image-internet-choices-globeIs it time to change your Internet? Seems like a simple enough question. Now for some answers Mike Oster, Senior IT Consultant, has heard:

“DSL is all we need.”
“We don’t really use the Internet much.”
“Faster Internet would cost too much.”
“Only big companies need a quality Internet connection.”

No one ever thinks they need to worry about their Internet connection. You know who I would really like to ask about changing their Internet connection?   The 2.4 million subscribers that are still paying AOL $20 per month for dialup. Yep, that’s right, dialup. And you know what? I think if I asked them if it’s time to change their Internet they would tell me something like, “dialup is all I need.”

Many companies underestimate their reliance on the Internet. Think about ALL of the things you need the Internet for to do your job every day—email, research, ordering, cloud-based applications. Your backup very likely relies on the Internet as well. As you go through your daily routine today, take note of how much of that routine requires you to be connected to the Internet. What would you not be able to get done if the Internet were down? In today’s age of Internet dependence, I strongly encourage all of our clients to review their current Internet service periodically. If you have employees that are waiting and waiting for email or webpages to load, it might be time for a change. There may be better options out there. So don’t settle for dial-up quality Internet when there is a possibility you could be getting so much more for your money.

I also advise businesses to consider a redundant Internet connection. With the increase in the number of low cost high speed “fiber and cable” Internet services you may be able to get two Internet connections for less money than it used to cost to have one. This will greatly reduce your exposure to an Internet outage. You could even keep that old DSL connection around as your backup if two high speed options are not available in your area. In some cases you can even use cellular Internet as a backup. If you have a fairly modern business class router or firewall, then you may already have all the equipment you need to make this change. Most of today’s firewalls come out of the box with the ability to connect to two Internet services.

Now that you’ve taken my advice and ordered some shiny new Internet, what now? Too many businesses just allow the new provider to come on out and hook it up. It’s only then they realize the error of their ways. The installer comes out, “hooks it up” and the Internet works just fine, but many of your key systems are not functioning. Don’t get me wrong…Internet providers and their installers are great. But they don’t know your business or your network. They don’t know about your VPN, your mail server or any of the other systems that might be affected by a change of Internet. So, when you do decide it’s time for a change, make sure you contact IT Radix and let us know as well. We will guide you through all of the things that may need “adjusting” when you change your Internet.

So, who’s ready for a change?

First published in our November 2014 IT Radix Resource newsletter