Choosing the right package for your business’s internet connection doesn’t have to be that hard. Batelco will help you make the right choice.

I’m often asked by customers or our sales account manager: “How much bandwidth do I (the customer) need? Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy way to figure this out. It depends on how the bandwidth will be utilized.

For starters, your bandwidth and the speed your broadband package promises are not the same. The bandwidth usually refers to the amount of information flowing through your broadband line. Bandwidth does not measure how fast this information will flow from one point to another as that depends on a different set of factors.

For example, if you’re on a 10MBps (Megabytes per second) broadband package, your line will be able to transmit 1Mbps (Megabit per second) of information. That works in theory of course. What your service provider cannot guarantee, however, is how fast information is being transmitted to you from the other side of the planet.

Determining the right amount of bandwidth for your business is vital to its performance and in some cases, success. Packages with lower bandwidth usually lead to slower connections. Packages with too much bandwidth can lead to underutilizing the services being paid for. That being said, how can you guess how much bandwidth your business might require? Try asking yourself the following questions:

What am I going to use this broadband line for?

If all your business needs revolve around browsing the web and email, then low bandwidth packages make more sense. If your business, however, requires high usage of video streaming, integrated cloud services, or voice over IP, then you might want to consider a package with much higher bandwidth. Simply, the more complex or intensive your usage is, the more bandwidth you’ll need.

How many users will be using this line?

The more people you have using that broadband line, the more connections there will be to the internet, on that one line. In that case, having a higher bandwidth package is always preferable. There are third-party solutions that can help you allocate a certain amount of bandwidth to your users, this allows the employee dealing with uploading large files more bandwidth and the employee doing email only, less. But that’s beyond the scope of this article.

How important is a reliable connection for my business?

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Some businesses require highly reliable internet connections for otherwise, any downtime a less reliable connection might cause will result in potentially significant losses. Those businesses might want to look into purchasing what’s known as a ‘dedicated line’ broadband package instead of your mass-market ADSL based package. Dedicated lines cost a lot more and aren’t for everyone.

Am I hosting any company in-house servers or applications?

Housing company-wide servers or applications and internet-based services for employees will require powerful and reliable, high bandwidth lines. Batelco also offers other services that are specific towards those particular needs, including symmetric bandwidth or fixed IP addresses.

Batelco offers a range of internet services for businesses, amongst which is unlimited usage, dedicated lines, or fixed IP addresses. There’s no need to worry about usage thresholds anymore either. These services used to cost a lot more in the past, now are much more affordable for startups and small businesses. Here are some tips when purchasing your business’s broadband line:

  1. More affordable options from other service providers can seem very attractive at first. Lower costs usually point to fewer benefits. Study your options carefully.
  2. Is the service provider providing you services of their own or are they merely re-selling bigger service provider’s products and services? A reseller will not be able to provide you with the kind of services and support and direct provider can.
  3. It’s wise to start out with a short-term non-binding package if you’re unsure of your requirements.
  4. What else is included in your package? Is a router included? How about emails for your employees? A domain name for your website perhaps? It’s useful to know this beforehand as acquiring those services separately could cost unnecessary you time, money, and effort.
  5. Ask about your upload speed, does it suit your requirements? Some providers may not guarantee you stable upstream connections.
  6. Ask around, there’s no harm in doing that. Bahrain is a small community with high internet penetration. Everyone will have an opinion on what to get. Reliability is key here.
  7. Do you need an after-sales support agent or an account manager? Having one at hand is always convenient when running a business.
  8. Unless your requirements are at a minimal, avoid the lowest packages your provider offers. Your business will eventually require a little more than that in this age of the internet.

On one last note, check out http://bandwidthpool.com/, it’s a useful tool to help you determine how much bandwidth is needed, and ultimately determine the most appropriate package for your business.

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