Choosing the right broadband can be difficult with so many networks offering enticing deals.
With the current pandemic, you’re probably also in search of the best broadband deal to help you work from home effectively. We’ve rounded up the best broadband deals for small businesses to help you decide.
What is business broadband?
Business broadband is a dedicated broadband connection that is used for an office or workspace environment. Business broadband packages are optimized for businesses with faster speeds, more secure connections, and dedicated services to suit video conferencing.
Do I need business broadband if I work from home?
It isn't necessary to buy business broadband if you work from home, but with the current pandemic where remote working has become the new norm, you may have to share your broadband connection with others. Consider whether this will slow your operations down.
It also depends on the type of business you run. If your day consists of regular video conferencing calls and sharing of large files, then you may want to consider a faster, more secure business broadband connection.
Should I get mobile broadband for my business?
A bit different from fixed broadband is mobile broadband, which provides an internet connection by connecting to a mobile network with a SIM card. It offers flexibility, as you're able to carry it around with you as you would your smartphone for 4G or 5G internet access.
Fixed broadband, on the other hand, limits you to being at home or in the office. If your business includes a lot of traveling, then it is probably better to opt for mobile broadband. Of course, with the current pandemic limiting travel, you may not need it for a while.
What should I look for when comparing business broadband deals?
There are a few things to consider when comparing business broadband deals – apart from just the cost. First off, confirm availability in your area. Don't pay upfront to realize the provider's coverage is poor in your area.
Most network providers offer coverage checkers on their sites which only need you to enter your postcode.
If you do opt for mobile broadband, you should also look into the data limit. In some cases, this might not be unlimited.
Also, consider the contract length. How long do you want to be locked to the same network? Typically you'll be tied into a 24-month contract, but there are also 12-month options.
Which business broadband is best?
1. Vodafone 35Mbps, unlimited broadband
Was: £19.17 per month
This is one of the best broadband deals for business users, whether at home or from the office. It offers an average download speed of 35Mbps which is effective to connect multiple devices. It also includes a phone line, at a minimum of 24 months for this contract.
2. Plusnet 36Mbps, unlimited fibre broadband
Now: £22.50 per month (with £70 PlusNet Reward Card)
Plusnet's January Sale offer for new customers includes a £70 pre-paid Mastcard.
3. TalkTalk 76Mbps, unlimited broadband
Was: £22.95 per month
This broadband offers unlimited superfast broadband with the ability to boost speed up to 76Mbps. You’ll get an average speed of 67Mbps automatically. It also includes a line rental with pay-as-you-go calls for 24 months.
4. BT 76Mbps, unlimited broadband
Was: £29.95 per month
BT’s superfast fibre essential and value line package includes broadband and phone line of up to 76Mbps download speed and 19Mbps and upload speed. It also includes free guest wi-fi for the opportunity to turn your broadband hub into a hotspot for additional devices. It is available on a 24 month contract.
5. Virgin Media 350Mbps
From: Virgin Media
Was: £32 per month
Offering one of the highest download speeds available on the market, Virgin Media provides its Voom Fibre 1 package with up to 350Mbps download speed and 7Mbps upload speed. For an extra £8 a month you can add unlimited UK calls with an added phone line.
6. EE 25GB data
Was: £30 per month, £8.33 upfront
A little different to other business broadbands on the market, EE offers a business mobile broadband with 5GEE Wi-Fi. This means you can use it for mobile and home broadband, with 100 free text messages, EU roaming and the BT sports app. All of which are available at a one-off payment of £8.33 for 12 months.
Which broadband is best for 2020?
According to Ofcom, here are the best broadband providers of the year based on customer satisfaction:
- Broadband provider of the year: Vodafone
- Best provider for customer service: Plusnet
- Best broadband provider for small businesses: Vodafone
- Fastest broadband provider: Virgin Media
How much internet speed does my business need?
Choosing the right internet speed for your business is important in order to keep it running effectively.
In essence, when it comes to choosing the best speed for your business, it is worth considering the size of your employee base. The larger your business, the more speed you'll need.
Broadband with a download speed of 75Mbps could typically work well for a small business with 5 to 10 employees, whereas 250-350Mbps would be effective for 15 to 20 employees.
You can also do a speed test to get a sense of how fast your current broadband. Google has its very own tool that lets you check (you can access it by just Googling "internet speed test"). Does the speed match what's promised on your current plan? Does it need to be faster? This can help you get a rough idea of how fast your broadband requirements need to be.
When is Black Friday 2020 – Buy now or wait?
This year, Black Friday will take place on 27 November, with Cyber Monday following on 30 November.
However, Black Friday is now less of an individual day and more of a mindset that lasts all through November. Most providers will start releasing offers well before the 27th so keep an eye out.
If you’re not in a rush to get your broadband setup then you can consider waiting until Black Friday sales are announced, but if you see a deal you like now, then why not buy it now.