Whether you work from home, are a self-employed sole trader, or run a business from an office, you might find yourself looking for a fantastic business broadband deal. First up, taking out business broadband can help you get a quick and reliable internet connection. Also, it may potentially enable you to take advantage of other benefits that might not otherwise be available from a home broadband package.
In this guide, we’ll look at everything you should consider when thinking of taking out a business broadband package.
If I Work from Home, Should I Choose Business Broadband Instead of Using Home Broadband?
You will only be able to take out a business broadband package if you work from commercial premises. If you work from home, you can use a home broadband connection if you wish.
However, there are several benefits you can get if you opt for business broadband. Most internet service providers (ISPs) in the UK have no problem with providing business broadband services to residential addresses.
Here are some of the specific benefits you can enjoy when you choose business broadband ahead of a traditional home broadband package.
More Robust Service Guarantees and Cover for Lost Business
In recent years, increasing numbers of ISPs have begun to offer speed and service guarantees and sign-up to initiatives such as Ofcom’s Voluntary Codes of Practice on Broadband Speeds. However, the level of service guaranteed on home broadband packages is still far lower than that available on a business broadband deal.
While home broadband deals often make it difficult to prove an ISP in breach of their service agreements, the terms around business broadband are usually more explicit. As the internet connection of your business would be deemed more important than that of a home, you often have a better level of protection.
For example, with a business broadband deal, you can often claim compensation for things like lost business and revenues. For example, compensation may be payable if you’re supposed to have had an error fixed within a specific timeframe, and this wasn’t delivered.
Focused Customer Support for Your Business
A business broadband deal will typically give you a much quicker turnaround time when errors do occur.
For example, if you have a home broadband deal:
- An ISP will typically have 30 days to fix speed issues if you’re not getting the broadband speed you should.
- If your internet connection goes down completely, a home broadband provider will typically give a timeframe of a week to get you back online.
In contrast, when you have a business broadband deal, these times will be dramatically reduced. Turnaround times of between 24 and 48 hours are typical, but some ISPs even offer business broadband deals where they’ll get you back up and running within a couple of hours! If you rely on an internet connection to go about your business, it’s obvious why you’d want to wait two hours rather than a week for a repair!
As a business broadband customer, you will usually have a dedicated customer support line. As such, you will be able to speak to someone quicker than if you were a home broadband customer. Most ISP’s that offer business broadband also operate their support helpdesks 24/7, meaning you can always get hold of someone if you have a problem. In contrast, many ISP’s in the home broadband space operate office hours helpdesks only. You’ll undoubtedly find it difficult to get an engineer to come out at midnight with a home broadband package!
Potentially Faster Speeds and Priority Connections
Higher speed home broadband connections are available in an increasing number of locations. However, it is still common to find places where the top business broadband speed is quicker than the residential equivalent.
At the same time, ISPs prioritise business connections in terms of speeds, and you’re also more likely to have a broadband connection to yourself rather than sharing bandwidth with others. While ISPs focus on the download speed when advertising, with business broadband your upload speed will typically be much higher than with a residential package. This means it’ll be easier to conduct specific tasks related to running your business, such as adding content to your website or taking part in video conferences.
A Higher Level of Internet Security
Whether your business handles sensitive data, such as customers’ personal details, or not, internet security is a critical component of any business. The financial penalties for data breaches and other security incidents can be severe. As such, it makes sense to choose business broadband with higher-level security than a residential package.
Business routers are specifically designed for use in offices and spaces where a strong Wi-Fi signal is necessary across a larger area.
If you work at home, even if you have a home office that other people use, then a home broadband router should be good enough. However, you can still benefit from a more reliable signal and potentially quicker broadband by opting for a business package. If you are taking out a broadband deal for a large office, you may be able to get additional routers as part of your package.
The router also plays a part in the enhanced security of a business broadband package. It will usually have a built-in firewall or virtual private network (VPN) server.
A Static IP Address
When you’re on a home broadband package, your internet protocol (IP) address changes each time you go online. This is what’s known as a dynamic IP address.
With most business broadband packages, you get a static IP address, which can enable you to:
- Host your business’ server and website.
- Connect to your business computer and work remotely.
- Allow your employees to use business systems when working from home.
Static IP addresses are more vulnerable than dynamic IP’s from a security perspective. Hence, the added security features of business broadband are a massive part of making the most of the benefits of a static IP address.
Business Telephone Landlines
With most ISPs, business broadband will come into your premises via a telephone landline. However, you will usually be able to get a wide range of additional features for your business phone needs when you take out business broadband. Features typically include additional phone line capacity and non-geographic business telephone numbers.
Web Services for Your Business
In addition to broadband and phone packages, many ISPs also offer web services such as hosting, website domain names, business email addresses, and cloud storage.
These services can see your business expenses quickly add up if you buy them separately. See what’s on offer from different ISPs to ensure you get the best deal.
How Do Business Broadband Costs Compare with Home Broadband?
Business broadband is typically more expensive than home broadband, but for everything you get, but it’s well worth the extra expense.
ISPs often provide the first 3 – 6 months free on broadband packages, so when you’re shopping around it’s worth calculating the overall contract costs rather than focusing solely on the monthly fees.
Which UK ISPs Offer Business Broadband Plans?
Many UK ISPs offer business broadband plans.
As with residential packages, you typically have the option to choose a basic package with slower speed or a faster plan, depending on what you need. You will have plenty of choice around contract terms, too, with rolling one-month contracts or 24 month deals available depending on what you’re looking for.
As of June 2020, you can find business broadband from the following UK ISPs:
ISPs marked * are ISPs whose residential packages we have reviewed here at The Money Pig. While the speeds on offer may be different, our reviews may give you an idea of the service you can expect to receive.
Sky also offers business broadband, but only as part of bundle deals with TV packages.
How to Choose a Business Broadband Provider
When you’re searching for a business broadband plan, you need to look for the package that suits your needs. Think about all the factors we have looked at throughout this guide, from speed and monthly cost to security and additional features, to find the perfect business broadband package for you.