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Tip

Visit the FCC Broadband Speed Guide to help determine the download and upload business broadband speeds you need for data-intensive tasks, such as sending and receiving large files.

What are the types of internet connections?

Various business internet service types serve specific purposes and offer different speeds. The type of internet connection you have depends on your area’s infrastructure, your business location, and the internet plan you purchase. 

Here are the four most popular internet categories and what you can expect in speed for each:

DSL: DSL stands for digital subscriber line. A DSL connection runs through your landline business phone system. The average DSL download speed starts at around 6 Mbps, while the average upload speed starts at approximately 1 Mbps.

Cable. Cable internet uses the same wiring that delivers cable television to your home. The average download speed for cable internet ranges from 10 Mbps to 500 Mbps, while the upload speeds can range from 5 Mbps to 50 Mbps. If you’re considering cable vs. DSL, note that cable is much faster, but DSL is less expensive.

Fiber optic. Fiber-optic business internet uses fiber-optic cables instead of copper wires like its cable equivalent. Fiber-optic cables use light signals to deliver data to and from your devices. Fiber internet can support download speeds up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), but its more common speeds range from 150 Mbps to 500 Mbps. Upload speeds range from 65 Mbps to 100 Mbps.

Satellite internet. Satellite internet uses radio waves to communicate with satellites in space to deliver internet connections. Download speeds can range from 12 Mbps to 150 Mbps, while upload speeds are typically around 3 Mbps.

Did You Know?

If you’re evaluating a mobile hotspot vs. satellite internet for remote business needs, note that satellite internet is more expensive and isn’t as fast or flexible as a mobile hotspot.

How fast should your business internet be?

The average business requires at least 25 Mbps of download speed and 3 Mbps of upload speed to conduct everyday tasks like emailing, exchanging files, using cloud-based software, and videoconferencing. In fact, these speeds are the FCC’s official broadband definition minimums. 

However, business internet speed requirements vary significantly between businesses, and your speed needs will likely increase as your business grows and you adopt more data-intensive processes. 

Consider these factors when determining your internet speed requirements: 

What type of business do you operate?

Do you regularly upload and download large files?

Are your internet needs limited to sending emails and communicating with customers?

To what extent does your business depend on fast internet speeds?

How many employees will use the network at any given time?

Ideal internet speeds based on task

Use the following chart to get an idea of your ideal internet speeds based on the number of devices being used and the online tasks you need to perform:

Number of users/devices

Speed

Tasks

1-2

5 Mbps

Online browsing, email, and research

3-5

25 Mbps

Downloading large files, business communications and basic business Wi-Fi use

5-10

75 Mbps

Video streaming, numerous point-of-sale transactions and frequent file-sharing

10-15

150 Mbps

Video conferencing, frequent cloud computing and data backups

15-20

250 Mbps

Seamless streaming, conferencing and server hosting

20-30

500 Mbps

Multiple servers hosted, heavy online backups and constant cloud-based computing

30+

1,000 Mbps (1GB)

Extreme speed operations with zero interruptions

Consult your ISP if you’re still unsure how much bandwidth your business needs. Many providers offer online internet bandwidth need calculators to help you better understand your needs and options.

How do you choose a business internet provider?

To find out what ISPs are available in your area, check out the InMyArea online tool. Input your address or ZIP code to see available provider options.

When you have a good idea of your business’s internet speed needs, discuss your options with available ISPs to evaluate the best choice for your business. 

Consider the following when deciding on an internet service provider: 

Speed. What is the fastest available speed at a price you can afford? 

Customer service. Will your provider help troubleshoot technical issues? Your business depends on your internet uptime, and you can’t afford to be ignored in times of trouble. 

Contracts. Will you be locked into a lengthy contract with your provider? A more flexible contact is beneficial if the provider doesn’t deliver top speeds or you find a new provider that better meets your needs. 

