Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

ISP Package Primer for Small Business

Many small companies struggle with understanding what internet services providers (ISPs) are actually offering as business solutions. Almost all data packages are displayed in terms of speed— and ISPs highlight those speeds with the best adjectives their marketing departments can conjure up!

Here are some offerings in which you can “unleash” your transfer speed: Starter, Essential, Preferred, Gigablast, Ultimate, Extreme, Turbo, Standard, and Basic. Quite descriptive. You might also be staring at numbers such as: 50/2 – 30/5 – 20/2 – 15/1 – 75/5 – 100/10 – 1G/1G.

What does that all mean?

Basically, your internet usage can be broken into two categories: DOWNLOAD and UPLOAD. Those features and are expressed in terms of speed, measured in Mb/s or Megabits per Second. “Downloading” is the act of pulling files from the internet. Downloads can be from websites, movie files from YouTube, or data that you receive in an e-mail link. “Uploading” is pushing files out. When you’re sending an e-mail with an attachment, transferring a file to co-worker, or sending a file to a file distribution system, such as HighTail™ you are uploading.

It’s all about speed. In the example above of 50/2, your internet provider is allowing you a transfer speed of 50Mb/s down and 2Mb/s up to the (geographically limited) 1G/1G which is a blazing 1Gb/s down and 1Gb/s up!

Why should I care?

Let’s explore what you’re actually doing with your online content. If you’re business is pulling files off the internet, but not uploading a great deal, you might be a candidate for one of the “standard” internet packages. Sometimes referred to as “asynchronous” transfer speeds, often these offer traditional data packages that provide higher download speeds and lower uploads speeds. Basic packages can start from as low as $25/Month, but likely will not satisfy your business needs. Other packages will help you increase your download/upload speeds for additional monthly fees.

Take care, however, when entering into these agreements, as they may contain data “cap” limitations on how much data you upload and download. Additionally, broadband cable services may also require that you sign a multi-year contract. Look at that fine print before you sign.

Let’s talk size.

If your company is pushing out data, you may need to increase your cable data package to one that’s more compatible with the file sizes you transfer. Size=Time. Larger files take time to transfer and if you have multiple files to send out, you and your staff may be waiting long periods of time to complete that task.

For example, a 500 Megabyte file could take you over 30 minutes to transfer at 2Mb/s. However, if you were able to upgrade to 10Mb/s, the file transfer could take as little as 6.5 minutes to transfer.

Can you afford to wait?

If your file transfers are “passive”, maybe you can. Starting the upload and allow it to process in the background of what you’re working on can be advantageous. However, if you clients are actively waiting for those file transfers, maybe it’s time to upgrade. If we can help answer your questions about business data solutions, cloud storage or physical security for your small business, give Access Technologies a call.

* Please note, that this is upper limit your provider may offer. Factors such as electrical interference in amplifiers, the number of other people competing for bandwidth, and even rain can affect the advertised speeds.

Network Engineering Department

Access Technologies provides full spectrum IT + network monitoring, alerting and reporting services through NED - our exclusive management system.

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