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When Rekall is called upon to setup offices for our new clients, we are often asked which ISP (Internet Service Provide) to use.  This seems like a pretty straight forward question, but to future proof an office the answer to this question requires a lot of thought.  In this blog, we will discuss 3 Internet types and weigh the pro’s and cons…

 

DSL – Verizon (Other carriers)

Speed – 128Kb up – 3Mb down (Speed varies with state/location & distance from carrier due to copper lines)

DSL is only good for certain applications.  I know it’s hard to believe for us on the East coast, but there are some people who have no choice but to use DSL due to them living in the middle of nowhere, or having their business in a location that is not cable ready.  DSL has a few other applications as well.  Remote offices should use DSL.  It is cheap, and easy to install.  This is especially true for construction companies with multiple remote job-site offices.  Another application for DSL is when setting up a stand alone DVR unit.  This is a video surveillance unit that is unmanned and must be connected to the internet for remote viewing 24/7.  Again, it is a cheap solution and it is the right tool for the job since the DVR will not need much bandwidth unless multiple people are planning to remote in at once, then a cable connection would be needed instead.  DSL should never be used as a primary internet pipe when setting up an office if alternatives are available.  The office will constantly suffer from slow internet page loading, downloads that last forever, and your staff will constantly complain.  The one thing we IT people hate to hear is, “My internet is faster at home, whats the deal?”  When a user says this, you know you have a problem.

PROS:  Cheap

CONS:  Slow speed, speed is not guaranteed by the ISP due to it being old copper line technology.  Unreliable, goes down more than other internet types.  Not available everywhere.  Verizon support is horrible.

 

Cable  – Comcast, Cablevision

Speed – Avg. Speed Package 5Mb up – 20Mb down (Varies based on Package, Highest Package 50Mb up – 100Mb down)

Cable is the cornerstone of great internet and chances are that you have this in your office or business.  It’s the most common because all new buildings are fitted with cable.  Not every building can get DSL and not every building can have FIOS.  Due to these restrictions, cable is the most popular choice and the standard.  It is great for an office internet solution, but now we have to deal with the speed packages, and the different packages by the different providers.  Here is where it gets sticky.  A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, areas of the country were cut up and given to each cable company.  Due to technical Darwinism, only the large companies have survived and in NJ we have Comcast (South Jersey) & Cablevision (North Jersey).  Speed Package Time! Comcast offers their highest package at 100Mb down & 10Mb up.  The download speed is great but the upload speed SUCKS and if your running a big office with VOIP phones & remote users constantly remoting in to work you may or may not have a problem.  If your in this situation and are located in a Comcast area, you dont have much choice but to go for FIOS if it’s available or get two connections from Comcast and setup load balancing.  The download speed is not the problem, the upload speed is.  If you cap out your upload speed, it will start affecting your download speed; so essentially, your upload number is most important.  Normal offices with a few employees can get away with their lowest package 5Mb up – 22Mb down.  Now we have Cablevision, which is better, cheaper, the support is more reliable and the speeds are a bit faster than Comcast.  Their highest business class package is 101Mb down – 15Mb up.  If you check the pricing comparison, there is no comparison, they are cheaper and better, you get more with Cablevision / Optimum than with Comcast, it’s that simple.

PROS: Affordable for business use, versatile and has high speeds, available almost anywhere.

CONS: Too expensive for small applications (DVR use), Comcast support sucks.

 

 

FIOS – Verizon

Speed – 5 – 35Mb up – 15Mb – 150 down

FiOS is the newest internet technology to hit residential & business locations in recent years.  The speeds blow away cable and the cost is not much more.  FiOS is perfect for large offices with VOIP phones who do not want to pay for a T1.  Verizon lacks the support that the cable companies have.  Since they offer so many services, it is a nightmare getting through their call centers.  They offer phone, DSL, FiOS, TV, wireless phone and other services, it can get confusing.  But I will say that clients who have FiOS, there is usually never a problem.  FiOS didnt even go down during hurricane Irene, all our cable clients did.  One other issue with FiOS is that it is not available everywhere.  There are only select locations where FiOS is available.  If you cant get it, you may have a possibility of install IF the fiber cable runs past your office.  If your street doesn’t have FiOS, chances are, you’ll never get it.  If your street has FiOS but your building is not rigged for it, you may get it in 4 to 6 months, Verizon sucks when it comes to installs.

PROS: Fastest speeds you can buy at this cheap rate, perfect for high bandwidth situations.

CONS: Verizon is notoriously slow to fix your issues, not available everywhere.

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