Sunday, June 18, 2017

Faster Internet Connectivity

By: John Shepler

More is often better when it comes to Internet access speed. Yes, at some point the bandwidth of the line is so wide and the latency so low that your connection appears to be transparent. That’s not the case for most of us. We’re bandwidth limited to what we can afford and what is available. So, do we have to settle for limited throughput? Not necessarily, and certainly not until we’ve checked out all the options now available.

Move up to high speed Internet connectivityTimes Have Changed
One thing that holds us back in achieving faster Internet connectivity is the status quo. We’re comfortable with our Internet service provider and may not give it much thought. You might have just lucked into a good broadband service years ago or did a thorough search before selecting your current provider and service level. Just remember… that was years ago. In Internet years, that’s forever!

The Oldies: T1 and DSL
T1 lines and DSL were once the hot tech services. In fact, they may have been the only thing affordable at the time. Sure, there were T3 lines (also called DS3 service) and telco provided SONET fiber, but those were grossly expensive and only ordered if you REALLY needed them.

DSL is pretty much yesterday’s tech. T1 lines, however are still alive and well. They’re either on very old contracts that haven’t been reviewed in years or for special needs like rural locations where there isn’t much else. Todays T1 lines cost about half what they did a decade ago and you can bond them to create higher bandwidths. For most of us, though, there are better choices.

Cable Business Broadband
Today’s most popular entry level broadband service is business cable. It’s 10x to 20x the speed of a T1 line for less cost… if you can get it. In metro areas, no problem. Outside of town, not so much. The DOCSIS standard has been upgraded over the years so that 100 Mbps bandwidth is fairly easy to find. Even 1,000 Mbps is possible with DOCSIS 3.0, the current standard. A max speed of 10 Gbps is possible with the latest release, DOCSIS 3.1.

Note that these speeds are typically only available for download. Upstream capacity is often a tenth the downstream bandwidth. That works great for typical Internet access, but can be a limitation if you upload large files extensively. Also, cable broadband is a shared service. You share the available bandwidth with others on the cable rather than having it all to yourself.

Fiber Optic Ethernet
If future-proof highly reliable high speed Internet access with nearly unlimited dedicated bandwidth and low latency is what you really want, then fiber optic Internet connections are the real answer. The pioneering but expensive legacy SONET fiber services, such as OC-3, OC-12 and OC-48, are being quickly replaced by Ethernet over Fiber or EoF.

Carrier Ethernet is a perfect match to your local area network and offers scalable bandwidth from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps, and up to 100 Gbps in select areas. It’s the most cost effective service you can get in terms of $ per Mbps. You also have the option of starting with the bandwidth you need today and quickly scaling up as needed in the future, usually with no hardware changes required.

High Speed Wireless
While fiber is the most desirable connectivity, it isn’t available everywhere. This is especially true in rural areas or even just beyond the metro limits. If fiber line run to or close by your building, then you are in luck. Otherwise construction costs might be totally unacceptable regardless of the monthly lease fees.

If wires, including cable and fiber, aren’t the answer for you, then wireless may get the job done. There are two good options to consider. One is fixed point business Internet that picks up the tower signal using a small antenna on your building. The other is two-way business satellite that uses a small dish pointed at the southern sky to the same thing.

Fixed Point Wireless
These providers are also known as WISPs or Wireless Internet Service Providers. Small Business Internet is similar to cable broadband but without the cable. You may get up to 50/5 Mbps of shared bandwidth for a very reasonable monthly price with no data caps. Enterprise Business Internet offers symmetrical dedicated bandwidth like Ethernet Fiber from 10 Mbps up to 1 Gbps with low latency for sensitive traffic like voice and video. Like other services, you’ll need to be in a location that is served by a strong WISP signal.

Satellite Wireless
The one nearly universal Internet connectivity service is broadband business satellite. Perched thousands of miles over the equator, satellites the size of school busses beam strong signals that blanket the USA and beyond, including islands and ships at sea. Two-way satellite has long been used by gas stations, restaurants, bank branches and other small commercial locations that have limited access needs. The new generations of “birds” are serious contenders with wireline and fiber. Look for bandwidth options around 15 Mbps now and up to 100 Mbps soon. Latency is pretty much stuck around half a second due to the enormous distances involved. That may or may not be a factor depending on how sensitive your applications, like voice, video and cloud services, are to these time delays.

