ons, you might be scratching your head.

Below is a list of technical terminology to help choose an internet provider.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the total volume of an internet connection to deliver data from point A to point B.

Cable

It uses coaxial cables to get high-speed internet. Some cable networks use a newer hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) technology that combines coaxial and optical fiber cables.

Copper

It uses copper wires to deliver telephone line services to millions, and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) internet travels along these lines.

Dial-up internet

Dial-up internet used to be the only way to gain internet access. Today, it is now obsolete, but in its hay-days, it required your modem to dial a phone number and wait for an answer to get connected.

If someone picked up the phone while another person was using the internet, it would disconnect.

Broadband internet

Broadband internet is an umbrella term for many types of high-speed internet. It is seen as "the internet that does not need to interfere" with phone lines, which older dial-up services used to do.

DSL internet

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is a type of high-speed broadband internet service. It uses copper wires to deliver data to businesses. DSL internet is considered “always-on” as it does not cause phone interference to use it, and it is much faster than dial-up.

Fiber internet

Fiber-optic technology delivers fast internet over glass and plastic cables. Fiber internet is newer and is often less available than DSL, cable, or satellite connections.

Fixed wireless internet

Some rural businesses can get internet by connecting a wireless receiver to signals sent by radio towers. It is an alternative to satellite internet, but it does not have fast speeds when compared to other providers.

Latency

Even at the highest speeds, it takes time for internet data to move from one point to another. Some internet connections are faster than others, and those that experience delays have higher latency.

Satellite internet has the highest average latency. This comes from data having to travel tens of thousands of miles to orbiting stations and back.

Fiber-optic technology offers the lowest latency because of its speediness.

Satellite internet

Satellite internet is high-tech satellite stations that orbit our planet. Many of the satellites deliver high-speed internet to businesses. Satellite internet is best suited for rural offices that cannot access any other types of internet connections.

Static IP

Internet Protocol (IP) is an address every computer is assigned when connecting to the internet. Some connections use dynamic IPs, which can change over time as the ISP sees fit.

However, some business operations need unchanging IPs or static IPs to function.

Uptime

Uptime is the percentage of time, months, or year your internet connection works with no interruptions. You should expect high reliability from your business ISP. You will usually see most internet services offer 99% uptime.

VoIP

VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, involves using online services that allow you to make and receive phone calls via internet technology.

It turns sound into packets of data that are sent using Internet Protocol (IP) computing language.

Hopefully, this list of technological terminology will help you better understand the services, plans, and packages your business needs.

But, this is a lot of information to take in, thus, if you find yourself still scratching your head, do not worry. Be patient, you will come to understand the internet's terminology in time.

The first step to take now is to find out the specific download and data service requirements of your small business.

If you want high-speed internet and a reliable internet connection, you must find the best internet service provider that fits your business needs.

There are various reasons a small business internet provider stands out, but not all are equal.

You must go with the one that stands out the most to you.

What to Look for in a Business Internet Service Provider

To make your internet options and terminology clearer, below is a list of a few details to look for in a business internet service provider.

We also recommend that you base your choice of an Internet plan on what your business needs are now and where you intend it to go.

Essential Internet Service Provider Features

Availability

Consider your business location. Is it in the middle of a fast-paced city or rural area? Find out what providers are available in your neighborhood and if they offer nationwide coverage and wi-fi hotspots. Learn about the types of internet speeds they provide their customers.

Bandwidth

One significant factor to consider when choosing the best business ISP is if it can provide you with sufficient bandwidth. Your company must have enough bandwidth to handle all on-site employees to ensure there is never an interruption or complete halt in productivity.

Customer Service

Your company stands to lose potential revenue during internet outages, which makes delivering prompt and helpful customer service even more critical. Here are a few points to consider when searching for excellent customer service.

Internet Provider Customer Service:

  • Do they show business customers a sense of urgency when trying to get their internet back up and running?
  • Do they provide customer satisfaction and timely phone service?
  • Do they offer customer support for internet outages, if so, what are their hours?
  • Do they offer downtime compensation?

Transparent Pricing

If you do not feel confident signing a contract with an Internet company, it is often because of the lack of transparent pricing.

The internet service provider you choose needs to show the cost of equipment, installation, and service.

Keep an eye out for confusing language and for hidden fees. If you are unsure about anything, ask questions, and request clarification before signing the dotted line.

Internet Options and Plans

You must know your options. Review the business plans or packages to determine which one is right for you.

Here are a few questions to ask your representative:

  • Does the Internet provider have different business service plans?
  • Is bundling plans and packages an option?
  • Can your Internet service plan handle your business needs like video conferencing, file sharing, Google searches, Wi-Fi, etc.?

Contract Terms

Read over the contract terms to know your rights as a customer. Find out if the company’s 99.99% expected uptime and 24/7 repair line appear in the yearly or month-to-month contract.

Learn if there is a cancellation fee if you break your monthly or end-of-year contract.

Picking the best business internet service provider need not be tricky. Choose one that will keep you online and on budget while meeting all your business internet service necessities.

Best Small Business Internet Service Providers

We compiled a list of the best internet service providers for small businesses to help with your search.

Remember to use the elements laid out in “What to look for in an internet provider?” as a guide to finding the best one.

Top 8 Business Internet Service Providers

1. AT&T

Stand Out Feature: Most Transparent Pricing

Starting Price: $50/month

Activation Fee and Contract: AT&T has a $75 activation fee. It does not require any contracts on any of its business fiber plans.

Bundle Services: Yes

Early Termination Fee (ETF): Varies.

AT&T Internet has a wide range of plans. It offers business internet plans with DSL, Fiber, and more.

