Business connectivity online has become an essential tool to modern companies. With eCommerce and digital marketing proving to be viable routes to overnight success, connectivity is more important than ever. Not only does being online generate revenue, it is essential to almost every operational procedure within a business.
In this article, our experts explore the world of business connectivity; ensuring that companies choose the right broadband and cloud services to create a solid infrastructure for reliable internet connectivity.
Business owners can discover more about business broadband, leased lines, and network audits.
What Is a Network Audit?
Network auditing allows businesses to survey their network’s health and pre-empt solutions. These audits evaluate business connectivity infrastructure, with analysis across both hardware and software. A network audit is usually conducted by experienced teams.
During an audit, experts analyse and gather network data to assess how secure the network is. Network audits also give businesses an insight into whether or not they are meeting compliance regulations.
Business audits should be comprehensive. To understand the full scope of your network’s health, we recommend reviewing the following areas.
- Control implementation
Why Do I Need a Network Audit?
By performing a network audit, you can stay one step ahead of future problems. Audits focus on software and hardware problems, which means that they are essential to the longevity of your business. If you want long-term success online, you need to invest in a regular audit.
Here are some of the reasons why businesses perform network audits.
- Audits allow your tech team to fix issues before they slow down your network and eat into your bottom line.
- Data gained from audits can uncover a world of possibilities. Your audit could be a gateway to new revenue opportunities in the form of managed IT services.
- Without reliable data, you cannot plan for the future. When you perform an audit, your team has all the information they need to create the next steps in your business.
- You can identify opportunities to improve your customers’ experiences.
Business Connectivity Audit
Establishing if your internet connection is reliable and secure enough for the daily operations of your company is crucial. There are many connectivity solutions, but if your businesses is not receiving consistent speeds, connectivity outages and not keeping a consistent connection, it may be time to evaluate your internet connectivity.
Many small businesses sign up for the cheapest business broadband available. However, this is no longer feasible in an age of advancing technology. Many companies operate most of their operation online, meaning finding an effective solution has never been more important.
If your current business broadband is falling short and costing your business money with poor connectivity, it may be to look at other connectivity solutions. Many small business owners turn to a leased line connection to future proof their company.
Performing a connectivity audit:
There are a few basic tests you can do by yourself to assess if your business has the right solution in place to manage all your requirements:
What broadband speed does my business need?
As any business owner, it important to get this right. A slow connection can cost you money, time and frustrated employees. Here's a rough guide of some of the speed you need for certain tasks/ business sizes:
Internet speed (download)
Number of connected users/devices
What you can do
1 or 2
Online browsing, research, emails
3 to 5
File transfer, communication and all the above
5 to 10
Streaming, file sharing, numerous POS transactions
10 to 15
Cloud services, video conferencing and data storage
15 to 20
Server hosting, streaming and heavy video conferencing
20 to 30
Multiple-server hosting, constant cloud-based computing, heavy online backups
1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps)
Extreme-speed operating for enterprise-ready offices with near-zero interruptions
You can perform a basic internet speed test here.
Understanding how your business uses broadband
For certain business operations, a leased line is crucial. This connectivity solution is typically great for a business who trades stocks and needs the very best refresh rate, companies downloading large files, organisations with a large network and those who have plans to scale the business up very quickly.
A quick assessment of your businesses needs should provide you with an overall picture when discussing you connectivity plans with a provider.
Compare connectivity solutions
Whatever conclusion you come to, it is important that your broadband provider delivers everything you need to stay online. Here are some key benefits to look out for:
- 24/7 customer support
- high speed connections
- time spent understanding your needs and delivering the right solution
- deals for new customers
- insight on the best solutions and technologies
You can read more about our connectivity solutions here.
What Is the Difference Between a Leased Line and Business Broadband?
We're all well aware of the important of high speed broadband, but many are not aware that simply purchasing super fast fibre broadband is sometime not enough. This is where leased lines step in, offering a reliable and super fast internet connection.
Here are the differences between business broadband and leased line connections:
Business broadband is the standard option. This type of broadband connection operates on Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Lines and through copper wires or existing phone lines. It is most common amongst small businesses.
Here are some important facts to consider about ADSL lines.
- Contention - People who opt for ADSL lines have to contend with contention. Contention is a ratio that tells consumers how many other people they share their broadband connection with. During peak times, your broadband will lower based on your rate of contention.
- High latency - This term refers to the response time after you have clicked something. Standard broadband has high latency, which means that you will wait for longer.
- Scalability - The scalability level shows you how difficult it is to alter the bandwidth you get every month. Standard broadband connections are not easy to alter. Most people who choose this option are on a fixed package.
- Symmetricality - This determines how equal your upload and download speeds are. Business broadband can offer you quick download speeds, but poor upload speeds.
Leased lines offer a direct line straight to your business premises. This solutions offers unbeatable reliability as it does not experience any slowdown in internet speeds during peak usage hours. It also provides a static IP address, allowing employees to work from anywhere whilst still having access to the business files via a secure network connection.
Leased lines also provides the strong infrastructure and speeds to host VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) telephone solutions. With the PTSN switch off fast approaching, this certainly offers support and security for companies moving forward.
Here are some more benefits of leased line solutions for business customers:
- Contention - Business owners do not have to worry about connectivity when they choose leased lines. Leased connections are unique to your business, which means that you do not share the line with anyone else. Slow peak times are a thing of the past.
- High latency - Leased connections have low latency. You can expect quick load times.
- Scalability - You can call your provider and request additional bandwidth.
- Symmetricality - Business owners can enjoy matching upload and download speeds.
- VoIP - telephone systems can be quickly scaled up at a low cost.
Does I Need Standard Business Broadband or a Leased Line?
Standard broadband is suitable for small businesses that do not have pressing connectivity requirements. As your business grows and starts implementing networks, employees and more advanced CRM/ other mission critical applications; a leased line may be required.
The type of broadband you should choose depends on the type of business you operate. If you are managing a call centre with multiple headsets and desktops, you should invest in a leased line to ensure that you have a reliable connection. Businesses that depend on video conferencing for their income should also invest.
A poor connection, frozen screen, or peak-time slow down could be all it takes to lose business. With more and more companies securing a stake in the digital space, it is important to be ahead of the curve. A leased connection can transport your business into the 21st century.
Which Has Better Security: Standard Business Broadband or Leased Lines?
Security is a big concern for business owners all over the UK. In most cases, standard broadband is secure enough to handle day-to-day operations. However, companies that handle sensitive data need a comprehensive view of their options.
Leased lines offer far more security than standard broadband solutions. As a leased line has its own connection separate from other users, they offer more protection against cyber attacks.
It is uncommon for people to attack dedicated lines. Wiretapping, which requires hackers to be near your premises, is far less likely to happen. In fact, most common leased connection breaches come from an internal error such as an employee opening a phishing email.
Compare Broadband and Leased Lines
No matter which type of broadband you decide to use, it is important to compare your options. With our online quote generator, it has never been easier to compare business broadband and compare leased lines. Put your information into our generator and find a tailored solution to your connectivity needs within a minute.
Business Connectivity FAQs
How much does a leased line cost?
Leased business broadband costs can be anywhere from £150 to over £1,000 a month. The actual cost of your broadband depends on a lot of different factors. Each situation is unique, and you should always get a quote before you dismiss leased broadband based on the expense alone.
What is full-fibre business broadband?Full-fibre broadband is a technology that uses fibre optic cable. Other connections will use the older copper telephone wires on a lower bandwidth.Fibre broadband provides high-speed Internet connectivity between two locations. This type of connection exists between the service provider location and your business.