What to Look For When Choosing a Business Internet Provider 

Choosing a business internet provider can feel like a daunting task. Internet is one of the most critical tools to running a business, so you know you’ll need to pick wisely! But how do you choose when it all looks the same? Does it just come down to speed, or is there more you should be looking for? We’ll cover everything you need to know when choosing a business internet provider below. By the time you’re done with this article, you’ll be well on your way to the best internet for your business! Let’s go! 

Understand the Types of Internet Available and Their Limitations

When choosing a business internet provider you need to think about is what you actually need for your operations. Knowing the types of internet available and their pros and cons will help you to make the best choice you can. 

For example, if you run a highly connected business where your team is often on video calls simultaneously, Fiber Internet is likely to be your best opinion as it has plenty of bandwidth and speed to meet the everyday demands of the office.

Bandwidth Availability 

Bandwidth is a big deal and can become a significant pain point if your business doesn’t have enough. Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data transmitted over your internet connection over a specific time. It’s calculated in megabits per second (Mbps), and the more bandwidth, the faster data can flow through your connection at the same time. 

A few things to keep in mind when determining how much bandwidth your company needs are: 

# of Connected Devices

Just like when you’re choosing home internet, think about how many devices connect to your network. It’s not just the computers you need to consider but anything that uses WiFi, such as employees’ phones, printers, TVs, and even security systems. 

# of People Using the Internet 

Bandwidth is affected by how many people are using the internet at once. As a general rule of thumb, you want 15-20 Mb per employee. 

How Your Company Uses The Internet 

Think about how your team uses the internet. What type of activities are they doing? Basic web browsing and checking emails don’t require too much bandwidth, but activities like uploading large files and video conferencing need robust bandwidth to get the task done. 

Below is a handy chart that shows what the average bandwidth requirements are for day-to-day business tasks. 

Read the SLA

A reliable business internet provider will have a service level agreement (SLA). An SLA is a promise between service providers and the customer. The document outlines what the service provider will deliver and sets the service terms and conditions the provider is required to meet. Here are a few parts of the SLA you’ll want to pay close attention to. 

Uptime 

Uptime refers to the time a network is available. In other words, when the network is up and running. It’s calculated by measuring the total number of hours your internet was up and running divided by the number of hours in a year. The number you get from this equation will be your yearly uptime percentage. As a rule of thumb, look for a provider with the most uptime possible to ensure you don’t have any annoying disruptions. At Race, we guarantee an uptime of 99.99%! 

Credits 

In some cases, your ISP will provide credits for outages. Read the terms and conditions of outage credits closely. The SLA will define what constitutes an outage period and how the periods are measured. Most providers will provide a credit when the outage is due to them, but it is unlikely to receive a credit if the issue is caused by the customer, directly or indirectly, or third-party equipment. 

What does customer support look like?

Let’s face it, no matter how great your ISP is at some point, you’re going to need to contact customer support. For example, if you run into an issue with billing or are experiencing a problem that you need technical support with, you’ll be reaching out for help. 

When choosing a business internet provider, look into these areas of customer support to ensure you have the best experience: 

Self-Service Resources

Check to see if they have resources for self-service, such as F.A.Q pages and blogs. These resources allow you to educate yourself and even troubleshoot issues if they arise. 

Customer Support 

Ask what response times are if issues occur. Check to see if support is available in various ways such as phone, chat, email, or on-site. Most internet service providers offer priority support to their enterprise accounts, don’t be afraid to ask if yours does! 

Read Reviews 

All companies will tell you they’re the best. Instead of taking their word, dig deeper and find out what other customers have experienced. If you see mostly positive reviews, this is an indicator that the service provider will excel at customer satisfaction. 

Look for Local Internet Providers 

There are many benefits to choosing a local business internet provider. First, local ISPs are already in your community and ready to help when you need it. If your provider isn’t local, they may not be able to get a technician out as quickly to help with problems leaving your business without internet for far too long. In addition, local business internet providers invest in their communities. At RACE, we’re connected to our communities and local businesses. You’ll find us at many local events and even serving on a few local chamber committees. 

