Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Upgrade your ISP to GigE and 10GigE

By: John Shepler

Regardless of whether your business is strictly e-commerce or a traditional bricks and mortar operation, Internet access is essential to conducting business these days. One thing we never seem to have enough of is bandwidth. This is the right time to upgrade your broadband connection to handle the throughput you really need to efficiently get the job done. Surprisingly, it may be more affordable than you think.

Dramatically increase your broadband speed to 1 Gbps or 10 GbpsHow Much Do You Need?
Small businesses, including home offices, single person professional offices, small retail stores and the like, may find that 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet service is plenty. You might even get by with less than that… for now. For every other situation, you’ll want to look at bandwidth fast enough to be transparent. Transparent means you don’t even know it is there. There’s always enough that you won’t get slowed down no matter what you are doing. That’s the gigabit range. Consider Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GigE).

Why speeds so much higher than you’ve expected over the years? Today’s business is different. Much of what we call content is high consumption video versus email messaging. Images are much larger, if not in physical size then in Mbps. Databases are huge. They don’t call it “big data” for no reason. On top of all this, most processing has moved or is moving to the cloud. Those high speed Ethernet cables that connected you in-house have to be replicated between you and your cloud provider.

Really Fast Connections Readily Available
Fortunately, the networking industry is keeping pace. The incentives of greater business demand, 4G and 5G wireless, and consumer cord cutting has pushed providers to expand their networks and lower the cost per Mbps and Gbps. You likely have multiple options to get the bandwidth you need at a price you can afford.

You should know that Internet Server Provider (ISP) bandwidth comes in multiple flavors, each with its own characteristics and pricing. There’s a reason why they don’t all cost the same. The first reason is provider competition. The more options that are available in a particular area, the more competitive pricing will be, especially on the higher end business connections.

Another reason is whether you can live with shared bandwidth or need to have exclusive use. Your lower cost options, of which cable is the biggest provider by far, have the bandwidth multiplexed or shared among many users. You’ll notice that your bandwidth is “up to 1 Gbps” rather than guaranteed to be that speed at all times. The idea is that not everyone is using the line to full capacity at all times. In fact, that’s highly unlikely. So, while you are reading something online, somebody else is downloading a file… and vice versa.

If you are running a server or running business critical software in the cloud that needs to hesitate as little as possible, you’ll want Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) at a minimum. In fact, you may even need to upgrade to a direct connection between you and your cloud provider to get the performance you desire. That gets you off the Internet and its vagaries completely. Dedicated Internet Access keeps you on the Internet, but you don’t share your “last mile” bandwidth. That’s where most of the congestion occurs anyway.

Another consideration is whether you need symmetrical bandwidth or not. Most Internet services that offer shared bandwidth are also asymmetrical. That means the download speed is much higher, sometimes 10x higher, than the upload speed. It makes sense if you are mostly accessing web sites or downloading videos, like most consumers. However, if you run cloud processes where you upload as much as you download or do large backups to remote storage, you’ll want symmetrical bandwidth options.

Your ISP Bandwidth Options
So, what’s available? Cable broadband using DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 standards will get you 100 to 1000 Mbps shared bandwidth Internet access, usually asymmetrical. It’s quite reliable these days and you can’t beat the price.

If you are out in the boonies where there is no cable, you might get by with 4G or 5G wireless broadband. Yes, it’s the same broadband that runs your smartphone, but with a special modem that connects an office network. Another option is satellite business broadband. This will work just about anywhere and offers decent bandwidth. Latency can be an issue, especially for VoIP telephony and video conferencing, but otherwise may be just the ticket. Note that both of these wireless options have limited resources so that you may run into usage limits.

Fiber optic bandwidth is the gold standard these days. It’s more available than ever before and you can generally get as much bandwidth as you care to. This is where you find DIA and symmetrical options. You'll also find the services to directly connect you to your cloud provider or other business locations.

Fixed Wireless Access used to be very limited and only in major downtown metro areas. It’s expanded quite a bit recently and can often function as fiber optic without the fiber. That works to your advantage when fiber construction costs are high or you can’t wait long for service installation.

Should you upgrade your ISP to GigE or 10 GigE? Perhaps even 100 GigE? If your current Internet service is stifling your business you really can’t afford not to. Check high speed business Internet and direct connection prices and availability now to see what is available for your business locations.

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

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