Is Your Broadband Good Enough?

Your broadband connection is vital. In recent years, the use of cloud services has increased dramatically for most businesses. You may be using a Hosted Exchange service for your emails, Xero for accounts and Dropbox for cloud storage. You may even make calls on a VoIP (Voice-Over-IP) telephone system.

When using cloud services, if the internet fails, your business will be vulnerable because you will not be able to access your data.

It is likely that your business will have a conventional ADSL broadband connection or even a quick fibre connection. Is this type of connection suitable for you though, bearing in mind your reliance on cloud services?

Our latest blog explores the main differences between broadband connections and those of a leased line.

Connection Type

Broadband and leased lines connect to your business premises in different ways. Broadband is available as either a copper cable or fibre optic connection. Leased lines will be fibre optic. Fibre connections provide faster speeds than copper cables, but there are distinct differences between broadband fibre and leased line fibre.

When you take out a broadband package, you receive your internet from a connection to the local cabinet (the green or grey BT box on the side of the street). From the cabinet to the local exchange, there is either a copper wire or fibre. So, it is a series of copper or fibre cables that deliver the internet to your desktop.

The big difference between broadband and leased lines lies with how that cable is split between all of the other local premises. With standard broadband, you might be sharing that wire with the five businesses next to you. With a leased line, you get a dedicated circuit that only goes to you.

Reliability and Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

If you rely on the internet, what happens when it goes down? How long can you last without being online?

For most people, even a day without it is too much. When you get told by your broadband provider that it won’t be fixed for a week, what would you do?

The first thing you might do is complain and say that the provider has to fix it. But when you took out the contract, how much attention did you pay to the Service Level Agreements? Some broadband providers don’t really use SLAs. They may state that as part of their terms of service, it will be fixed as soon as possible. This could take days or even weeks. You might be paying only £50 a month for your business broadband, so why would you expect the internet to be fixed on that same day?

With leased lines, you can expect better reliability and strong SLAs. Where it might take three days to fix a broadband issue, with a leased line, the ISP will aim to fix the connection within 4 hours!

Additionally, with a leased line, you can expect a far quicker and more efficient service when something does go wrong, and great reliability in the first place.

Consistent Performance

With broadband, because you are sharing bandwidth with anyone else who is using it, everyone contends for the available speed. Whether it is a 38Mbps or even 76Mbps connection, your speed will depend on how many other people are using the broadband.

You may have signed up to a new business broadband account with a 40Mbps fibre connection and unlimited downloads. However, at peak times, you receive only a fraction of this speed because everyone else is also using their unlimited downloads.

With a leased line, however, because it is a dedicated circuit to your premises, there is no contention with others. You might decide to take only a 10Mbps line, but you have the knowledge that you will get the full 10Mbps. There is also an option of upgrading your connection up to 100Mbps or even 1Gbps in the future.

Additionally, if you have remote users that connect over VPN, they may struggle to have a fast connection once connected. This is because most broadband connections have slow upstream speeds, unlike leased lines which have the same upstream performance as downstream.

Summary – Broadband or Leased Line?

Whilst leased lines carry higher subscription costs, when you look at the three key differences above, you can understand why.

When considering a new internet solution, you have to consider what you actually need from the connection. Do you simply require a good connection but reliability is not vital? If you do depend on it for all of your business communications, then a leased line could be invaluable.

If you would like advice on selecting the most appropriate type of internet connection for your needs, please contact us. We will be happy to help.

Vantage IT supplies every type of business internet connection and many of our customers enjoy the peace of mind achieved by a leased line.