Did you know that there were so many options to get faster Internet connectivity for your business? Whether you are a large, medium or small organization, check out your options for high speed broadband Internet service at your location.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

How Your Network Provider Can Help Keep You Secure

By: John Shepler

It seems like every week there’s a major “hack attack” against companies large and small. Once upon a time, this was more of an annoying curiosity than a serious problem, as the intruders were mostly curiosity seekers looking to enhance their tech cred within their computer enthusiast community. Now it’s serious trouble. Today’s attacks are at least disruptive to the conduct of business and at most create unrecoverable destruction.

Have You Covered ALL The Bases?
You’ve tried to adhere to recommended practice, but there’s always that nagging feeling that you’re still vulnerable. Is there anything else within reason that can be done to keep the bad guys out? Let’s take a quick look at some Cybersecurity Basics, courtesy of Level 3 Communications, a major network service provider:

You are probably already implementing software patch updates, strong passwords, anti-virus software, and Internet firewalls as technical solutions. Employee training to avoid things like clicking on email links is also excellent practice.

Where The Network Provider Fits In
Even so, as shown in the video, there are protections that your network service provider can implement to stop these attacks before they even get to you. Certainly, the service provider can monitor their own core servers and mitigate attacks, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) that try to traverse their network connections. But, a managed service provider can also extend that level of monitoring and protection into your network as well.

The Team Approach
Why go it alone, when you can have high reliability wide area networking services along with full-time security monitoring and attack protection working on your behalf behind the scenes. Seems like there is no such thing as too much security these days, so this could be a great time to consider adding managed network security to the protections you have already established… just to be sure.

Your Options
Are you interested in higher performance connectivity with the advantages of monitoring and added network security? Find out about the wide range of networking options available to you now.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Metro Fiber Ethernet Gets You The Bandwidth You Need

By: John Shepler

Back when your company was smaller and business was slow, the old DSL or T1 line offered plenty of bandwidth to get the job done. Not so much anymore. Things have picked up and more of the content you need involves higher resolution graphics and video. Network congestion has your business throttled and that’s a bad situation.

Find Metro Fiber Ethernet Service for your business location now!Metro Fiber Ethernet Means Bandwidth
There is a clear trend in the telecom and network connection field. It is a gaining momentum toward everything fiber. That’s right, the fiber optic connections you used to take a pass on because of high cost or lack of availability are now ready for your business and at much better prices.

Fiber has the advantage over traditional twisted pair copper and wireless distribution because there is just about no limit to how fast those glass strands will run. Technology advances take the same glass fibers and increase the carrying capacity every few years. Too much data in the fiber bundle is a problem for the distant future, if ever.

What level of bandwidth is available now? Business users can generally get anything from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps, with 100 Gbps in selected areas. Once your have the fiber installed, it’s your choice how much capacity to order. Same line, multiple bandwidth options.

Pay For Just What You Need
As fiber optic installations are multiplying, another technology is also taking over. That is, Carrier Ethernet. Yes, this is a compatible protocol with the Ethernet you already use on your Local Area Network. You simply plug into the Carrier’s termination, often a managed edge router, and you are connected to the Internet or via a private line across town or some other business location in the world.

Another beauty of Ethernet service is that there are no fixed bandwidth levels as there were with the older SONET fiber service. If you want 400 Mbps, you can get that. If you’d prefer 100 Mbps or 1,500 Mbps you can order those levels too. As long as the Ethernet Port installed at your location can handle the bandwidth, you can run at just about any speed.

This suggests a major cost savings for you. If your business level only requires 100 Mbps today, then order that. You may soon need 1000 Mbps, also called Gigabit Ethernet. No problem, call up your carrier and tell them to increase the speed of your line. They likely do that without any hardware changes and simply adjust your bill to reflect the increase in service level. You know that you have the flexibility to incrementally increase bandwidth as you really need the capacity.

