The Top 5 Internet Providers for your Business
Hardly any businesses can operate without internet access these days, which is why the best business internet providers are constantly pushing to improve their core offerings. This includes competing on the cost of their products but also on speed, which is a crucial factor for many businesses who need fast internet to download massive amounts of data without a loss in productivity or a drag on their operations.
In addition to speedy access that won’t slow your business down, the best providers in this niche also offer excellent customer service, overall reliability, and affordable plans. We compared most of the top business internet providers on the market today to find out which companies stand out, so start your search here if you’re looking for a new business internet provider in your area.
The Most Important Factors to Consider When Getting Internet Service for Your Business
- Speed: The Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that almost 30 percent of businesses need internet faster than 50 Mbps, yet many of the companies that made our ranking offer speeds of up to 900 Mbps or more.
- Pricing: Most small businesses want an affordable internet agreement that includes fixed pricing for at least one year, although some companies offer price guarantees that last for up to three years.
- Reliability: Businesses cannot afford to go without internet access in today’s environment, which is why reliability is crucial. We chose business internet providers that have a solid reputation for quality and uninterrupted service.
Best Internet Provider Reviews
The five business internet providers we included in our ranking offer some of the fastest speeds, best pricing, and best internet products overall. If you are trying to decide which company would be best for your needs, these reviews can help.
Verizon Fios Business: Best Overall
Verizon Fios offers three different Fios business internet plans with speeds up to 940 Mbps. You’ll pay the most for their fastest business internet plan, which offers the fastest speeds available and a Gigabit connection at a current rate of $249 per month plus taxes and fees. However, businesses that can operate with speeds up to 100 Mbps would probably do fine with their $69 per month plan.
Verizon Fios also lets you bundle a few additional services including VoIP digital voice, cloud storage, and multi-device security.
Why It Made Our List: Not only does Verizon offers some of the fastest internet speeds in the business, but they ranked #1 in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Business Wireline Satisfaction Study.
What Holds It Back: Verizon’s least expensive plan only comes with a one-year price guarantee, meaning you won’t be able to estimate your business internet costs beyond the first 12 months of service.
Comcast Business Internet: Best Money-Back Guarantee
Comcast is another provider known for offering high-quality business internet services nearly nationwide, and they offer speeds that range from 25 Mbps up to one gig. Comcast also offers a dynamic pricing model for their plans that lets you pay more or less depending on the number of devices that need internet access in your office.
Comcast plans also come with no data limits, which can be a huge relief if you’re constantly downloading giant files for business purposes. You’ll also get 24/7 customer service support and the backing of a national company that provides internet and phone services throughout the U.S.
Why It Made Our List: Comcast Business Internet offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on their products, meaning you can back out and get your financial investment back if you’re not happy with the service.
What Holds It Back: Comcast doesn’t post transparent pricing on their website. You have to enter your address and apply for a free quote to find out how much you’ll have to pay for each of their plans. Also note that, with pricing based on the number of devices you need internet for, you’ll potentially pay more with this company if your business requires a lot of computers and various devices to remain in operation.
Spectrum: Best for No Contracts
Spectrum is another business internet provider to consider if you’re looking for a company that offers no hidden fees and no added taxes. Spectrum also lets you sign up for service without any kind of contract, which is a major bonus if you’re not ready to commit to a lengthy internet service plan for your business.
Plans with Spectrum also start at just $44.99 per month when you bundle other services, and they promise 99.9% network reliability. While most of their plans only come with speeds up to 200 Mbps, speeds up to 940 Mbps are also available, which is faster than many competing business internet providers can offer.
Why It Made Our List: In addition to the fact you don’t have to sign a contract, Spectrum gives you additional perks like free business email, a free modem, and free desktop security software.
What Holds It Back: Spectrum scored lower than other providers on our list in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Business Wireline Satisfaction Study in terms of customer satisfaction, billing, and performance.
CenturyLink Business: Best for Bundling Products
CenturyLink offers business internet and business phone services that vary in quality and pricing depending on where you live. However, they do promise competitive pricing for their internet plans with no haggling or bargain hunting, and they don’t require lengthy contracts, termination fees, or activation fees to get your service started.
CenturyLink also offers additional perks for customers who bundle internet and phone service in one package, including Microsoft Office 365 and email services.
Why It Made Our List: CenturyLink promises the highest speeds available in your area with competitive pricing.
What Holds It Back: Unfortunately, CenturyLink doesn’t advertise pricing on their website since it varies depending on where you live. This means you’ll have to call in and speak with a representative to get a free quote.
HughesNet: Best Satellite Internet Option
HughesNet is a business internet provider that offers satellite internet, making it a solid option if your business is located in an area where finding high-speed internet access is problematic. This company’s internet plans also include unlimited data, speeds up to 25 Mbps, and built-in wifi that lets you connect multiple devices.
HughesNet is also offering free installation for all of their plans, so you can get started without any fees for activation.
Why It Made Our List: Since HughesNet is offered via satellite, you can set up this business internet access regardless of where you live.
What Holds It Back: While installation is free, you do have to purchase or rent satellite equipment from HughesNet. Like all their pricing, you’ll have to call into the company to get a free quote for how much this would cost. Also be aware that HughesNet speeds are a lot lower than some competing providers in our ranking, although this company may be one of your only options if you live in an area where traditional service isn’t available.
How We Found the Best Business Internet Providers
Many companies offer business internet services, but not all companies are created equal. Here are the main factors we considered when coming up with the providers for our ranking:
Because internet speed is so integral to many companies’ operations, we looked for business internet providers that offer the fastest speeds available today. With that being said, we also considered providers that offer slower speeds in their more basic and affordable plans.
Pricing and Transparency
We also compared companies based on how transparent they are when it comes to pricing, and we gave preference to providers who mention any added taxes or fees required for service. At the same time, we understand that some companies offer service nationwide charge pricing based on location. In these cases, we believe it’s acceptable for customers to have to call in or fill out a form with their address for a free quote.
Internet providers that don’t require a contract or cancellation fees definitely stood out in our ranking. However, we realize that commitment goes both ways since contracts let consumers lock in pricing. Ultimately, we gave the highest ranking to companies that don’t require a long-term commitment as well as those that offer price guarantees for up to three years for consumers who don’t mind the commitment.
A Better Understanding of Business Internet Providers
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the landscape for businesses that require high-speed internet access has changed dramatically over the years. For starters, the need for wifi, data, email and other internet-related services has caused internet usage to surge to as high as 90 percent. At the same time, however, the existing broadband infrastructures (cable modem, wireless, and DSL, respectively) “have significant limitations when compared to fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP), which reaches only a small fraction of the United States,” they note.
Overall, small businesses want competition and choice when selecting a plan, which remains a major roadblock in some areas of the country where internet providers are limited. With that being said, options and competition seem to be increasing on an annual basis as more providers throw their hat in the ring and alternative options like satellite internet become more readily available.
Either way, small businesses have the best chance of finding an affordable deal for business internet when they spend time comparing all their options and shopping around. In addition to shopping based on pricing, business owners should also compare companies based on internet speeds, customer service availability, and freebies they might receive with their plan, such as company email or network security. Finally, business owners should consider bundling internet and phone service to simplify their business operations and secure even more discounts.