Tip

Internet speeds may slow over time as the network ages and more people join. Run a regular speed scan on your network to ensure you’re getting the speed you pay for.

What are the best business internet service providers?

The best internet service providers offer top-quality service with optimal speeds and excellent uptime. If you’re seeking a new provider, consider the following options:

AT&T. AT&T offers small businesses a wide selection of service plans that vary by speed and price. To learn more details about available locations and prices, read our in-depth AT&T review.

Verizon. Verizon offers extensive service plans for businesses of all sizes. Learn about plan speeds and prices in our full Verizon review.

Comcast Business. Comcast Business offers five service plans, all of which include a dynamic IP address and no data caps. Read our Comcast Business review for more information.

Cox. In addition to business internet services, Cox provides midsize and enterprise organizations with hosted VoIP phone services, trunking phone services, and business television solutions. For more information, read our in-depth Cox review.

Spectrum Business. Spectrum serves more than 9,000 ZIP codes in 43 states and offers small businesses three service plans that vary by speed and price. Read our full Spectrum Business review for more information.

Kimberlee Leonard contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.

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Should Your Business Get Fiber Internet?

A shared fiber optic connection splits the service between your business and other businesses in your area, whether those businesses are located in the same building as you or your neighborhood. Naturally, sharing a fiber optic connection can reduce your monthly bill, but your connection may be slower during peak times (but still very fast by other internet connection standards). Installation is also less complicated, as the infrastructure is already in place. A shared fiber optic connection utilizes a single strand to service several companies at once. To prepare a shared fiber optic connection to serve your business, the ISP will place “splitters” to send the signals to different businesses, allowing each company to receive the service.

Once you choose a dedicated or shared fiber optic connection, the next step is to set up the connection in your company’s space. Choose a place where the fiber optic equipment is safe; this sensitive equipment cannot be exposed to heat, humidity or dust. The ISP will install the equipment and test the connection to ensure that it’s working before completing installation.

How fast is fiber optic internet?

Fiber optic internet is widely regarded as one of the fastest connection types for both businesses and home use. It is capable of delivering speeds up to 10 gigabits per second (10 Gbps), although most fiber optic connections typically clock in at 1 Gbps to 2 Gbps, sometimes under that. The speed of a fiber optic connection can be limited by the provider’s offerings and whether your connection is hardwired or via a Wi-Fi setup, among other considerations. Even at 1 Gbps or under, though, your company can transfer large files, stream video, rely on cloud-based software and conduct other high-intensity tasks faster than other types of high-speed internet.

How much does fiber optic internet cost?

The cost of fiber internet varies depending on the ISP, the minimum guaranteed speeds and your location, among other factors. Prices can be as low as $20 per month or as high (or higher) than $160 per month. You may also face additional costs, including installation fees, equipment purchases or equipment rental.

Benefits of fiber optic internet for business

Fiber optic internet is certainly an appealing option for many businesses. However, it’s not as simple as being “faster” than other high-speed internet options. Here’s what makes fiber optic internet a good option for your business.

Great for high bandwidth use

If your employees stream video, transfer large files back and forth, run webinars or conduct other high-intensity tasks at the same time, fiber optic internet can support these uses without impacting your overall speed.

Fast upload time

Files typically upload and download at different speeds, as internet networks are designed to download faster than they can upload. (This is seen in the FCC’s minimum download and upload speed requirements: Minimum download speeds are set at 25 Mbps, while minimum upload speeds are set at 3 Mbps.)

Fiber optic internet takes the need for uploading speed into account. This is especially important for livestreaming content, which requires steady upload speeds. Fiber optic networks offer download and upload speeds much closer to each other than other types of high-speed ISPs.

Did You Know?

Fiber optic internet is the fastest type of internet connection, but it is less accessible than other types of connections and more expensive.

