Your Guide to Small-Business Internet 2021

Find out if you should invest in a small-business internet plan.

Business internet is generally faster than residential internet, but it’s also more expensive. As a small-business owner, you should first determine if a business-oriented plan is just what the company needs—or if it’s overkill—before you commit to a service.

For example, how big should the company get before you invest in a business plan? How much speed does it need? What will be the annual cost? Which provider should the company use?

There are a lot of questions that need answers. Here we’ll help you decide if your company needs a small-business internet plan, and if so, which one.

6 best small-business internet providers

Best forProviderPrice rangeDownload speedsUpload speedsLearn more
Best for dedicated connectionsAT&T Business Logo$50.00/mo. and up*25–500 Mbps1.5–8 MbpsView Plans
Best for no contract CenturyLink $50.00–$199.00/mo.**10–1,000 MbpsNot providedView Plans
Best for pricingFrontier Business$49.99/mo. and up12–70 Mbps1–3 MbpsView Plans
Best for speedsVerizon Business$69.99–$249.99/mo.††Up to 75–940 MbpsUp to 75–880 MbpsView Plans
Best for rural businesses Viasat $80.00/mo. and up‡Up to 35–100 MbpsUp to 4 MbpsView Plans
Best forBest for dedicated connections
ProviderAT&T Business Logo
Price range$50.00/mo. and up*
Download speeds25–500 Mbps
Upload speeds1.5–8 Mbps
Learn moreView Plans
Best forBest for no contract
Provider CenturyLink
Price range$50.00–$199.00/mo.**
Download speeds10–1,000 Mbps
Upload speedsNot provided
Learn moreView Plans
Best forBest for pricing
ProviderFrontier Business
Price range$49.99/mo. and up
Download speeds12–70 Mbps
Upload speeds1–3 Mbps
Learn moreView Plans
Best forBest for speeds
ProviderVerizon Business
Price range$69.99–$249.99/mo.††
Download speedsUp to 75–940 Mbps
Upload speedsUp to 75–880 Mbps
Learn moreView Plans
Best forBest for rural businesses
Provider Viasat
Price range$80.00/mo. and up‡
Download speedsUp to 35–100 Mbps
Upload speedsUp to 4 Mbps
Learn moreView Plans

When should you choose business internet?

One size doesn’t fit all in terms of small-business internet.

A residential connection may work perfectly for an Etsy entrepreneur, sure. But if you’re operating a full-service company with enough clients that you need to count on all twenty fingers and toes, well, business internet might be a better setup.

Business internet pros and cons


  • Quality customer service
  • Option for a dedicated connection
  • Guaranteed service-level agreements (SLAs)


  • High cost

The real question here is whether you can afford the cost of business internet. We’ve seen business internet prices range from $35 up to $500 a month—or more.

That’s no small chunk of change. But the advantages of business internet may make the price worth it. Let’s dig into those a little more.

Not sure where to start?

Find and compare business internet plans near you.

Quality customer service

We’ve all had run-ins with internet customer service, and it’s usually not pretty.

But business internet typically comes with high-quality expert customer service. And it’s generally available 24/7, 365 days of the year.

Now that’s a perk anyone can enjoy. But each internet service provider (ISP) differs, so ask when customer support is available before you buy.

Dedicated connection

Ever wished you didn’t have to share your internet bandwidth with your neighbors?

Grab a business internet plan with a dedicated connection, and you won’t have to share. That’s a huge plus since it allows you and your employees to stream video chat, upload documents, and download files without worrying about anyone else hogging the connection during peak hours.

Best plan for dedicated connections
  • AT&T Internet for Business + dedicated connection
  • Starts at $550/mo.*

View plan

Guaranteed service-level agreements

Service-level agreements (SLAs) are one way you can make sure you get what you pay for with business internet.

These typically promise things like low latency or lag, no internet connection downtime, 24-hour customer support, and more. And if your ISP doesn’t deliver? Well, those SLAs should cover how you’ll be compensated. (We’re talking discounts, bill credits, or the chance to end your contract early.)

Does anyone else hear the voice of  George Zimmer saying, “You’re gonna like your business internet—I guarantee it?”

How to choose a business internet plan

Decided to go for business internet? The next step is to decide on an ISP and plan. This step may be just as daunting as choosing internet for your home—if not more so.

