If you work from home, you may require broadband for work purposes as well as for leisure, deciding whether to stick with a home broadband package or switch to a broadband deal will be dependent on each individual's needs or the needs of the business. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of broadband packages which I will aim to look at in more detail below. Hopefully, after reading this, you will be able to decide whether to use home broadband or switch to business broadband.
Yes, you can just stick with your home broadband package, and it should do the job just fine. Problems may arise however during peak times of the day or if you have any issues with the broadband hardware or lines. Broadband for business is different to residential broadband due to the guarantees that are made by the provider. It is quite common to find that a business broadband package will guarantee certain speeds or uptime, and they will usually guarantee to make sure that your broadband is up and running very quickly if it goes down. These are not so common with home broadband packages and if it goes down it could be a number of days before it is back up.
Home broadband is designed for leisure activities, and so the broadband providers will not consider that you rely upon a good connection to get work done before deadlines and it will be very hard to argue that they have breached a contract if you do have problems.
The contention ratio is the number of users connected to the same broadband server at the same time. These contention ratios can be up to 50:1 meaning that 49 other users could be connected at the same time as you. If that is the case, then you will almost definitely notice a slow down in your broadband speed. With business broadband packages there are generally much lower contention ratios, often around 20:1 which means that it is less likely you will notice any slow down.
With business broadband you are almost treated like VIP user, and if there are any slow-downs in speed, you will probably be given priority in bandwidth compared to your neighbours. This is a common feature of business broadband deals but is vary rare on home broadband packages.
Businesses rely on fast and always connected broadband and so a business broadband package will generally have the fastest speeds available in the area. It is possible to get the same speeds on residential broadband packages. However, the ISP will prioritise business connections over home connections as a rule of thumb due to the guarantees that have been provided when the contract was signed. Advertised speeds for home broadband are generally with the caveat that if many people are using the Internet in your area at the same time, you may notice a slow down.
Business broadband solutions will give you the option of being able to purchase a static IP, often at a very small cost per month. This is handy for many different business functions, one of the main benefits of a static IP is being able to connect to a device on your home network from anywhere in the world. On most home broadband packages, you will most likely receive a dynamic IP which means that every time you reconnect to the Internet, your IP address will change. This has its benefits for security but means you may have to change settings to access certain devices externally.
It is also a great feature if you have some kind of storage or remote desktop features at your home office. When you are out and about in a café or on the train to a meeting, you can simply type you IP address into your browser and any additional port numbers to gain access to a storage device or even a printer.
The router you are supplied with most home broadband packages will generally be a cheaply made option unless you get broadband from providers like Sky who generally provides better hardware. Business broadband routers, however, will be more robust and reliable.
The problem with having a poorly made router is that it is the main access point to the Internet and the rest of your network. Poorly made hardware can often struggle to provide you with constant connection due to overheating or due to antennas being poor. Robust business broadband routers generally have better antennas which means the wireless signal will be stronger and you should have better coverage in all areas of your house.
Customer service is important for many businesses as they will want to make sure that they can resolve issues very quickly should they arise. Most business broadband providers will offer dedicated support without long wait times. They will also have technical support close to hand when there is a problem with any hardware.
If a reliable, strong connection is needed at all times for your business, then it will definitely be worth considering business broadband for your home.