For many businesses, a fiber Internet connection provides a fast and reliable service. Fiber–optic Internet technology is capable of achieving incredible speeds far faster than DSL or satellite by transporting data in the form of light signals through wire made from tiny, transparent glass fibers that are about the diameter of a human hair. Fiber is among the top Internet alternatives, but it isn’t always available in many areas.
Before fiber can come to your building, much has to happen. This is a costly and time-consuming process, and you can expect those high costs of installation to be passed on to you. Add to that the cost of installing the necessary equipment in your building.
What are some Internet alternatives to a fiber connection? What are the pros and cons of each? Let’s take a look at the top three choices that are currently available: satellite, cable, and fixed wireless.
In remote areas where other types of connections aren’t readily available, satellite internet ranks high among Internet alternatives. Satellite Internet providers beam a data signal via satellites hovering high in space. No hard wires or lengthly installation is necessary. Users buy or rent a satellite dish, install it, and enjoy high-speed Internet service.
However, high-speed is a relative term. Your Internet signal must travel thousands of miles into space and back down to your building, so latency is usually a problem. Also, satellite service typically costs more for this slower service, and it is also affected by bad weather and heavy cloud cover.
Cable internet service is typically offered through local television cable providers in your area. Cable internet is often offered as a stand-alone option, or in a bundle with business phone service. Cable internet requires a modem and a professional installation by a technician, as a cable must be run to your office. This includes running the cable throughout your building if you have never before had service with this particular provider.
Cable internet is a reliable Internet service, but if your business is located in an area that frequently experiences cable outages, you can expect your Internet service to suffer. If your business must have Internet to operate, it’s a good idea to have a backup option available. Remember, with cable internet you share bandwidth speed with your neighbors. The more customers using cable at once, the slower the internet speed is for everyone. This is known as a “best effort” service, and is meant for smaller companies.
Fixed wireless Internet is quickly becoming a top choice among Internet alternatives. Similar to satellite internet, users erect antennas on their building or property in order to pick up radio Internet signals from a local provider. Antennas picking up radio signals from local towers experience less weather interference than satellite signals, so fixed wireless internet is more reliable. Fixed wireless typically has no data caps, nor does it have latency problems like satellite options.
Another definite benefit of fixed wireless is fast installations, especially when compared with a fiber connection. The difference is a matter of days for fixed wireless, compared to weeks or even months for a fiber installation.
The costs for fixed wireless can be higher than a purely wired connection, and you also might have to pay for equipment and installation. Also, fixed wireless is a line-of-sight connection, which may interfere with its viability in your location. It also connects somewhere down the line to a wired connection, so other issues can develop beyond your wireless connection that are beyond your control.
Providing Internet Alternatives to Business
At MHO, we are dedicated to bringing innovative Internet and Ethernet services to help your business thrive. When you are ready to begin exploring Internet alternatives to your current service configuration, give us a call or contact us online.