Choosing the right Broadband Connection For your Home Office

December 5th, 2013

choosing the right internet connection for your home office

When shopping for a broadband internet connection for your home business, take into consideration that claims and promises made by broadband providers are not always accurate and should be investigated with caution to ensure that your selection is top-tier.

The quality of your broadband connection can be impacted by your modem, your wireless router (if you use one) and where you home is located in relation to telephone lines. Even the materials and makeup of your home can have an effect.

So when trying to get the most out of your broadband connection, there are two things to consider:

  1.  What you shop for – The shopping portion does matter, mainly because you don’t want to spend more for features you don’t need.
  2. How you set things up – There’s little you can do about the location of your home or even the materials and layout, but you can do things to improve your broadband connection’s performance after everything has been installed and then throughout the life of your service.

We’ll cover some details concerning both areas so that you can get the most out of your internet service while working from home:

 

Shopping for Broadband Service

Offices will typically have what is called a T1 line or a fiber internet connection. These connections are extremely fast and are designed to deliver a reasonable amount of bandwidth to a high number of computers.

Since you probably only have a few devices for your home business, the options are generally much simpler.

Customer service, tech support and downtime fixes will all generally be the same and unfortunately a step down from what you get with the higher business connections. Thus the main option that will be afforded to you for just about any home-based broadband connection you purchase will be speed.

Again, actual speeds will vary, but typically an internet service provider (ISP) will sell a home broadband connection with three different speed packages designed for three different users:

  1. Basic Usage – Ideal for surfing the web, checking email and using social networks.
  2. Medium Usage – In addition to basic usage, speeds are high enough to handle simple video and audio streaming like Skype and YouTube.
  3. Heavy Usage – Speeds are fast enough to easily handle streaming or downloading movies, gaming and most other activities that require a lot of bandwidth.

If your connection is going to be primarily used for your business and not for streaming movies or playing games, it’s usually that middle option which will work best for you. You’ll be able to browse the web and send email quickly while handling the occasional video chat or conference call.

Now everyone’s situation is different so you’ll have to assess each package and see which one will work best for you.

Setting Up and Maintenance after Installation

So now we’re assuming that you’ve already chosen a provider and have your broadband connection installed.

At this point we’ll deal with the two most common variables:

  1. Modem
  2. Wireless Router

You’ll be given a modem when your connection is first installed but the thing to keep in mind is that your ISP will upgrade the modems they use for new connections, but won’t ship you a new one every time it happens.

You’ve got to call and ask if you want a new one, which is a good thing to do every couple of years so that you maintain optimal speeds and an updated modem.

Another option is to go buy your own modem. In some cases, it saves you a few bucks off of your monthly bill.

If you use a wireless router (just about everyone does now) this is something you’ll probably want to buy on your own. It’s advisable to spend somewhere between $100 and $200, especially if you’re using your wireless connection in a business capacity.

Odds are that if you buy the right speed package (usually the medium usage option), typical business use for your laptop, tablet and smartphone won’t cause you any noticeable lags in speed or performance. You could even add a few more computers before you started to use up bandwidth. By referring to the ISP and broadband reviews on a site like BroadbandExpert.com you will be able to better determine your broadband needs and will be able to execute a plan that will be efficient for your home office internet connection needs.

Satellite Services

If you live in an area (perhaps a more remote location) where broadband internet isn’t available, satellite internet is going to be a solid option and is comparable in terms of speed and service. As far as your business goes, it’s really just a matter of where your home is located. If broadband can reach your home, that’ll be the more conventional choice. In fact, services like DirecTV offer great satellite bundle packages for internet and television connection should broadband connections be geographically out of the question.

Working out of your home does require a serviceable internet connection. Though if you do your research on the speeds available in your area and if you spring for a decent wireless router, you’ll be fine in terms of performance.

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