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Business Internet vs Home Internet- What's the Difference?

Business Internet vs Home Internet- What's the Difference?

The Internet. We all have it. We all love it. But when it comes to your Internet service provider, not all Internet plans are created equal. And you probably know that there are business plans and residential plans. I'm assuming everyone has a residential plan. But you may not know the differences between those two and you might be wondering well what if I ever did get business Internet? What do I actually get out of it? That's what we're gonna be talking about today because there's a little bit more differences than you probably realize.


The business plan is more expensive than residential plans


But why is that? What do you get extra out of it?

Probably the biggest difference is going to be the accountability on the service provider. So do you have any recourse when things go wrong with a residential plan which most of us have? Your Internet company pretty much has. You buy the balls. Let's be real here.


Did your Internet go out?

Perhaps. Well, that just sucks. Hopefully, the Internet company can get you an appointment within the next week's time and within a 3-hour window that you have to wait around for the tech and they're not even guaranteed to show up. And if they don't show up well you'll be lucky to get maybe a 20 dollar credit. Or perhaps is your Internet just a lot slower than advertised? You never get the actual speed you're paying for. Well, that again just sucks to be you because they clearly advertised up to the speed that you bought. And that's called the best-effort service.


Service level agreement

The Internet service provider doesn't actually have to guarantee that speed as long as they're doing their best. However, with business plans, it's going to be a very different story because business plans are going to have what is called an SLA service level agreement. And apparently, there are some ISPs that offer business plans that don't have this type of agreement.

But if it doesn't then it really is not going to be able to be considered a true business plan. So a service level agreement basically forces the ISP to guarantee levels of service. Service level agreement which means that instead of having a best effort up to speed you are guaranteed to have that speed. And if they don't actually live up to their guarantee or promise then you actually do have some recourse with an agreement.

So you may have the ability to completely renegotiate the contract and not pay as much obviously. Or you could get a full refund on that month or whatever else is dictated in that agreement. It's basically a contract and both parties are held to it.

If your Internet goes out when you have a business plan and it is the Is piece fault then they will probably have some guaranteed timeframe. They're required to fix it say within X hours. I've seen some Internet agreements that require to be fixed within just 4 hours a lot better than scheduling some appointment where you have to wait around for 3 hours. This is it's guaranteed to at least start repairs pretty much right away probably sooner than that.

Some agreements may also determine who is liable when the Internet goes out. So say you run a service where customers are paying for it and you're Internet goes out and it's not your fault. Then that agreement basically says that you could tell customers that the ISP is liable for that problem. And look you had nothing to do with it. It's not your fault. So it kind of gives you a little bit of legal protection potentially and not Super familiar with how that works. But that's my basic understanding of it.

And obviously, these are important factors when you have a business plan because unlike residential where if your Internet goes out it's inconvenient. You can't look at funny videos on YouTube for a while. But if you have servers running and clients who are using your servers or you have to get email emails for your business then that is a big problem for every second that that business Internet is down.

So it's understandable that there have to be guaranteed. Or maybe if you do a lot of uploading you're backing up files setting files to remote servers. You have to have the speed that they're advertising because you bought that speed for a reason because you need it. 


Speed parity

Speaking of speeds another difference between residential and business is speed parity which basically just means how different are the upload and download speeds? You probably know when it comes to residential plans there's usually a big difference between upload and download speeds. You might get 300 megabits down and only like 30 megabits up because a lot of ISPs assume that people aren't doing much uploading but they're going to be doing a lot of downloading which might be typical but not really in this day and age when people are uploading videos to YouTube or streaming and stuff like that.

Business Internet vs Home Internet- What's the Difference?

Whereas with a business plan your typical typically going to get the same download and upload speeds. Because businesses are creating stuff they're probably going to be backing up big files to remote servers again hosting servers themselves that are going to be sending out a lot of data as well as receiving it. So it's important to have the same upload and download speeds. Now a lot of ISPs actually do offer better residential plans these days. For example, I have Gigabit and it's gigabit up and down. But a lot of times you might not get that kind of parity unless you're at the top level.

And in addition to that with business plans, you're probably not going to have any type of bandwidth cap whereas with residential you typically do.


Static and dynamic IP addresses

Now, this is not Superset in stone these days. I'll kind of mention that. But with a residential plan typically you're going to get what is called a dynamic IP address which just means that your IP address is going to change every once in a while. It's not going to stay static and that might be just randomly or typically it's when you unplug your router for some amount of time and then plug it back in maybe just after a few minutes. After a few hours, you'll get a new one. 

Now with a business plan. On the other hand, you typically will get a static IP or at least you'll definitely have the option to have one. And a static IP is the opposite of a dynamic IP. It just means that your IP address is going to stay the same and this is going to have a lot of benefits for a business.

This which you probably will need. This for example if you're running a server and you're having people or yourself trying to connect to that server from outside your just business location then you don't want them to have to keep track of this changing IP address or if it's the same one day and it changes the next and you try to remote in you're not going to be able to it's a different IP. You want that IP address to stay the same.

And this is important also for security because it means you can now whitelist that IP address that is with your business because you know it's not going to change. So for example say you access services that are important. Like I don't know some other hosting website. Well, you could have it whitelist so only the IP address for your business can access that account.

And obviously, you want a static IP for that to happen. Or again like I mentioned if you're VPN ting into that network then you don't want it to change. You want it to stay the same so you don't have to remember.

Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that you need to go out and buy a static IP if you even have the option with the residential plan. In fact, sometimes it's actually preferable. So for example maybe you do a lot of gaming or you're streaming and some of your viewers might want to prank you. And maybe they're playing on a game with you and they somehow look at the game to figure out your IP address and then they decide to DDoS you.

They send a bunch of data to your IP address and then they use that to completely shut down your internet by overloading it. Then it's very convenient to be able to just change your IP address by unplugging it and plugging it back in after like an hour. And then they can't do that anymore. With a static IP, you'd probably have to call your ISP and then have it changed over.

And they might not allow you to do that. Or if you had a bunch of stuff set up on the static IP you have to change all that over. So it's not really a big deal if you don't have a static IP. And in some cases, like I just mentioned it might be nice to be able to change it.


Another major difference is having a shared vs dedicated connection.

Now with residential, you're always gonna be sharing a certain amount of bandwidth from everyone else around you. And this is called the contention ratio. How many users are basically going to be sharing one thing? If you have 30 houses sharing one pipe then it's a 30 to 1 ratio. Basically, the ISP does this by kind of calculating how much they think each user is actually going to be using out of how much they pay for. They're not going to be assuming that everyone is going to be saturating their entire connection all the time.

So for example, if they sell 30 different gigabit plans they're not going to put a 30-gigabit pipe there. They're maybe going to put in 10 because they know that not everyone is going to be using it. But the problem with that is during certain peak hours when a lot of people are using a lot more bandwidth then it will slow down the Internet because everyone still has to share that amount and it's gonna be divided up between all the people.

And that usually is a big reason why you're not gonna be getting the advertised speeds that you pay for with the ISP at least not at all times because there's just too many other people using it. So you kind of have to share that amount.

With a business plan, it's gonna be different. So at the very least, you're gonna have a prioritized connection which means that even if you're on a shared pipe where you have one hub that's connecting a bunch of different houses hopefully the ISP and it's going to say in your agreement that you're gonna get the bandwidth that you pay for no matter what and then it's just going to slow down everyone else who's using an If you're on the same connection or you might have the option to either build or buy a dedicated connection which means you're not sharing it at all.

You're just getting a straight line to the ISP. Now again that might only be available if there's already one built into that area. Like if it's a commercially zoned building that was piped in a direct connection by the IP when it was built. Or again you might be able to have one built but that would probably be expensive.

So in any case the result is the same though. And that is if you're paying first feed you're going to get it it's not being shared, crowded or anything like that and that's because the ISP is also gonna have to calculate things differently and they're gonna assume that every business customer is going to be using their full speed. they're gonna assume that if you're paying for 30 they're gonna calculate how much bandwidth they need based on the assumption that you're gonna be using the maximum because they don't know maybe everyone at one point will be using the maximum and a lot of times businesses do use more speed than residential because again they might have servers that are running 24/7 not just watching videos at peak times.


Customer service

With residential, I don't need to tell you how bad customer service can be from Internet companies and cable companies. You're lucky if you don't have to wait on hold. You're lucky if you don't get some person across the globe and some call center who's just reading off a script they don't actually know what they're talking about and they make you do all this stuff troubleshooting that you already tried it's a bunch of nonsense. With a business plan hopefully depending on your agreement again, it'll give you some sort of specialized customer service like a dedicated call center that actually knows what they're talking about and presumably because if you're using a business plan there's gonna be a little bit more complex problems that ''oh my internet is slow'' that kind of thing.

So now those are the major differences that we're going to least talk about today and there might be a lot of other small tiny differences again it's going to depend on this service level agreement which is really the main big difference. It's going to define all the features you get and what you're guaranteed to get and that is kind of like the hallmark of a business plan.


Does that mean you should go out and get a business plan?

Well, the truth is you might not be able to even if you wanted to because a lot of times they're only available in certain areas where the ISP knows that there's gonna be businesses. It might be commercially zoned buildings or something like that and they don't run a business plan into residential houses obviously it makes complete sense.

Now that doesn't mean if you have a residential plan you're completely screwed if the ISP is just jerking you around. You might not know this but at least in the United States you can actually file a complaint against your ISP with the government and they take these complaints seriously.

Business Internet vs Home Internet- What's the Difference?


I've done it in the past you can go on a website consumercomplaints.fcc.gov this is the Federal Communication Commission. but basically, you submit a complaint, and the ISP is required to reply to these complaints and they're even required to basically submit a report to the FCC to say that they responded to your complaint. And I actually did do that one time with one of my ISPs where they were implementing this really low bandwidth cap and I had like gigabit speeds so I would have like blowing through the bandwidth cap in no time at all.

So I filed a complaint and then, sure enough, a few days later they actually called me back and they didn't sound too happy about it but they were actually pretty helpful and they at least took it seriously is what I really mean. They explained it's more of a soft cap they're not gonna like cut off my internet if you know the bandwidth cap is exceeded or anything like that. So it actually was helpful and it's good to know that the FCC kind of does keep an eye on these things if you do file a complaint it'll actually be listened to.

I wouldn't do that every time your internet goes out because you don't if it actually is a problem with your connection always try to fix it with your ISP first. But if they are jerking you around with prices or something like that it's always an option. So hopefully, this article helped you out guys let me know in the comments what you think.

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