What are the man differences and advantages between broadband and leased lines?
Broadband and internet connectivity is one of a businesses most valuable resources. So when it comes to upgrading your businesses connectivity, it is very important that you choose the best option for your company.
With so many options available, and such a saturated market, it can be a minefield deciding which type of broadband is the right one for you. In this guide, we’ll help to cut through the noise and highlight the difference between two of the main types of internet connectivity: Leased Lines & Broadband.
What is Broadband?
Chances are, you’re fairly familiar with broadband. Your home and your business probably already
There are a few different types of broadband available in the market in 2021. These include ADSL, fibre optics and fibre to the premises. Each of the different types of broadband have their own unique features.
As you can see from our handy broadband comparison table, the different types of broadband available in the UK.
How does business broadband work?
Depending on the type of broadband you choose, the way broadband is delivered to your business will vary—but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll stick with using a fibre to the cabinet connection (which is the most common form of broadband).
Above is a simplified diagram showing how broadband delivers internet connectivity to your business. From your business, you’ll have a physical broadband line that connects you to your nearest street cabinet. From here, the connection then runs to your local telephone exchange.
The first part of this connection (from your business to the cabinet), is made from copper cabling. The second part of the connection (from the street cabinet to the exchange), uses fibre optic cables.
Broadband uses the UK’s main infrastructure network, which is built by Openreach. This means that your broadband connection is shared with your neighbours too, as you’re all on the same local network infrastructure.
What is a Leased Line?
A leased line is another, faster, more reliable form of internet connectivity. Think of a leased line as broadband, but super charged.
Leased lines are by far the most reliable, fastest form of internet connectivity available to businesses. They’re often used by places such as hotels, digital companies, those with a heavy reliance on their internet connectivity.
Leased lines are also ideal for businesses with little to no broadband availability. Because a leased line can be installed anywhere in the UK, with no geographic restrictions, it can help provide businesses with little to no regular broadband availability, with hyper fast internet.
How does a leased line work?
A leased line is a fully dedicated fibre optic connection. It runs from your premises directly to the nearest fibre connection. As you can imaging, having your own, totally dedicated fibre broadband line allows you to bypass the older infrastructure that other premises in your area might be using.
The diagram above shows a simplified view of how a leased line connects your business to the internet, using its own, dedicated fibre optic connection.
Normally, your businesses broadband connection is shared with your neighbours, in some cases, multiple different businesses may share the same connection that you’re using. However, with a leased line, you bypass all the neighbouring businesses, and have a direct connection right to the internet.
The differences between broadband and leased lines?
Because they’re technically two different technologies, leased lines and broadband have quite a few differences. Although at heart they’re both the same, in that they delivery internet connectivity to your business. Below are some of the main differences between leased lines and broadband:
As you might expect, the largest difference between leased lines and broadband is the internet speed. With broadband, the speed is normally between 20 and 200mbps. This of course varies depending on your package and availability.
However, with a leased line, you can achieve speeds up to 10Gpbs. This is dramatically faster than ‘regular’ broadband. In fact, leased lines are one of the fastest forms of broadband connectivity. With incredible (and consistent) speeds available.
2. Synchronous Speeds
When we talk about broadband speeds, we’re talking about two different types of speeds, download and upload.
Regular broadband will most likely provide you with a download speed that is significantly higher than your upload speed. This is called asynchronous speeds.
However, leased lines use synchronous speeds—which means that your download and upload speeds are the same. This is particularly helpful for businesses making large data transfers or with hundreds of simultaneous users.
While copper broadband is available almost everywhere in the UK, fibre broadband does have geographic restrictions. However the availability of a leased line is not restricted.
Unlike fibre broadband, leased lines do not have geographic restrictions. They can be installed anywhere in the UK, literally anywhere. Leased lines are connected to the nearest fibre optic broadband point via a dedicated fibre optic cable.
While the cost of installing a leased line can be higher than a regular broadband line, the speeds and other benefits do vastly outweigh this cost.
For businesses that have a heavy reliance on broadband, leased lines are a good way to go. Our leased lines have 99.99% uptime—the incredibly high reliability is because they are dedicated lines.
While regular broadband is often more than good enough for most businesses, leased lines do add that extra reliability that many sectors, such as hospitality, sports venues and movie production may require.
As you might expect, leased lines are more expensive than ‘regular’ broadband connectivity. With their insane speeds and synchronous speeds, they do offer more ‘bang for your buck’. With regular broadband costing (normally) no more than £30 - £120/mo (depending on your package of course), this is often the more cost effective option for most smaller businesses and SMEs.
Leased lines aren’t the best option for every business. They are more expensive than traditional broadband and might be overkill for those with no requirement for very fast and reliable broadband.
But, if you’re in the market for a broadband upgrade, it’s always good to compare your options. So speak to a member of our team for a free leased line quote to see how it compares.
8. Usage & peak times
As we mentioned before, leased lines are totally dedicated. This means that you don’t have to share them with neighbouring businesses. Not having to share your connection means that your speed is unimpeded by other businesses data usage.
Whereas regular broadband suffers ‘peak time’ speed loss, leased lines do not. For a lot of businesses, this ‘peak usage’ has little to no impact. However, if you’re on an industrial estate and sharing a broadband connection with lots of other businesses, you may notice significant speed loss. A leased line is the solution to this problem.
Advantages of leased lines
As you might expect, the pinnacle of internet connectivity has a whole host of advantages compared to using traditional broadband, including:
- Faster speeds
- 99.99% Uptime & increased reliability
- No geographic restrictions
- Synchronous speeds
Advantages of broadband
For most businesses, broadband is the best option. It has lots of advantages when compared leased lines, including:
- More affordable
- No installation costs
- No specialist routers required
- Is best for most SMEs and small businesses
Should I choose a leased line or regular broadband for my business?
Very good questions. To be honest, the answer depends. If you’re looking to upgrade your broadband and you’re unsure about which option is best, ask yourself the questions below:
- What will I be using the broadband for?
- How reliant is my business on internet connectivity?
- What speeds do I need?
- What is my budget?
- Which options are available to my location?
These questions will help guide you in the direction of which connectivity solution fits your requirements best. Our team are here to help if you need further assistance, or if you’d like an honest, no-obligations chat about your connectivity, give us a call on 03331 301 021.