How To Run Speed Test From The Command Line To Check Internet Connection Speed

The excellent curl and wget tools provide for a simple way to test the speed of an internet connection directly from the command line. Curl is bundled with most unix variations, but Mac users who want to use the wget trick will first need to grab wget for OS X in order for this to work, wget is a simple terminal utility used to download files from the web and ftp and it’s handy to have around for a variety of uses making it worthwhile to have anyway. Curl should be preinstalled on every unix flavor that is even vaguely modern, including all versions of Mac OS X and linux.

Test Internet Connection Speed from the Command Line

This is a fairly simple trick to check download speeds using the official SpeedTest servers, making it a quick and effect means to check an active internet connection. There are two ways to use this, one utilizing curl, the other uses wget.

Run SpeedTest with curl from the Command Line to Determine Internet Connection Download Speeds

The first trick is to use curl, which is able to download remote files from just about anywhere, retrieve headers, and perform tons of other nifty actions. Curl is bundled with every version of Unix and OS X ever made which makes this a nearly universal command to test download speeds on just about any unix-based computer:

The download speed will show as well as elapsed time to complete the download. Here is what this looks like running in a terminal:

The “Test10.zip” file is being sent to /dev/null so don’t worry about taking up disk space with a useless test file.

If you think you’ll use the curl trick often, consider adding it to your profile as an alias:

You’ll probably notice the command itself is quite similar to the wget command string to perform a similar action, so it’s really a matter of preference.

Testing Connection Speed from the Command Line with wget

If you’re already familiar with the command line you know what to do, but others can install wget, then launch Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities/) and paste the following command string into the terminal:

Look to the righthand side of wget as it runs and you’ll see the connection speed (1.36m/s in the screen shot example). Because wget is pointing the downloaded file at /dev/null it won’t actually take up any hard drive space, so there is no concern about running this command repeatedly.

This uses the same SpeedTest servers that are available to mobile users through the Speed Test app, it can make for a decent way to directly compare connection speeds on a broadband connection vs cellular, without having to access the SpeedTest Flash-based web apps, and without having to compile any additional command line software.

Plan on using this trick often? Consider adding a simple alias to .bash_profile:

Using an alias is obviously shorter and easier to remember, making it a bit more useful for scripts, automation, remote testing, and just for those of us who like to poke around in the Terminal.

This trick comes to us from @climagic on Twitter, be sure to follow @osxdaily there too if you haven’t done so yet.

Related

How Much Storage Do You Need On Mac?

When you buy a new Mac, there are just some questions that are more difficult to answer than others. One of these questions is how much storage do you really need. In the case of a new Mac purchase, how you plan to use the computer and what you need it for weigh heavily in your purchase decision. So how do you decide? Here are some of the factors you should be considering.

What Are Your Choices?

Before we get into how you make a storage choice, let’s take a look at what your choices are. The November releases of the 13” MacBook Air and MacBook Pro marked a huge leap forward in Apple laptops. With the company’s first in-house processor, the M1, now available for purchase, performance has jumped ahead of the previous generation of Apple laptops across almost every metric. That said, Apple left the storage mostly alone as the MacBook Air arrives with a 256GB SSD standard in the $999 base model. Similar to the previous model, you can upgrade to a 512GB, 1TB or 2TB SSD for $200, $400 and $800 respectively.

The 13” MacBook Pro retains similar sizing as before with a 256GB SSD of storage standard when combined with the M1 chip. Similar to the Air, storage can be upgraded to 512GB, 1TB and 2TB SSD of storage for the same prices as noted above. Things get a little more interesting with the 16” MacBook Pro, which has yet to receive the M1 processor upgrade. Storage starts off with 512GB SSD on the “base” model with upgrades ranging from 1TB to 8TB with the latter costing upwards of $2,400.

Finally, the last consumer Mac hardware is the Mac Mini, which begins at 256GB of base storage. With some upgrades, you can max out memory at 2TB with 512GB and 1TB storage sizes landing in the middle. Like the MacBook models, upgrades max at $200, $400 and $800 respectively.

