You’ve likely had Internet service in place at home from the day you moved in. Whether it was for personal use or to run your home-based business, you connected to it and got to work. What else do you need?
In some cases, nothing else. Residential Internet service can be just fine for some types of home-based businesses. But if your residential connection is not providing enough bandwidth, you might wonder, can you get business Internet at home? Yes, you can — and chances are, you should. Beyond providing better bandwidth, switching to business-class Internet at home has other advantages worth considering.
Performance guarantees and support
Business Internet providers give customers special contract terms called service-level agreements, or SLAs. These set out parameters for high Internet performance and compensation for the business if the provider falls short. Compensation is often in the form of an account credit or refund. By comparison, residential Internet has less stringent standards for performance.
If an Internet connection is crucial to the operation of your home-based businesses, you could benefit from the added reliability of business-class Internet service. In addition, Internet service providers are diligent to help their business customers through any problems around the clock, realizing that disruptions literally cost money. Comcast Business offers dedicated businesses customer support representatives 24/7.
Broadband speeds and unlimited data
A slow Internet connection can be almost as bad as having no Internet connection at all. And with data caps on your Internet service, slow speeds are a risk. On the other hand, business-class Internet speed is faster than residential and has no data caps.
Comcast Xfinity residential Internet customers have up to a terabyte of data usage each month. While this is a large amount of data, and plenty for many home-based businesses, you might need more if your business frequently uploads and downloads files, streams video, conducts video conferences, uses VoIP phone service, hosts a website, or runs an ecommerce site.
Another factor in data usage is the combined demand from your home-based business and your personal activities, if both are running on your residential Internet service. A terabyte might be plenty for your business use alone, but if you stream lots of movies and television shows or play online games in your free time, you could burn through the data limit.
It’s worth noting that customers with Comcast’s residential Xfinity Internet service plans are not cut off if they exceed a terabyte of data in a given month. They will receive additional blocks of 50 GB for $10 each, not to exceed $200 a month. That’s after two courtesy months of exceeding a terabyte. Another option is the Unlimited Data Option for residential service, which costs an additional $50 monthly. Given this flexibility, it makes sense to determine how much data you really need for business and personal purposes, then compare the cost of residential overage fees with the cost and benefits of home business Internet service.
Another difference between residential and business Internet service is upload speed. Residential plans typically advertise their download speeds, but their upload speeds are slower. For most residential users, this won’t matter much because they are often in download mode — streaming music and videos, reading websites, and checking social media.
But when you’re running a business, upload speeds can be vital. That’s why business Internet service providers offer equal speeds for both uploading and downloading data. This feature, sometimes called parity or symmetrical connection, could be important if your business often uploads large files to the cloud, shares files with clients or vendors, backs up data to the cloud, or uses VoIP or video conferencing.
Static IP address
All Comcast Internet customers have a dynamic IP address. This means that the standard way of identifying your location can change each time you access the Internet. Business-class Internet customers have the option of adding a static IP address — one that does not change. Home-based businesses that run a Web or mail server, run applications that require external access, or use a virtual private network (VPN) might require a static IP address.
So, is it time to upgrade? If your Internet connection is integral to your home-based business, the answer is quite possibly yes. See how Comcast Business can help.