If you follow this blog, you know that we’re proponents of the utility / cloud computing model. Of course, the value of cloud computing depends greatly by the particular computer services provider. And since this model is Internet based, the way you connect to the Internet is just as important.
Puja Saraiya Abid, VP of Strategy and Operations at Mushroom Networks, shares her insight on finding the right Internet connection for your small business.
For large enterprises, making the decision on which method with which to access the Internet is easy. Pay for a dedicated T-3 line and move on with the work day. However, a small or medium sized business owner has to take much more into account.
For these businesses, having a basic Internet connection is no longer enough. Because being online is an essential part of almost every operation, a one has to consider more than simply the costs of the line. A business owner will also want to think about reliability and speed of the network.
An employee’s time spent waiting for pages to load is time that is wasted. Additionally, if an employee has unreliable Internet service, that employee may be unable to send time-sensitive responses to customers and vendors. Employee time that is idle due to slow or unreliable internet connections is time that could be better spent elsewhere.
DSL allows high data transfer rates over regular copper phone wiring by using frequencies to send digital signals. DSL typically offers downstream rates of 1.5 to 6 Mbps and upstream rates of 128 to 768 Kbps. However, DSL is not always reliable. Service depends largely on the distance from the Internet service provider’s central office (CO). DSL is a cost effective solution if you are close to the CO, and have a very small office that needs the internet for mostly downstream traffic.
Cable often offers speeds equivalent to DSL with greater reliability. However, because cable has historically been used for residential service, it may be difficult for a business to get service in their area. Also, because you don’t usually have multiple cable providers in a given area, as with DSL, the lack of competition often drives the prices up.
Dedicated Leased Lines
Increasingly, a DSL or cable modem connection provides insufficient bandwidth, particularly in the uplink direction. Also, because business these days relies on having a reliable internet connection, it may be beneficial to consider dedicated line options. This is usually in the form of T-1 line, which is reliable and can provide speeds of 1.5 Mbps in both directions of traffic. These lines can cost anywhere from $500 to $1500 per month, depending on your location.
While dedicated T-3 lines are extremely fast and reliable, the cost can run into thousands of dollars a month.
Bandwidth Aggregation with Broadband Bonding
A new type of technology, Broadband Bonding, performs true aggregation. For even a single file transfer, all available communication resources are used.
Smaller businesses for which high monthly costs are prohibitive should consider Broadband Bonding to aggregate lower speed connections. A small business may opt to combine multiple DSL lines, which are often unreliable and too slow when used individually. Additionally, businesses that are heavy users of high bandwidth operations may combine multiple T-1 lines, or a combination of T-1 and DSL lines for greater bandwidth.
Multiple lines can be combined for increased reliability, and in the process significant benefits are realized—both in terms of Internet cost savings and increased employee productivity.
Puja Saraiya Abid is VP of Strategy and Operations at Mushroom Networks, a privately held company based in San Diego, CA, providing patent pending Broadband Bonding solutions to a range of Internet connection applications. www.mushroomnetworks.com
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