More Availability, Less Money
You are no doubt aware that smartphones are getting faster and faster. 3G broadband is pretty much on the way out. Now it’s 4G everywhere, with 5G trials underway. One effect of this is that the old T1 lines that powered cell towers through 2G and 3G don’t have the capacity to support 4G and certainly not 5G. Support of high speed wireless has ironically caused fiber optic installations to boom. Fiber used to be rare and extremely pricey. Not so anymore. Pretty much all communication infrastructure being installed right now is fiber or wireless towers… or both.

All this fiber means capacity galore and lots of competition between a myriad of providers, all vying for businesses of all sizes. Even the Cable companies have gotten into the act recently. They’re offering access to their fiber optic networks that have the same quality of service as other business fiber services.

Why Metro Fiber Ethernet?
As the name suggests, metro fiber is more for locations within populated areas than out in the boonies. Metro also includes smaller cities, suburbs and business parks, not just major downtown areas.

What you want is competitive pricing on fiber based Ethernet bandwidth in a given metro area. Fortunately, that’s easy to find if you have the right tools. Want to see just how much bandwidth you can get for much lower prices than you’d expect? See how many Metro Fiber Ethernet Services are available for your business (not residential) location in a matter of a couple minutes.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Is There Business Fiber Optic Internet Near Me?

By: John Shepler

Are you still struggling with DSL or some other Internet service that is burdened by low speeds, network congestion, high latency, packet loss or all of these? It’s a frustration, isn’t it? What’s more, you are probably losing more money every month than you would spend to upgrade to high performance fiber optic broadband service. The big question: “Is there business fiber optic Internet near me?”

Get Fiber Optic Internet Busieness Service Results Times Have Changed
When you first moved up from dial-up ISDN, or X.25 connectivity to broadband, options were probably few. There was a time when DSL was state of the art. Even ADSL shared on a standard phone line offered a huge advance in line speed over what else what available.

If you could afford them, T1 lines were a lot more stable and reliable, although speed was capped at 1.5 Mbps… still plenty in the early days of e-commerce.

Many businesses opted for satellite as a way to connect retail locations to the home office. High latency and weather outages were just something to be dealt with.

But, this is ancient history. The whole nature of business operations has changed dramatically over the last couple of decades. The Internet isn’t just for email or looking up information anymore. It’s IS your connection to all-things in the cloud and around the world. There’s no good reason to just get by with whatever connectivity you’ve had. That is, not when fiber optic Internet might be right next door and a fraction of the cost it was when you last took a look.

Fiber Has Been Sneaking Up on You
It’s a fact that conduits full of fiber optic cables have been quietly being trenched into both urban and rural right of ways all across the country. You don’t see headlines about this anymore, because it isn’t breaking news that somebody just put a fiber cable in the ground like it used to be. Fiber is now considered vital infrastructure and is being routinely installed, just like gas pipes and power lines. You almost have to be a little careful where you plant a shovel in the ground these days. You might just chop a fiber cable in two…. and that is one expensive situation to fix.

Who’s Burying Fiber Cables Nearby?
The telephone company is the traditional installer of telecom infrastructure including copper and fiber lines. In fact local telcos pretty much own all of the twisted pair copper in the ground and on the poles. Fiber… not so much.

While telephone companies are, indeed, in a mad dash to upgrade their physical plants to meet the nearly insatiable bandwidth demands of 4G and soon to be 5G wireless, cloud services and video distribution, there are other major players too.

You might think of cable companies as married to coax copper lines. That’s what they install in your building, after all. What you don’t see is that those coax lines terminate to fiber lines not far away. Cable fiber forms the backbone of their networks. It’s only recently that the major cable companies have offered business users fiber connections to their network. Get business cable fiber and you’ll have almost unlimited bandwidth, low latency and minimal packet loss, all at a reasonable price.

Independent network companies are the other big source of fiber optic infrastructure. These companies have built out their own regional and national fiber networks and may well completely bypass both the telephone and cable companies to hook you up directly.

So, How Do I Get Fiber?
You can get out there and do your own research, but you may miss some of the best fiber providers. They don’t necessarily have a local office or advertising. Your best shot to get the most options at the best competitive pricing is to go through a bandwidth broker. This is a company that has relationships with dozens of service providers and the service maps to know exactly what is available and how close it is to your location. You might even be surprised to learn that the building next door is already lit for fiber broadband and it is no trouble at all to get you a connection quickly.