Where to Look

The best way to get a sense of how much you need is to determine how much you are currently using. On a Mac, it’s super easy:

2. Select “About this Mac,” then “Storage.”

On Windows:

2. Select “File Explorer.”

Getting a look at your existing storage use is a great predictor of how much space you will need for the future. However, adding space to a Mac laptop after purchase is virtually impossible without voiding your warranty, so it’s a good idea to default to the next size up.

Should I Buy 256GB, 512GB or Larger?

If you are trying to decide between these two sizes, start by asking yourself some simple questions.

1. Do I plan to keep every photo and video I capture on my Mac hard drive?

2. Do I like to download movies or TV shows and keep them available for watching at any time?

3. Do I not want to worry about having enough space for applications?

4. Do I need more space to edit photos or videos?

The answer to those questions might seem simple, but they are difficult when you remember that you are purchasing something you cannot upgrade. If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, purchase the 512GB. The $200 or so that it costs for the hard drive upgrade is well worth it when you factor in the lifespan of ownership. If you are genuinely concerned about never running out of space, the TB (terabyte) options are available and will serve you well for the whole lifespan of your Mac.

Don’t Forget iCloud

With the introduction of macOS Sierra, Apple introduced a new feature called “Store in iCloud.” Somewhat self explanatory based on the name, this feature does indeed upload files to iCloud when you are running low on storage. The caveat here is that you need additional or enough available storage on iCloud to make room for files, documents, photos, videos and more. Apple offers three options:

50GB – $0.99

200GB – $2.99

2TB – $9.99

Ultimately, this won’t make up for local storage, but adding in cloud storage will allow for additional flexibility by freeing up space on your computer. iCloud storage is first and foremost for cloud backups, especially for iOS and iPadOS, but that you can use this to free up local storage is a great second purpose. The same goes for Dropbox, which also offers a similar feature with “Smart Sync.”

Can You Make It with 256GB?

Are you planning to get the base 256GB model? Let’s assume that your Mac is going to be filled with catalogs of music, photos, applications, and likely videos you own, rented or captured. On top of all of that, you also want room for future projects like Mac gaming or video editing. Suddenly, the base 256GB storage doesn’t seem big chúng tôi trick here is to optimize the storage on your Mac. As much as possible, offload all those files you have little use for to the cloud storage or external drive.

A second thought is that you can also get by with less storage on a MacBook or iMac if you have another desktop or primary computer. That won’t be true for most people, but for those who have a second computer, less storage may be feasible. For everyone else, 256GB is more than likely good enough to get by for years to come. If you can pick up the extra storage at 512GB, it definitely provides you with more than enough cushion for well into the future.

Conclusion

Choosing the right storage size is never easy. On the plus side, all Mac models come with a base storage of 256GB. Yet on the negative, it doesn’t make the decision any easier. Ultimately, choosing the right storage size depends on whether you have needs for the space. Think about what you really want to do with your computer over the next few years and let the answer be your guide.

David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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Verizon Business Internet Review 2023

Early Termination Credit

If you’re looking to switch to Verizon from your previous provider, you may be charged an early termination fee if your contract hasn’t yet expired. Fortunately, Verizon offers an early termination credit of up to $1,500 toward those fees, one of the most generous credits we found in our review. Material, utility and other costs to set up and operate an onsite facility can be expensive, so this feature is especially helpful when budgets are tight. You may need to show proof that your previous provider’s contract did end via an early termination fee to qualify for the credit.

Business Phone Plan Savings

Verizon is primarily known for their phone plans, and you can bundle some of these with your internet service. Business customers can cash in on savings by purchasing an unlimited business phone plan along with their business internet plan. Those who do can save up to $80 per month, a small amount that adds up over time and can be invested back into your business.

Phone plans available for bundling include those that support light mobile users and in-store phone lines for customer service. Although online communication is increasingly important for businesses, many customers still prefer to communicate via phone, so we liked that Verizon’s bundles make maintaining this option cost-effective and easy.

