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Leased Line vs Broadband

Most businesses will need some sort of internet connection.  This can be to process payments, provide customers a wifi service, access email or apps, through to VoIP calls, managing your network or hosting your website.   It is important to review how you are accessing the internet to make sure you have the best connection for your business.  Over the last few years services like BT infinity and now Virgin VIVID have seen broadband speeds increase to the point where they over competitive speeds to some leased line services.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding what will be best for you.

Leased line
A dedicated fibre circuit from your office that connects you to your service provider’s network. This is usually used for internet access but could also be used to connect to other offices or data centres.

  • Guaranteed fixed speeds
  • Dedicated, no contended service
  • Typical speed range: from 10Mbps up to 10Gbps

Broadband is a contended connection that connects your office to your service provider’s network. It is variable bandwidth and performance will also depend on how many others are using the connection.

  • Speed cannot be guaranteed
  • Shared connection
  • Average speed range 2Mbps – 20Mbps (although some providers will advertise speeds up to 200Mbps)

Broadband can offer a high speed connection to the internet.  If you have less than 10 people in your office and your main use of the internet is for email and internet access then it should perform reasonably well.  It may be able to support a few VoIP calls.  Broadband is a variable service so if occasionally slow speeds can be tolerated and you could cope for a couple of days if there was a problem and you lost internet access then broadband is a great value option.

A leased line is a bigger investment but with the increased costs you can expect a lot better performance.  You would notice this if your office houses more than 10 members of staff or if you have workers remotely accessing your network.  If you are using cloud based apps, webhosting or especially if you have a VoIP phone system or use web conference software then a leased line offers capability to make this work.

With a dedicated service you are guaranteed the agreed speed, which can be up to 10Gbps.  You don’t need to worry about your internet speed during peak times because your neighbours are also using the service.  You can expect 99.9% uptime.

It is really difficult to compare leased lines and broadband based on their advertised speed and price alone. What is appropriate for you will depend on the size of your office, what you need the internet for, and how important internet access is.  If your office has more than 10 people, or internet connection is mission critical for your business then you will want to look into leased line options.

Many businesses opt for both connections, as this gives a cost efficient backup option.  Being prepared for the worst could mean getting a separate, diverse and redundant leased line, or you could use a broadband connection as a short term backup.

Burstfire offer both Leased line and broadband solutions so if you want to discuss what service would be best then please get in touch.