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How To Choose a Business Internet and WiFi Provider

Choosing a business Internet provider isn't a decision that should be taken lightly. Learn about important considerations like cost, speed and connection types when choosing the right business Internet plan.    

Running a business requires you to make a lot of important decisions, which is why choosing the right business Internet Service Provider (ISP) is critical.  Aside from the cost, there are a variety of other factors to consider.

As you determine which business ISP to choose, think about factors like bandwidth speed, cost, your business size and potential future growth. Let’s take a deeper look at how to choose a business Internet plan.

What Type of Business Plans Are Offered?

Standard business Internet plans offer fast speeds with more upload options and better reliability than basic residential Internet. Based on your business location and the ISP you choose, different types of Internet connections will be available.

Here are some common Internet business plans:

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL):

DSL Internet services are delivered through your telephone line.  DSL is best suited for small businesses with just a few employees. Speeds will vary based on how far your business is located from your ISP’s facility.


Cable Internet provides service connectivity and business WiFi access through a modem and router, delivering connection speeds ranging from 10 Mbps up to 1Gbps. If nearby residences or businesses are online at the same time, they may slow down your connection.


Fiber Internet is one of the newest and most reliable technologies to enter the broadband market. It currently offers the fastest Internet speeds available, and it supports customized download and upload options with dedicated bandwidth for critical business functions. Learn more about the differences between Fiber and Cable internet.

What to Consider When Choosing a Plan?

When shopping for a business Internet provider, choose a plan that meets your current needs and supports your goals and future growth. Inquire about the following before selecting a plan:

Researching business internet providers

How Much Speed Do You Need?

Whether you’re shopping for small business Internet or dedicated Internet, determining how much Internet speed your business needs is essential. In general, the more employees, guests and devices at your business, the more speed you’ll need. Take into account how many employees and customers will be online at peak usage times.

  • 50 Mbps: Ideal for three to five users to conduct simple business tasks, like downloading files and sending emails.


  • 100 Mbps: Ideal for up to 10 users, this is your standard small business Internet speed. This speed allows you to share files, stream video and run transactions with ease.


  • 200 Mbps: Ideal for a growing small business with up to 20 users. At this speed, you can video conference and backup a large amount of data in the cloud.


  • 300 Mbps: Ideal for midsize businesses with up to 30 users. This speed allows you to stream high definition videos on multiple devices, run online conferences, as well as physical servers.


  • 1Gbps (1,000 Mbps): Ideal for enterprise businesses with more than 30 employees at a business. Speeds at this level will deliver maximum speed with minimal interruptions. 

Download Speed vs Upload Speed

Upload speed is the rate at which data is transferred from your computer to the internet, while download speed is the rate in which data is moved from the internet to your computer. In other words, upload speeds are used to create content and share it online, and download speeds are used to watch, listen or consume content online. Upload speeds are essential for activities such as video calls, posting photos online and uploading files. Download speeds are important for activities like viewing websites, streaming videos and downloading files.

What’s a Good Upload Speed?

Small businesses with multiple users and devices will benefit from faster upload speeds provided by a business internet plan. Upload speeds of 50 Mbps or faster will help support online activities, such as live streaming and uploading large files.

Contract Length

Most small businesses Internet plans are offered with one to three-year service terms. Some ISPs may offer longer service terms for additional cost savings or more expensive no-contract options.  You’ll want to consider what timeline best suits your needs.

When deciding on a contract length, consider what your business may require in the future as well as your currents needs. For example, if you’re a small growing business, will you pay extra fees to make changes to your plan before the contract ends?

Service Reliability

Unexpected outages could leave you and your employees in a bind. If service outages will cost your business, ask about the types of compensation your ISP may offer, like discounts or credits.

Data Caps & Throttling

If your business is thriving and requires a lot of bandwidth, keep an eye out for overage charges or throttling. Some ISPs may charge a higher rate or restrict your bandwidth if your business exceeds a certain limit.

Customer Service

Even if your business isn’t working 24/7, around the clock tech support is critical to help minimize downtime and money lost. Make sure to ask about phone or chat assistance as well as onsite technical assistance at your location. Most ISPs have online self-service tools that make it easy to manage your services.

Comparing business internet provider costs


Business Internet and WiFi cost will vary depending on your business location, your business Internet provider and the size of your business. Some ISPs may offer to bundle your business Internet and WiFi with phone, TV or other services. If you’re looking to save and need more than just Internet, bundles can be a great way to go.


Consider the type of equipment you’ll need to connect your Internet service and business WiFi to your devices. Your ISP will typically offer to lease or purchase a business modem and business router at an additional cost.

You can also purchase your own equipment, including a WiFi range extender, for better connectivity.  However, it’s typically more convenient to use your provider’s equipment because they can troubleshoot any issues and configure your settings whenever necessary. Make sure to analyze your budget and consider what you’ll need before deciding.

What can Cox Business Internet and WiFi do for your business?

Business Internet and WiFi are essential services. Find out how right the speed, connection and equipment can help grow your bottom line and move your business forward.

Learn about the factors to consider when choosing an Internet and WiFi provider for your business.

Set your company up for success with WiFi solutions tailored for your growing business.

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