Choosing a business phone system can be difficult, so we’ve created a buyer’s guide on choosing a business phone system that could help both new and existing business customers.

Hassle-Free Equipment

If you’ve ever plugged a cord into an outlet, you’ll find Verizon’s router or gateway installation a breeze. Whether purchased separately or included in select business internet plans, Verizon’s internet equipment is simple to install and can get your business up and running within minutes. Verizon also offers expert installation if you prefer to have a professional install your equipment, but the straightforward setup means even a staff member can have your location connected in a matter of minutes.

Complete Business Bundle

Maybe your business needs more than just internet and phone service. It’s possible you’ll need to communicate via web conferencing, or perhaps you need security tools to protect your connection from cyberthreats. Whatever the case, Verizon’s Complete Business Bundle has you covered.

The Complete Business Bundle is an affordable and convenient way to get your business up and running on multiple devices in a pinch. In addition to Verizon’s easy-to-install 4G LTE Business Internet and 24/7 tech support, business customers who purchase the bundle also receive a One Talk desk phone that can ring multiple devices for easy communication with customers. We found this bundle takes the heavy-lifting work off of customers who want all of their internet needs taken care of in one simple and secure solution.

Verizon Business Internet Cost

Verizon Business Internet offers three different internet types, each with its own set of plans. The plans and prices are as follows:

5G Business Internet 100 Mbps: $69 per month

5G Business Internet 200 Mbps: $99 per month

5G Business Internet 400 Mbps: $199 per month

Fios Business Internet 200/200 Mbps: $69 per month

Fios Business Internet 500/500 Mbps: $129 per month

Fios Business Internet 940/880 Mbps: $249 per month

LTE Business Internet 10 Mbps: $69 per month

LTE Business Internet 25 Mbps: $99 per month

LTE Business Internet 50 Mbps: $199 per month

Fios Business Internet and LTE Wireless Internet plans come with a price guarantee for one to three years, depending on which plan you choose, as well as a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. Verizon also offers assistance in saving money or providing credit toward purchases. Customers can save up to $80 per month when pairing their 5G Business Internet plan with a Business Unlimited smartphone plan. Also, If you are switching from a previous internet provider, Verizon can offer up to $1,500 in credit to help cover early termination fees.

Verizon Business Internet Setup

New Verizon Business Internet customers have the option of choosing between self-setup and professional installation, with the exception of the highest level 5G Business Internet plan, which requires professional installation. Regardless of which option you choose, all setups include a router or gateway provided by Verizon or any 5G compatible equipment. We found the self-installation setup to be straightforward, requiring a few simple plug-in connections to connect your location to the internet in minutes.

Verizon Business Internet Customer Service

Verizon Business Internet offers a variety of ways to contact customer service. You can reach their sales team by phone as either an individual business customer or as part of a public sector. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. You can also request a call to have a specialist help you figure out the right plan for your business. For Verizon Fios business customers who have questions regarding equipment, a 24/7 support phone number is available.

Verizon Business Internet Drawbacks

Verizon Business Internet only works with Verizon-specific equipment. You will need to purchase or rent a Verizon router or gateway. Any other equipment you may have purchased in the past won’t be compatible. Rentals start at $15 per month, or you can buy the equipment for a one-time cost of $299.99. If you sign up for the 5G Business Internet plan, make sure your own internet equipment is 5G-compatible.

If you compare phone plans to business internet plans, mobile features outdo business internet by a landslide. Note that if you have a small onsite business that just needs the internet to run basic business-critical tasks, you may not need to worry about this as much. However, if you need on-the-go communication or connection for your business operations, you’ll need to include phone lines with your plans for an additional charge.

Verizon’s internet speeds only go up to 400 Mbps, while other service providers we reviewed offer plans that exceed 1 Gbps. If you’re looking for faster internet speeds, consider our review of Spectrum Business Internet.

