Your Guide to Small-Business Internet 2019

by | Jun 27, 2019 | Brand Guides, Internet Speed Guides | 0 

It’s time for your business internet to hustle just as much as you do.

ProviderBest forSpeed and priceGet it
Best for dedicated connections●Starts at $60.00/mo.
●Downloads speeds up to 500 Mbps
View plans
Best for no contract●Starts at $45.00/mo.
●Speeds up to 1,000 Mbps
View plans
Best for pricing●Starts at $34.99/mo.
●Speeds up to 70 Mbps
View plans
Best for speeds●Starts at $42.99/mo.
●Download speeds up to 940 Mbps
View plans

Best for rural businesses●Starts at $175.00/mo.
●Speeds up to 100 Mbps
View plans
Provider
Best forBest for dedicated connections
Speed and price●Starts at $60.00/mo.
●Downloads speeds up to 500 Mbps
Get itView plans
Provider
Best forBest for no contract
Speed and price●Starts at $45.00/mo.
●Speeds up to 1,000 Mbps
Get itView plans
Provider
Best forBest for pricing
Speed and price●Starts at $34.99/mo.
●Speeds up to 70 Mbps
Get itView plans
Provider
Best forBest for speeds
Speed and price●Starts at $42.99/mo.
●Download speeds up to 940 Mbps
Get itView plans
Provider
Best forBest for rural businesses
Speed and price●Starts at $175.00/mo.
●Speeds up to 100 Mbps
Get itView plans

Congrats! Your small business is all grown up.

Whether you started from a side hustle or a brick-and-mortar storefront, a successful small business still comes with its share of growing pains—like deciding when to fork out the money for business internet.

How big should your company get before you buy business internet? What speed do you need—and how much does it cost? We’ll tackle these questions and more faster than you can clear your Friday calendar.

6 best small-business internet providers

ISPPrice rangeDownload speedsUpload speedsLearn more
$60.00–$250.00/mo.*25–500 Mbps1.5–8 MbpsView plans
$45.00–$65.00/mo.**10–1,000 MbpsNot providedView plans
$34.99–$69.99/mo.12–70 Mbps1–3 MbpsView plans
$42.99–$59.99/mo.†Up to 3–15 MbpsNot providedView plans
$89.99–$224.99/mo.††Up to 75–940 MbpsUp to 75–880 MbpsView plans
$175.00–$500.00/mo.‡Up to 35–100 MbpsUp to 4 MbpsView plans
ISP
Price range$60.00–$250.00/mo.*
Download speeds25–500 Mbps
Upload speeds1.5–8 Mbps
Learn moreView plans
ISP
Price range$45.00–$65.00/mo.**
Download speeds10–1,000 Mbps
Upload speedsNot provided
Learn moreView plans
ISP
Price range$34.99–$69.99/mo.
Download speeds12–70 Mbps
Upload speeds1–3 Mbps
Learn moreView plans
ISP
Price range$42.99–$59.99/mo.†
Download speedsUp to 3–15 Mbps
Upload speedsNot provided
Learn moreView plans
ISP
Price range$89.99–$224.99/mo.††
Download speedsUp to 75–940 Mbps
Upload speedsUp to 75–880 Mbps
Learn moreView plans
ISP
Price range$175.00–$500.00/mo.‡
Download speedsUp to 35–100 Mbps
Upload speedsUp to 4 Mbps
Learn moreView plans

Data current as of 4/2/19. Prices and availability may vary.

*Price for 12 months with a 1-year contract.

**Price does not include taxes. Activation fee applies.

†Price for the first year with a 2-year contract and auto-renewal. Price increases for year two. Plus taxes, fees, and equipment charges.

††Price for 24 months with a 2-year contract and auto-renewal. Plus taxes, fees, and equipment charges.

‡Price for 24 months with a 2-year contract. Once the data cap is met, your data may be prioritized behind other customers during network congestion.

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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 all the way up to $500 a month—or more.

Yup, 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 $499/mo.

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.

1. Decide what speed you need.

Your first step is to figure out how much speed your small-business needs. This depends on how many employees use the internet at a given time and what kinds of activities they use the internet for.

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
e-commerce
12–15100–150 MbpsVideo conferencing
Streaming
Downloading and uploading files to cloud servers
15–20150–500 MbpsDaily data backup to cloud servers
Web hosting
Multiple e-commerce 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
e-commerce
Number of employees12–15
Recommended speed100–150 Mbps
Best forVideo conferencing
Streaming
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 e-commerce sites

Find the speed your business needs.

Take our quick internet speed quiz to find out.

2. 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
  • $45–$65/mo.
  • Download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps
  • No contract

 

View plan

 

*Data current as of 4/2/19.

Prices and availability may vary.

3. 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.

4. 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.)

Want to know more?

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!)

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.

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.

Edited by Cara Haynes

About the Author

After earning a degree in journalism at the University of Minnesota, Catherine McNally has been writing professionally for 10+ years. After falling head over heels into the black hole that is the internet in 1998, she taught herself to code websites and build computers. She has a soft spot for gadgets that make life easier (hello, Roomba!) and loves RPGs and MMOs. #PCMasterRace

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