Want to find out right now where fiber optic Internet services are relative to your business (not residential) address? Take a minute or so to enter your address and get a map and list of fiber optic Ethernet broadband near you. Then use the handy inquiry form to describe just what you are looking for and how you’ll use it to get pricing and install times for the best service options.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fiber Internet Availability and Lower Prices

By: John Shepler

It’s high time that most businesses make the move from wireline to fiber optic Internet service. Easy to say, but just how available is fiber these days and can I afford it? You’d be surprised how often the answer is YES.

It's easy to move on up to higher bandwidth with fiber optic Internet serviceWhat’s New With Fiber?
A decade ago, fiber optic bandwidth was only for large companies with big, big budgets. It was provided mostly by the incumbent telephone companies over SONET services such as OC-3, OC-12 and OC-48. IF you were located near enough to a fiber run to even qualify, the monthly bill was enough to make your eyes pop out.

Oh, that’s changed dramatically over the last few years. Now the most popular fiber services are Ethernet and the prices are not that dramatically higher than what you used to pay for a T1 or T3 line… and you get a lot more bandwidth. Entry level is now typically 10 Mbps and goes up to 10 Gbps, with 100 Gbps available in some areas. Need more than that? Really?

More Providers Mean More Availability, Better Deals
One major change is in who is providing fiber Internet service now. Yes, the big name telcos are still in the game with classic SONET service. But they’ve also built out the capability for Ethernet over Fiber and lowered prices dramatically. The better pricing comes from technology advances, but mostly from more competition.

Who’s the competition? It’s independent carriers that have built their own regional and national all-fiber networks. All that twisted pair copper in the ground belongs to the local telephone company. But fiber is a different game. Many providers have their own POPs (Points of Presence) that do not go through the telephone central offices. They don’t have to negotiate to lease the last mile connections. They simply install the runs themselves.

What’s So Great About Ethernet?
Are you kidding? Just what protocol is your LAN running? Today’s networks are all about data packets, not telephone calls. In fact, most of the traffic is actually digitized video. The standard interface is an Ethernet port, so why not keep everything in the Ethernet protocol from end to end?

Carrier Ethernet, as it is called, has other advantages. The newer Ethernet over Fiber networks are designed to be a lot more scalable. The old SONET system is set up with discrete levels of bandwidth and each one needs its own unique interface. Ethernet is Ethernet. Only the speed varies, so the interface remains the same. There will be a hardware change if you want to switch from RJ-45 copper to fiber optic for 10 Gbps and 100 Gbps. Otherwise, if your service provider installs a Gigabit Ethernet port you can change the bandwidth of your service from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps at will. Not only can you upgrade quicker than ever, you only pay for the bandwidth you are using, not the full speed the line is capable of.

What About Installation?
This can be a bugaboo out in the boonies where there just isn’t much network infrastructure yet. In most cities, there is plenty of fiber in the ground and easy to access nearby. If your building is already “lit” with fiber installed and operating, you can get service quickly and easily without external construction costs. Otherwise, it depends. If the POP is close enough and you, or you and other some other tenants of the building, want enough service, the carrier might just eat the construction cost themselves. However, you may be asked to kick in some, so you’ll need to weigh that as part of the decision on how valuable fiber broadband is to your business.

I should note that some of the most aggressive fiber optic providers now are the cable companies. You think of them for television and coaxial cable broadband (DOCSIS). Cable broadband service is very inexpensive because it is shared among many users with the performance variations you’d expect. Behind the scenes, cable companies run their own fiber optic networks. Most of your town is probably lit for fiber other than the last segment of coax to your building. The cable companies can also make that a fiber run and connect you to their fiber optic network with dedicated symmetrical Internet access just like the telephone company and other providers.

Pricing and Availability
If you are a larger organization or your business is heavily dependent on applications in the cloud, you NEED fiber optic Internet service. You may be surprised by how much bandwidth you can get today at reasonable prices. Want to find out? Let’s check out fiber optic service availability and pricing for your business location.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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