But it doesn’t need to be. Here are some pointers to help you find a business internet plan that fits just as well as the many hats you wear as a small-business hustler.

Decide what speed you need first

Your first step is to figure out how much speed your small business needs. Your answer will depend on the number of employees that will use the internet simultaneously, and how.

Number of employeesRecommended speedBest for
1–215–25 MbpsWeb browsing
Checking email
Sharing small files
2–525–50 MbpsSharing large files
Video conferencing
Using point-of-sale software
5–1050–75 MbpsRemote work and collaboration
Sharing large files
Backing up data
10–1275–100 MbpsSharing large files
Backing up data
Web hosting
12–15100–150 MbpsVideo conferencing
Downloading and uploading files to cloud servers
15–20150–500 MbpsDaily data backup to cloud servers
Web hosting
Multiple ecommerce sites
Number of employees1–2
Recommended speed15–25 Mbps
Best forWeb browsing
Checking email
Sharing small files
Number of employees2–5
Recommended speed25–50 Mbps
Best forSharing large files
Video conferencing
Using point-of-sale software
Number of employees5–10
Recommended speed50–75 Mbps
Best forRemote work and collaboration
Sharing large files
Backing up data
Number of employees10–12
Recommended speed75–100 Mbps
Best forSharing large files
Backing up data
Web hosting
Number of employees12–15
Recommended speed100–150 Mbps
Best forVideo conferencing
Downloading and uploading files to cloud servers
Number of employees15–20
Recommended speed150–500 Mbps
Best forDaily data backup to cloud servers
Web hosting
Multiple ecommerce sites

Find the speed your business needs.

Take our quick internet speed quiz to find out.

Ask about contract length

Just like your home connection, business internet usually comes with a one- to two-year contract.

It’s important to consider whether this timeline works for you—will you pay extra fees if you need to upgrade your plan before the contract ends? Is the contract canceled if the ISP doesn’t keep the promises outlined in the SLAs?

Some business internet plans offer no-contract options, but these typically cost extra. Still, they may be a good fit if you run a seasonal business and need an internet connection for only part of the year.

Best no contract plan
  • CenturyLink SIMPLE business internet
  • $50/mo.
  • Download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps
  • No contract

View plans

Get curious about average downtime

There’s nothing worse than your business internet going down and your employees going old school by recording transaction details with paper and pen. (Trust us, we’ve been there.)

That’s why it’s important to ask about the ISP’s average yearly downtime. Most will state their uptime is close to 100%, but you’re the one left in the dark if they don’t deliver.

This is an important feature to consider getting covered in your SLAs—especially if no internet means a huge loss for your business.

Look into bundles

Bundles are a great way to save some money, especially if you need more than just internet. Most ISPs will bundle your business internet with phone, TV, or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services at a lower cost than if you bought each plan separately.

Don’t forget about extra fees.

Do your budget a favor and factor in activation and installation fees along with any equipment rental fees. (Business internet usually requires professional installation, so this is one fee we don’t recommend skipping out on.)

FAQ about small-business internet

What’s the best internet provider for small business?

Here’s our list of the best internet providers for small business:

The answer changes based on your business needs and the area you live in, plus what features you need—like a dedicated connection, email service, and cloud storage.

How much does business internet cost?

Business internet costs anywhere from $34.99 a month to over $500.00 a month. The price depends on the type of connection (DSL, cable, or fiber), special features (like a dedicated line), and what speed you get.

If you bundle your business internet with phone, TV, or other services, you’ll likely save some money each month.

Is business internet faster than residential?

Business internet is faster than residential internet—if you get the right plan. Most business internet plans top out around 1,000 Mbps—but we’ve seen some that soar right up to 10,000 Mbps or more. (Like AT&T’s business internet with a dedicated line, which tops out at 10 Gbps/10,000 Mbps. Be warned: you’ll pay a pretty penny for it!)

Author -

Catherine has a degree in journalism and an MBA, and has spent the last 10+ years writing everything from Okinawa travel columns to internet guides and reviews. She's a lead writer on internet and technology for and believes the internet is a necessity, not a luxury, that everyone should have access to. You can also find her on Twitter: @CMReviewsIt.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.

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