Choosing a Business Internet Provider Summary 

Now that you know what you need to look for, go out and find the best internet provider for your business! Here’s a quick recap of key takeaways:

  • Understand what types of internet are available and which would work best for your needs
  • Figure out how much bandwidth you will need, factor in the number of people, devices connected and how the internet is being used to get the best idea of your needs.
  • Understand the provider’s SLA so you can know exactly what to expect when it comes to service. 

Are you choosing a business internet provider? We’d love to help take your internet services to the next level. If you are interested in learning more about our internet services, contact our specialists at 877-722-3833 or send us an inquiry, and we will help you pick the right service for you. 

What’s the Best Type of Internet for You? Everything You Need to Know Before You Choose

There are many types of internet – and they are definitely not created equal! When you’re choosing an internet service, it’s essential to understand the types of internet available to you. Knowing what each kind is and its strengths and weaknesses allow you to make the best choice for your needs. Today we’re exploring the five most common types of internet and everything you need to know about them. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to choose the best type of internet for you. Let’s go!

Fiber Internet

Top Speeds: 10Gbps- the equivalent of 10,000 Mbps

Ideal For: Modern homes and businesses that require high speeds and ample bandwidth 

Currently, Fiber internet is the fastest internet connection you can get. It’s considered the most cutting-edge type of internet and uses fiber optic cables filled with tiny strands of glass to send information. The information is sent via bursts of light which transmits data at about 70% of the speed of light. Fiber is an excellent option for people who need high bandwidth as it provides up to 1,000 times as much bandwidth as other types of internet. 

If the speeds aren’t enough to convince you that fiber internet is an excellent opinion, fiber is also one of the most stable internet connections. This is because it doesn’t use electricity or depend on clear skies to send signals and data. 

Cable Internet 

Top Speeds:

Ideal For: Homes and businesses that do not have access to Fiber internet or need a lower-cost option that still has high speeds. 

Cable internet is arguably the most popular type of internet in the United States. It’s widely available and uses copper wires to send data over electrical currents. These are the same types of cables used for phone lines and cable TV.  Most providers use existing cable lines to transmit internet signals making it widely available to homes and businesses. While it cannot keep up with the speeds Fiber internet brings, it is often a lower-cost option and can provide enough speed for most homes. 

Cable struggles with bandwidth as it is based on older technology designed to transmit voice calls. Its speeds are also asymmetrical, meaning the download speeds (think streaming a TV show) are faster than its upload speeds (think uploading a video to the cloud). It wasn’t created for the demands the internet has now. Additionally, cable internet is transmitted via electrical currents making it more susceptible to outages due to power or extreme weather conditions. 

DSL

Top Speeds: 5- 35Mbps 

Ideal For: Rural areas that don’t have access to fiber or cable internet. Also suitable for homes with limited users that only browse the internet and check email. 

Similar to Cable internet, DSL, or digital subscriber line, sends data through electrical currents. However, DSL uses the same wires as your telephone to bring high-speed internet to your home. The signal is then distributed to your modem, which converts the signal to the internet. DSL can be installed anywhere a phone jack is present, making it an easily accessible internet solution and a good option for rural areas.

It can be a good solution for homes or businesses with limited users and devices connected to the internet. For example, if you just use your internet to browse and check your email, this option could work for you. However, it’s not the best option for working from home video conferencing, gaming on the internet, or heavily streaming.

Satellite 

Top Speeds: 100-150 Mbps 

Ideal For: Very rural or remote locations that cannot get internet connections other ways. 

Satellite Broadband is a type of internet you can get from anywhere in the world. The internet is sent over radio waves which communicate with your provider’s Network Operations Center (NOC) via satellites in space. Because of how far the data has to travel to bring data to your devices, it is a slower form of internet and not ideal for an average home or business. Additionally, like satellite TV, this type of internet is affected by heavy rains or snow that block or interfere with the signals. 

This type of connection is often used for very rural areas that don’t have access to any other type of internet. Satellite internet can reach almost anywhere and is available to 99% of the US population. You can get it just about anywhere. Outdoor events and festivals also use it when there is no access to cable lines. While Satellite internet can’t match the speeds of Cable, Fiber, or DSL, it provides internet access where otherwise would not be possible. 

