Business broadband is a broadband connection designed specifically for businesses to use in an office or workplace. It generally has more features aimed at businesses such as traffic prioritisation and better security.
For businesses who need a stable and reliable internet connection to run their company, business broadband is better than residential connections. While download speeds may be similar to residential broadband services, the broadband offered to businesses keeps business traffic running smoothly, often with a router specifically designed for business use.
Business broadband is usually more expensive than residential broadband. This can lead some businesses to choose residential services instead, although they will then miss out on the added features offered by business broadband connections.
Note: at first glance, some business broadband plans can seem cheaper, but remember to check whether VAT is added in the advertised prices. With business broadband packages, VAT is often excluded until the checkout process.
Business broadband comes with extras that make it a more reliable service for business users. For example, the routers received with business broadband packages are usually capable of providing good coverage to large workplaces with plenty of connected devices.
Along with this, business broadband customers will often include enhanced security, service guarantees with compensation, priority support, static IPs as standard, and their traffic will be prioritised above domestic broadband services.
Choosing the best business broadband depends on a company's requirements. A small business may choose budget friendly providers like TalkTalk Business, who offer good business features at budget prices.
Alternatively, for more comprehensive business broadband, companies may want to look at BT Business or similar providers with a higher price point but enhanced features.
Most businesses will need fibre broadband speeds as a minimum. Very few businesses do so little online these days that ADSL2+ connections will be fast enough, and it could severely affect a business's ability to function if their internet connection is too slow.
For businesses with up to five employees, speeds of up to 50Mb should suffice, while 75Mb packages should be fast enough for up to 10 employees. For more than 10 employees, especially if broadband is used heavily in the workplace, ultrafast speeds of more than 100Mb should be considered.
Ultimately, the speed of broadband a business requires will depend on how much they rely on broadband to do their work. For example, a team of graphic designers will need faster connections than a solo car mechanic.
Business broadband prices start from around £22 per month. Some ISPs offering business broadband packages will tempt companies with cut price broadband for a few months before the prices rise. Read more on the cheapest business broadband.
As well as the minimum term contract costs, pay close attention to the price of the contract after the minimum term is up. Prices may well rise and companies should compare business broadband deals again to get the best deals.
There are also plenty of extras that can be added to business broadband plans including business calls and additional support. Bear in mind, some of the features one ISP includes as standard may cost extra with another provider.
Most business broadband contracts are 24 months long, although some providers do offer 12-month deals. It's rare to find business broadband on shorter contracts, which can be a headache for companies just starting out.
Some ISPs will offer shorter-term contracts, but they will likely be far more expensive than the 24-month contract option.
Some of the additional features companies can add to business broadband packages such as call extras or cloud services may be on shorter or longer contracts - this is true of XLN's Cloud Voice packages which are on 36-month contracts compared to the 24-month broadband contracts.
Some broadband providers serving businesses specialise in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). For example, Vodafone Business is a cheap business broadband solution designed to grow as businesses grow and XLN focus their attention on SME companies across the UK.
Broadband targeted at SMEs may also come with extra support for companies such as online resources to help small businesses protect their company online.
Search for business broadband deals using the free Choose comparison tool. It helps companies find the cheapest and fastest business broadband deals in their area just by entering their company's postcode.