The number of plans and speeds varies as they are based on location. Download speeds for most of their business plans range from 6 Mbps (DSL) to 1,000 Mbps (fiber).

It has high customer satisfaction ratings and transparent pricing. It lays the plans and prices out on the website.

If you bundle your services, it lowers the price.

2. Verizon Fios

Stand Out Feature: Best Customer Service

Starting Price: $69/month

Activation Fee and Contract: Fios internet only, a $99.99 activation fee applies with a 2-year contract. A $149.99 activation fee applies with no annual contract.

Bundle Services: Yes

Early Termination Fee (ETF):

Verizon has several connectivity products, including Fios Business Internet. This plan has the fastest internet speeds out of all Verizon business internet plans. Connect to the internet with speeds up to 940/880 Mbps in select areas.

If you prefer a different type of plan, Verizon has options. There is a Basic Internet Plan available. It uses Verizon's reliable network with speeds up to 15Mbps in select areas.

Another Verizon Internet plan is called the Dedicated Internet. It offers strong SLAs and QoS options. Its fast connections offer speed options from T1 to 100 Gbps, with access over Ethernet or T1.

Verizon’s flexibility lets you choose the speed that matches your business pace. It also offers bundle discounts and 24/7 live tech support.

3. CenturyLink

Stand Out Feature: Best Downtime Compensation

Starting Price: $65/month

Activation Fee and Contract: You pay $99 to activate a new business internet connection. A term commitment may be required and depending on customer location.

Bundle Services: Yes

Early Termination Fee (ETF): $200

CenturyLink offers three business internet plans. All are backed by a comprehensive service level agreement (SLA) and provide different levels of speed - Mpbs, kbps, and Gpbs.

It provides a dedicated internet for reliable access to cloud storage, optional voice services, ethernet, and fiber internet connections.

Some features: Microsoft Office 365®, Web Hosting, and Cloud Fax, at no additional charge.

4. Xfinity by Comcast

Stand Out Feature: Most Reliable Speeds

Starting Price: $29.99/month

Activation Fee and Contract: 2-year contract

Bundle Services: Yes

Early Termination Fee (ETF): 75% of your remaining bill.

Xfinity by Comcast gives you access to 3,000,000 Xfinity wi-fi hotspots and has no data caps. It provides 24/7 local customer support to customers.

You can get Internet speeds up to 1 Gig, a variety of bundling options, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Comcast Business is available across 39 states, making it one of the most widespread business internet providers in the country.

5. Frontier Business Internet

Stand Out Feature: Best Online Resources

Starting Price: $34.99/month

Activation Fee and Contract: 1-year contract.

Bundle Services: Yes

Early Termination Fee (ETF): Early-termination fees for canceling a contract differ depending on the service provided. Frontier says on its website that those fees range from $50 to $400.

Frontier Communications provides internet to small businesses in individual states and ZIP codes. Check if it is available at your business location.

Some of its features include:

  • Low - cost, basic plans
  • Symmetric fiber speeds
  • 36-month price guarantees
  • Reliable uptime
  • Round-the-clock customer support
  • Options for every budget
  • Customizable solutions
  • Premier VoIP solution
  • Bundle discounts

Frontier is best-suited for small businesses with lower service requirements. For DSL service, Frontier’s maximum download speed ranges from 7 to 20 Mbps, while the fiber internet option provides faster speeds of 50 to 500 Mbps.

6. Spectrum Business

Stand Out Feature: Best No-Contract Pick

Starting Price: $49.99/month

Activation Fee and Contract: No contracts or hidden fees.

Bundle Services: Yes

Early Termination Fee (ETF): No cancellation fee

Spectrum offers packages for small businesses that have under 4 employees to over 20 of them. Its speeds range from 300Mbps to 940Mbps. Below are some features Spectrum offers depending on the internet package you choose.

  • Email and file sharing
  • Point-of-sale terminals
  • Software updates
  • Video conferencing
  • Downloads on multiple devices
  • E-commerce business
  • Frequent file sharing
  • Cloud-based applications
  • Free Wi-Fi for your employees
  • Huge data file transfers

7. Kinetic Business Internet by Windstream

Stand Out Feature: Best Widespread Coverage

Starting Price: $44.99/month

Activation Fee and Contract: 2-years agreement. There are no-contract options.

Bundle Services: Yes

Early Termination Fee (ETF): Cancellation fee is waived if cancels within 30 days of service.

Windstream offers the most comprehensive nationwide internet coverage, with service available in every US state except Alaska. It provides 24/7 support and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

  • Speeds up to 200 Mbps
  • Static IP Addresses Available
  • No Data Caps

Its expected uptime of 99.995%

8. Viasat / Exede

Stand Out Feature: Best For Rural Businesses

Starting Price: $50/month

Activation Fee and Contract: 2-years contract

Bundle Services: Yes

Early Termination Fee (ETF): $15 for every month remaining on the contract.

Viasat / Exede offers nationwide broadband internet with speeds of up to 35 Mbps across most of the US. Up to 100 Mbps in select areas. It provides unlimited data plans, customer support, and fast installations.

Conclusion

The best business internet providers offer nationwide service, reliable connectivity, the right volume of bandwidth, and excellent customer service.

The provider you choose must have high availability and plans that work for you, your business, and your location. You must read the fine print and talk to a representative before signing a plan.

Once you feel comfortable, ask yourself this question, "Which Internet provider stands out the most to you?"

About the Author

Mark Andrew

Mark is a freelance content writer specializing in topics such as Internet marketing for small businesses. His goal is to help small businesses owners understand what types of services and products truely bring in more business.

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