Dial-Up 

Top Speeds: 56 kbit/s

Ideal For: Budget-conscious homes that only use the internet for basic tasks.

Dial-Up is one of the first types of home internet service. It uses a phone line and analog modem to access the internet and dials the internet service provider using the phone line connection. If you used the internet in the 90s, you might remember only being able to use the phone or internet at a time because they shared the connection. Dial-Up is an antiquated type of internet and is not viable for most modern homes. It is the slowest of all connections and can only do fundamental activities such as checking email. 

For this reason, it’s not a popular type of internet. Only 3% of Americans still use it. This small percentage of users choose dial-up due to the low cost or because it’s the only option in their area. 

Types of Internet Recap

As you can see from above, there are many types of internet. Choose the type that works best for your situation. Here’s a quick recap: 

  • In most cases, if fiber or cable is available, that will be the best choice for a modern home or business
  • If you live in a highly rural area, live traveling in an RV Satellite Internet may be a good choice
  • Talk to your internet service provider if you aren’t sure which is best for you. They will help you navigate the types of internet and make suggestions based on your specific needs. 

5 Simple Steps to Take When Choosing a Home Internet Provider in Your Area

Finding a home internet provider in your area can be an overwhelming experience, but it doesn’t need to be. When choosing a provider, you need to look beyond pricing and speeds—check into customer service, ratings, and service areas. Depending on your location, you will likely have 2-3 home internet providers to choose from. Follow the steps below, and you will be well on your way to finding a great internet provider in your area! 

1. Understand What Types of Internet There Are 

There are many different types of internet you can choose from. When choosing an internet provider, you need to have an idea of what services you want. This will allow you to eliminate any providers that cannot meet your needs. 

Tip: The two most common types of internet are fiber and cable. If you want to learn more about these types, check out our blog Fiber vs. Cable Internet, Which is Best For You? 

choosing home internet provider

2. Figure Out What Speeds You Need 

Internet speed demands will vary depending on how you use the internet. For example, if you use your internet solely to check your email or casually read articles, you may not need the fastest internet a provider offers.  

On the contrary, activities that require more bandwidth like gaming or video conferencing benefit from higher speeds. Service with more gigabits or fiber internet would allow you to do these activities. You’ll also require a faster connection if you have multiple devices that share a network and bandwidth. In this case, fiber internet would make a great option. 

Below is a quick and handy guide for what speeds might work for your needs. 

choosing home internet provider

3. Find Home Internet Providers in Your Area 

Once you know what type of internet you are looking for, you can research what companies provide it. Below is a list of considerations to make when choosing your home internet provider. 

Compare Plans 

First, look for plans that include the type of internet you want and can handle the speeds your home demands. If you have cable tv or need a phone line see if you can bundle your services to create a package that works for you and saves money. 

Additional Costs and Hidden Fees 

Check to see if there are any additional costs like a monthly router rental or an installation fee. Ask the home internet provider what additional fees you might incur and any overage charges if you hit a certain amount of data. The more you understand, the fewer surprises you will find on your bill! 

Data Caps 

Many providers have data caps. A data cap limits the amount of internet you can use. Once you hit your data cap, providers either slow down your service, which makes for a frustrating internet experience or charge you for overages. When choosing a home internet provider, ask if there are any data caps and what happens if you exceed them to understand exactly what you are getting. At Race, our plans are truly unlimited. Both our Gigify Me and Basic Broadband+ include unlimited data so that you can enjoy a fast internet experience with no surprise fees!

choosing home internet provider

4. Look for Exceptional Customer Service 

Pay close attention to how a potential provider treats you. The customer should always be #1. Good customer service means building relationships with customers and the community. Another sign a home internet provider gives excellent customer service is if they are helpful. Below are positive signs a company is providing great customer service. 

Self-Service Resources

Check to see if they have resources for self-service, such as F.A.Q pages and blogs. These resources allow you to educate yourself and even troubleshoot issues if they arise. 

