If you are working from a home office then your Internet service provider (ISP) is likely one of your most important business partners. From sending emails to staying informed, the Internet is an essential tool for today’s work-at-home woman.
With that in mind, you want to make sure you are getting the most out of your ISP. Many of us just sign up for the most convenient Internet service, but savvy businesswomen know there are several things to consider when measuring the true value of an Internet provider.
1. Speed and Performance
How fast is your Internet connection? Very few homeowners know the answer to this question but the answer is a critical benchmark for comparing providers. Most ISP’s market their service in levels or tiers that determine how much bandwidth you get to work with. The tricky part is that one company’s “premium tier” may be less than another provider’s “basic tier.” In order to distinguish each offering, you need to compare them all in terms of megabits per second (Mbps).
There are several free websites that can measure your current Mbps. Take this information and compare it to other ISP packages in your area. It could be that you are paying more for a service that provides less than the competition.
In order to connect to broadband or DSL Internet, you need a high-speed modem. If you want to add wireless access to your home then you’ll also need a wireless router. Each of these components will cost you about $50 at an electronics store, but many ISP companies provide this hardware as part of their service. Don’t forget to include this as an added value in your comparisons.
Note that some companies do charge a few bucks a month to rent their hardware, but don’t get tempted to save money by purchasing your own. This equipment is very sensitive to dust and power surges. Opt for the rental agreement and you won’t have to spend money replacing these components every time a thunderstorm rolls through your neighborhood.
Related Content: What Equipment Do You Need to Work From Home?
Take advantage of every opportunity to combine services providers for your home-based business. Not only will you save money with special discounts, but it also helps consolidate your expense tracking during tax time. The cable company is the most obvious outlet for bundle offers as most of them can combine your television, home phone, and Internet service. However, your local phone company might be able to offer the same opportunity, along with an option to include your mobile phone expenses. Assuming they can provide the same level of Internet performance, this would be the ideal choice for business owners looking to keep all their services under one roof.
When it comes to choosing an Internet service provider, work-at-home moms have a handful of things to consider above and beyond that of the average person. First and foremost is reliability, since it is almost impossible to run a business without online access. Connection speed is another critical component for maximizing productivity and value. Of course, the cost will always be a top concern, which is why it makes sense to evaluate all of the bundle deals available in your area. Keep all these things in mind when choosing which ISP is right for you.
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Damien Joseph is one of the Internet experts behind the scenes at Internet.inmyarea.com. Visit us today to find the best ISP rates and service in your city.