Methodology

When considering business internet providers for review, we kept in mind some of the features that business owners would need to get their business going. Part of that process included extensive research, participating in provider calls, and finally deciding on a best-pick case for each of the vendors. We considered factors such as installation times, internet speeds, business phone services, and internet availability. For brick-and-mortar businesses, we chose Verizon as the ideal business internet provider.

Verizon Business Internet FAQ Do I have to purchase a phone plan with my 5G Business Internet plan?

No. Business internet plans and business phone plans can be purchased separately. However, there may be some savings or offers if you purchase them both together.

How much is the Verizon Fios router or gateway?

The Verizon Fios router or gateway can be rented for $15 per month or purchased for a one-time price of $299.99.

Does Verizon offer discounts for small business owners?

Small business owners can save on Verizon Business Internet by bundling it with either VoIP phone services or certain Business Unlimited mobile plans.

Overall Value

We recommend Verizon Business Internet for …

Brick-and-mortar businesses.

Business in need of phone service.

Businesses that are 5G ready.

We do not recommend Verizon Business Internet for …

Tech startups.

Businesses that need more than 400 Mbps speed.

What Is A Gate Access Control System & Does My Business Need It?

Reap the benefits of the gate access control system in a business for better operation

Readily agreeing to spend more money on efficient business management can be tough, especially for SMEs. However, there is always a positive long-term effect of implementing smart improvements on your business site, and a gate access control system is a case in point. If vehicles are a regular feature of your business premises, then the

What Exactly is a Gate Access Control System?

A Gate Access Control System or Automated Gate System primarily aims at giving your business a higher degree of convenience and security. This system could be a significant contribution to your business’ broader access control system. The operational features of gate access controls systems work in a similar way to most other access control systems. There is a central access control system that is integrated with the electronically controlled gate. Parts of this system usually include a controller, reader, tokens, and dedicated software. The gate is unlocked by an electronic signal after approving the credentials. There is a variety of access mechanisms in the market, some of the most popular being touch-free access, fully automated access, and keypad access. Your budget and preferred applications will determine the right access mechanism for your business.  

Benefits of a Gate Access Control System

From security to smoother operations, a gate access control system can generate a variety of positive results for your business.  

Better Operations with Less Interruptions

Interruptions result in frustration especially if a few vehicles are waiting for their turn and the vehicle right at the gate is struggling with verification issues. On top of that, some vehicle owners have a habit of arguing with security staff, ignoring the frustration they are causing for those waiting their turn. These incidents are not rare and tend to happen more during peak hours. A gate access control system operates smoothly, without the queue facing delays and unnecessary arguments.  Everything follows a delicate system most would never challenge. The problem will security staff is that regular visitors sometimes simply love arguing. They will stand their ground yelling at the staff, but nobody will argue with an automatic gate!  

Better Monitoring

Automated systems lower the chances of error, which is a massive benefit for businesses. Any system that relies on manual handling is inherently open to human error and negligence. The latest technology ensures precision and consistency when it comes to monitoring, with the minimum risk of error.  

Significant Contribution to the Overall Access Control System

One of the reasons why businesses suffer from an occasional theft or even a series of thefts is a lack of gate monitoring. With a proper gate access control system, staff and maintenance workers know that the system is monitoring who entered, who left, and at what time. This realisation will deter anybody from thinking about stealing something, whether a one-off or regularly. These issues are all too common for many small businesses and a gate access control system can effectively put an end to such incidents.  

Fewer Security Guards Needed

It is important to note that a gate access control system does not only deal with vehicles’ credentials but also visitors on foot. With these systems, you will need fewer security guards to be present. Verifications are done electronically and the guards can generally stay at a control centre, ready to address any issue or problem. Traditionally, there had to be at least two guards verifying the vehicles and two separate guards facilitating the visitors on foot at each gate. However, electronically verifiable tokens or cards have made life easier. The electronic readers do their job and you do not have to pay so many security salaries.  

Key Takeaways

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