Customer Support 

Ask what response times are if issues occur. Check to see if support is available in various ways such as phone, chat, email, or on-site. 

Read Reviews 

All companies will tell you they are the best. Instead of taking their work, dig deeper and find out what other customers have experienced. If you see mostly positive reviews, this is an indicator that the service provider will excel at customer satisfaction. 

choosing home internet provider

5. Are they local or involved in the community?

Local service is right in your community and ready to help when you need it. Often, larger nationwide companies can’t get a technician out quickly, and if a problem arises, you might be out of the internet for days. In addition, to support local home internet providers invest in their communities. At RACE, we’re connected to our communities and give back through local events, donations and even serve on local chamber committees. 

Choosing A Home Internet Provider Summary 

Now that you have read our guide, it’s time to apply the findings! If you do your research and understand your options, you’ll be rewarded when choosing an internet provider with high-speed quality internet!  

  • Understand what type of internet and speeds you need 
  • Check for hidden fees or data caps 
  • Research the home internet provider, read reviews, and check out what resources they offer to clients. 

Are you looking for a new Internet provider? If you are interested in learning more about our internet services, contact our specialists at 877-722-3833 or send us an inquiry, and we will help you pick the right service for you. 

8 Elements that Make the Best Internet for Gaming 

With more than 2.5 billion video gamers around the world, it’s no surprise that we are often asked, “what should I look for to find the best internet for gaming?” The answer to that question is complicated, so today, we’re walking you through eight elements that create the best internet for gaming. These suggestions will help you narrow down providers and find a service that fits your needs. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to find internet solutions that allow you to play on– and smoothly!

1. High-Speed Connections

Slow internet makes for a terrible gaming experience and is definitely not the best internet for gaming. If speeds are slow, you’ll be met with freezing and lagging, which will ruin your game. To improve your gaming experience, you need to have high-speed internet. Ideally, 35 Mbps or higher to help you avoid lag time and latency issues. This will also allow you to communicate in real-time with your friends while gaming. 

2. Check into Latency

You want the best internet for gaming, and latency plays a huge role in this!  Latency is the average time it takes your gaming device to send the data to the game server and then send it back to you. Latency is measured in milliseconds and pings. Pings are how fast you get messages from other players or your gaming server after making your move. The lower your latency, the better. Lower latency allows for smoother gameplay. 20ms – 40 ms is optimal, but anything under 75- 100 ms is acceptable for gaming. You’ll achieve these speeds by investing in high-speed internet combats latency by enabling data to be sent and received quickly. 

3. Low Lag Time 

Lag time is the time difference between your gaming server sending information and your screen displaying it. Essentially, it’s how long it takes to see the commands you input into your controller shown in action on the screen. For optimal gaming, lag time should be to be less than 15ms. High-speed internet plays a role in lag time, but you also need to play on a monitor or TV with a high refresh rate (sometimes referred to as game mode). A screen designed for gaming will maximize your experience by reducing lag time. 

5. Reliability Reins 

When you’re gaming, you want internet that won’t quit! Fiber optic internet is a great option when it comes to reliability. Fiber is composed of tiny glass strands that send data through light. Because of this, it’s less susceptible to power outages and weather extremes that are known to cause loss of connectivity in other types of internet. 

6. Avoid Data Caps

Gaming requires a lot of data. You’re constantly sending and receiving information, and it adds up quickly.  Some internet providers place limits on the amount of data that you can use in a given month. How a provider caps your data can vary, some providers slow down your speeds while others charge you data overages. This isn’t ideal for a gamer! Instead of worrying about data caps, choose an internet provider with unlimited data. 

7. Bandwidth Is Critical 

Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data your internet can handle. When you are gaming, high amounts of data are sent over your internet connection. Due to the volume, there’s a demand for plenty of bandwidth to keep up. 

In addition, remember that bandwidth is affected by ALL devices in your home. For example, if you’re gaming and someone else is streaming a movie in the next room over, it can slow down your connection causing a less than stellar gaming session. To combat this, look into fiber internet. Fiber is better suited to handle the demands of a connected home.

