Internet Service Providers: Differences Explained

Business internet… it’s all the same! You sign on the dotted line, you get ‘switched on’, then you’ll pretty much receive the same service whether you choose BT, Virgin, or anyone else, right? Erm… well, we hate to break it to you, but it’s not exactly like that. In fact, the type of internet connection – and the type of service – you receive will actually be quite different depending on the internet provider you choose.

Think of it in terms of food. You’ll get ‘food’ regardless of whether you choose Chinese or Indian for your Saturday night takeaway, but the exact type of food will be pretty different (mmm… is anyone hungry?).

We’ve fast become one of the UK’s leading comparison websites for essential business services like leased lines and business broadband, and that’s because more and more of you are wanting to compare internet service providers before making a commitment, you wise owls, you! So when you compare internet service providers, what are some differences you can expect to see?

ISPs: Difference Explained


If speed’s your thing, then it’s well worth making sure your chosen provider offers the sort of bandwidth you’ve been dreaming of. Generally, most internet service providers will offer something around 17 or 18 Mbps – great for checking your email, but you can forget about watching a sneaky episode of the Big Bang Theory during your lunch break. Some will offer up to 38 Mbps which is a little more standard for businesses, while a select few go above and beyond with 76 Mbps and even 10 Gbps speeds which make it easier to use VoIP and other web-based technologies. Don’t forget to check the upload speed, too!


Ah, there’s nothing sneakier than an internet service provider trying to make their products sound more appealing than they really are. Usage is a tricky area that many unsuspecting business owners get dragged into, so our advice to you is this. if you see the word ‘unlimited’, proceed with caution! But don’t panic – in most cases, when an internet service provider says ‘unlimited usage’, they really mean it (phew!), but there are times when restrictions may apply. Some providers manage traffic during peak hours, which means that some data may be prioritized over others at certain times throughout the day.


Contract length is something businesses often overlook, but it’s definitely worth taking into account when you make your decision on which internet service provider to choose. The good news is that there’s really not too many things to consider. In fact, you’ll find that there’s really only two contract lengths: 12 months, and 24 months. So which do you choose? Well, that’s really up to you! 24-month contracts are often a little cheaper, so we tend to recommend these to established businesses who know what their needs are. Newer businesses just learning the ropes may not want to be tied in for so long.


The biggie! We all want to be careful with our cash, and that means that price is obviously a big factor. So does more expensive always mean better? Not necessarily. You’ll tend to pay more for the more recognizable internet service providers like BT, but these providers may also include little extras you won’t find anywhere else. It’s all swings and roundabouts. The best advice we can give is to compare internet service providers online, not only to find the best price but for your own sanity, too! Do you have any idea how long it takes to manually trawl through pricing plans? It’s best not to ask…

Customer support

Another key factor is the overall service. How many of you have had to call a service provider before only to be stuck on hold for ages (no doubt to a premium rate number)?

Well, that problem should not exist for a business internet service provider. Not only will they often have 24/7 support. It will be through to tech professional which is probably not the politically correct term. But they know everything about your network. That coupled with pro-active network monitoring and a set fix time really makes a huge difference to thousands of businesses in the UK.

So in the decision to go for a business internet service provider is simple – If you are a business can you afford not to?

Why are businesses not switching to another ISP?

Recent research suggests that, as a nation, we’re so loyal to our internet service provider that we’re more likely to leave our spouse than leave our supplier. Brand loyalty does, of course, have its advantages, but when it comes to business broadband, failing to explore other options could mean we’re preventing ourselves from adopting new technologies — such as leased lines — and we could even be increasing business outgoings, too. So why are we so shy about seeing what others have to offer?


Brand Loyalty

According to Real Business, the reason we’re so loyal to our internet service provider is simple: it all comes down to fear. Regardless of whether our existing service meets our needs or not, we’re concerned about trying something new. It’s definitely an ‘out of the frying pan, into the fire’ type scenario we’re imagining. This is especially true when we’re making the switch from one type of connection to another; changing from standard business broadband to a more advanced, dedicated leased line, for example.

Who Are the Best Internet Service Providers?

Which internet service providers offer the best packages and the most attractive tariffs? Well, it all depends on who you ask. Of course, internet service providers will favour their own services. Whether that’s business broadband or leased lines, for example, and will always try to highlight their rates as great value for money. That’s why it’s important to do a little independent research of your own.


Consumer Reviews

So where are the best places to look for internet service provider reviews? A great place to start is by taking a look at those providers who have triumphed at this year’s awards ceremonies. The annual PC Pro survey is the perfect place to start your research, as the winners are voted by magazine readers who have the first-hand experience of these companies, using services such as leased lines and ADSL. This year, Virgin and BT were two of the highest ranking internet service providers so that’s worth taking into account when choosing a provider. It’s a good indication of their commitment to providing great service.


Online Comparison

Another option is to look at broadband and leased line comparison websites like us. Why? Because these websites act as an unbiased source providing you with the facts; no sales pitches, no mumbo jumbo, just exactly what you need to know: services, packages, and prices. If you compare leased lines and other services online, you may be able to find an even better deal, too.


Be Flexible

When you’re reading consumer reviews and checking out ISPs, don’t overlook any internet service providers that aren’t familiar. Some of the smaller, lesser-known leased line providers, such as Wavenet, Luminet, and Onecom, are actually some of the best providers out there. While BT and Virgin are good choices, a provider doesn’t need to have a big name to offer a big service.


Make the Right Choice for You

While reviews and word of mouth are both great ways to narrow down your choices, remember that what’s right for one business may not be right for another. One internet service provider may not offer certain services, like the more advanced leased lines, for example. So who is the best internet service, provider? It’s impossible to answer, as it’s all subjective. However, we can help you to find the best internet service provider for your business. Compare ISPs with us today. Just fill out the form on the right-hand side and we will be happy to help you find the best quote.

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