Small Business Advice

What is the difference between home and business broadband?

Jack Stratten

Explaining the differences between home and business broadband.

If you’ve done any shopping around for broadband recently, chances are you will have come across ‘business broadband’ packages, which are now offered by many ISPs. While some providers charge extra for this kind of package, it’s often not obvious what the advantages are. To make things clearer, we’ve outlined the 5 key differences between a home and business broadband package.

1. Greater levels of Support

One common feature of a business broadband connection is that it will come with extra technical support. As many businesses rely on their broadband connections for daily operations, it is vital that if something goes wrong, help will be immediately available. Business broadband subscribers will generally get priority over home users for technical support (At XLN we only provide business broadband, and offer a 24/7 broadband helpline). Some providers will offer Service Level Agreements with business broadband, which guarantee that problems will be fixed within a certain timeframe – so look out for these when choosing a provider.

2. Speed

As well as offering lower contention ratios, business broadband packages generally provide faster connection speeds. While the average UK broadband speed is now over 11mbps, business broadband speeds are often much higher than this, especially with the onset of fibre. Faster speeds are crucial for any business running their own website, for keeping in contact with staff or clients via email, sending or receiving large files, and a number of other web-based operations.

3. Download limits

Business broadband packages generally offer more generous download allowances than home packages. While many home broadband packages will limit the amount of data you may download each month (some of them to as little as 1GB), this can be impractical for business use. Businesses which run their own websites, send or receive large files, or use there connection heavily each day will need a large, or unlimited download limit.
Note – Most XLN broadband packages offer completely unlimited downloads.

4. Security

While protection is important to all internet users, a major breach to a business’ online security could be ruinous. Because of this, many broadband packages will come with enhanced security features to ensure that your business data is completely secure. Most of XLN’s business broadband comes with a free security package, including antivirus, anti-spyware, firewall, abuse control, and spam control.

5. Range of services

Business users will want different things from their broadband than home users, which may include things that just aren’t possible with a home connection. For example you might want to run your own email and web servers, access your PC from anywhere, or secure access to work or other remote networks. You can’t do these things with domestic broadband because a static IP address is required, but business broadband packages will provide one for free or very cheaply. In addition, a business broadband package may include email accounts, wireless routers or modems, access to Wi-Fi hotspots and more.