8. Hardwired Connections Improve the Experience 

The type of internet and speed will only get you so far searching for the best internet for gaming. You’ll also need to consider how you are plugging into your internet connection. Wifi is highly convenient, but internet speeds are not typically as fast as a hardwired connection. In addition, a lot can affect your wireless connection, such as distance from the router or how many devices are connected to wifi. Connecting your gaming device straight to a dedicated ethernet port can help you maintain fast speeds and eliminate any wifi bandwidth issues. 

Conclusion! Play On and Find the Best Internet for Gaming! 

Now you understand what elements you’ll need to find the best internet for gaming. Take these eight considerations with you on your search for internet providers, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the best services for you. And fewer internet issues = more time for gaming, so take the time to find a provider that works well for you and your lifestyle. Are you looking for high-speed, reliable internet for gamers, contact our specialists at 877-722-3833 or submit an inquiry and we will help you pick the right service for you. 

Fiber or Cable Internet – Which is best for you?

Fiber vs. Cable internet, what’s the difference? If you are looking to learn more about your internet options, you’re in the right place. Today we are breaking down the differences between fiber and cable internet so you can decide what is best for your home or business. 

Cable Internet 
Cable was designed for transmitting voice calls and is a common option for home internet. Cable internet uses copper wires that send data via electrical currents. Cable Internet uses the same coaxial cables to transmit data as your TV. Most cable internet providers use the same existing wires present for phone lines or cable TV to send information. 

Fiber Internet 
Fiber internet is cutting-edge technology. Fiber internet also uses cables, but instead of copper wires, the lines contain tiny strands of glass and send information through bursts of light from point A to point B. The light travels much like electricity would through a copper wire. The advantage is that fiber cables can carry multiple signals at once at about 70% of the speed of light. 

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Availability 
Cable internet providers use the same established and existing cables as cable TV and other devices. Therefore, it’s been around longer and doesn’t require new infrastructure. Because of this, cable internet is widely available and the most common type of internet in the United States. 

Fiber internet, on the other hand, is a newer form of technology. It requires new infrastructure and can be a long process to deploy into neighborhoods for use. However, the demand is growing, and internet providers diligently work to install fiber across the country. Visit Broadband Now to see which fiber internet providers may be in your area.

Speed 
Fiber shines when it comes to speed. It’s capable of bringing much faster speeds than cable. Fiber can reach speeds up to 2,000 Mbps making it an excellent option for homes and businesses that require fast internet connections. Many factors affect wireless speeds. If you stream video services, games, or work from home on video calls, Fiber Internet can meet these demands. 

Cable internet speeds are asymmetrical, meaning cable internet often has slower upload speeds (uploading photos to the cloud) and faster download speeds (streaming a TV show). Fiber internet is more symmetrical, providing even speeds which allow for faster upload and download speeds.  In today’s world, people work from home and go to school remotely. This change demands speedier upload speeds to turn in homework assignments or work projects. 

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Reliability 
Cable internet is less reliable than Fiber internet. Cable sends data through electricity, power outages, extreme weather, and moisture can also cause a loss of connectivity. On the other hand, fiber optic internet is less likely to go down during power outages because it is made of glass and doesn’t use electricity. 

Bandwidth 
Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data transmitted over an internet connection. Typical bandwidth uses include streaming a movie on Netflix, video meetings, or web browsing. As mentioned above, cable technology has been around for a long time and was initially used to transmit voice calls, so the demand for bandwidth wasn’t high. However, fiber provides up to 1,000 times as much bandwidth as cable and is an excellent option for a highly connected home.

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Cost 
For most people, options for fiber internet are more expensive than cable internet. However, costs will decrease as fiber grows in availability and popularity. Race Communications is committed to bringing Fiber internet into communities and is more cost-effective than competitors in the fiber space gigabit starts at $60/month. 

Now that you know the difference between cable and fiber internet, you can make the best choice for your needs. The Internet is not one size fits all. Each person has different requirements for their usage. If you would like more information on internet services contact our specialists at 877-722-3833 or send us an inquiry and we will help you pick the right service for you.