Broadband is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Consumers are craving faster speeds, better uptime and more reliability from their internet provider—but where do businesses fit into this?
As a business broadband provider, we’re often asked about the differences between home and business broadband. Many people think that ‘internet is internet’, but that’s not the case—and business broadband packages have some nice added extras that make set them apart from the standard intent connection you might have at home.
Differences Between Home Broadband vs Business Broadband
1. Service levels and reliability
Broadband is one of the most important assets for many businesses—without it, they’ll lose revenue and risk leaving customers and prospects in the dark. That is why business broadband comes with much higher level of reliability and service.
Some business broadband packages even have SLAs (Service Level Agreements) which offer guaranteed service and support, or money back. These packages are particularly vital for larger businesses or those with heavy reliance on broadband.
2. Integration with VoIP
VoIP, which stands for Voice Over IP, is a modern form of telephone calls which use your business broadband connection, rather than traditional telephone lines. Many businesses have made the move to VoIP for their phone system, which means that even more pressure is put on their existing broadband connection.
Business broadband lines better integrate with VoIP telephony. Some consumer packages come with annoying firewalls and blockers that interfere with VoIp calls, or sometimes prevent them getting through all together!
3. Elevated Best Efforts
Elevated best efforts (EBE) is a term used for business broadband connections that prioritise voice traffic over data traffic. As we mentioned in the previous point, most businesses utilise VoIP to run their telephone systems. A business broadband line with EBE ensures your phone calls are given priority—particularly useful for lower bandwidth connections or high call volumes.
Home broadband doesn’t have EBE, as you’re unlikely to be using any significant bandwidth for VoIP calls (even if you do work from home).
4. Technical Support
Business broadband comes with much higher level of customer and technical support compared to consumer broadband. Businesses have such heavy reliance on internet that outages are costly, so having a UK-based support team available who can run diagnostics and assist with faults is a vital asset for any business.
Our business broadband offerings are backed up by our UK-based, in-house technical team—this gives your business total peace of mind that your connection is covered, and you can speak to a human quickly if required.
5. Static IP address
Home broadband offers a dynamic IP address, which means that your IP address changes periodically. Business broadband comes with a static IP address, which, as the name suggests, stays the same.
Static IP addresses make it easier for you to setup remote connections, VPNs, servers and more—all the kinds of technologies that businesses utilise far more than consumers.
While there isn’t a huge difference in cost, business broadband is typically more expensive than home broadband. This is because business broadband comes with the extra reliability and features we’ve mentioned here. That being said, paying for a business-grade product with extra support far outweighs the risk of broadband failure to any business.
There are quite a few different options available for businesses at different price points—speak to our team today to find out what packages are available to your business.
Similarities Between Home Broadband vs Business Broadband
The speeds available to businesses and consumers are the same. The packages tend to follow the same pattern, ranging from 40Mbps download to 1000Mbps download. Most business broadband provider (like us) will allow you to upgrade your speeds as your business grows and more bandwidth is required.
However, businesses do have access to improved reliability and service level agreements to ensure that their connection has better uptime. Some networks such as BT prioritise business traffic over consumer traffic during peak times.
Another similarity between home and business broadband is the technology they use. There are three main types of broadband connectivity, ADSL, Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). Both home and businesses use these three main technologies.
3. 4G Backups
Quite a new feature for home broadband is 4G backups, which gives your broadband a connection to 4G in the event of an outage. BT released this product in 2022, marketed this as ‘unbreakable home WiFi’. This has long been a feature in business broadband, as businesses have much heavier reliance on their internet than consumers.
Obviously, it depends on the package out choose, but 4G backup is an option for both business and home broadband.
Which option is right for me?
Sometimes deciding which option is best can be difficult, particularly for smaller businesses. We have some tips below to help you decide which option is best for you…
If you’re running a business
If you’re running a business with more than 2 or 3 employees, then business broadband is the best choice. Because of the added support, reliability and VoIP compatibility, business broadband is usually the go-to for any business with more than 3 employees working from the same location.
If you’re a consumer
Unless you need something specific such as a static IP address, then standard home broadband is likely the best option for you. As a consumers, it’a not worth the additional cost when you’re using it for gaming, streaming and general internet usage.
If you work from home
If you’re working from home, then either option may be right for you. Our advise would be to consider how vital the internet connectivity is to your working, and what your employer (if you have one) says about their specific requirements. Chances are a standard home broadband connection would be fine, but it may be that you need something a bit more substantial for your job.