Update: Problem Solved – Our recent partnership with San Diego based Mushroom Networks Inc has brought a comprehensive and technologically innovative answer to this problem that is functional, scalable and will ultimately either save you money or improve the performance of your resilient small business network. Click here for details.
Small businesses rely on network support and internet connections more now than ever before, anyone that’s been in an office unfortunate enough to lose its internet connectivity for 1 hour will know what a negative effect this can have on business productivity. Not only does a loss of internet immediately slow down communication with clients and suppliers, it prevents a company from doing its essential daily procedures, such as e-banking and data transfers.
It’s now possible for small businesses to have fast and resilient internet connections without hefty monthly bills.
Our first recommendation is to take a long hard look at your current internet service provider. If they do not hit the mark then you need to seriously consider changing provider to one who does.
Once you’ve found a reliable, fast and cheap provider, you then need to find another one! Having 2 internet connections is always going to be better than 1, it offers fault tolerance when you need it most and provides load balancing for times when internet activity is high.
It’s preferable to have 2 different types of internet connection, the 2 main types of broadband are DOCSIS (a cable type connection, traditionally supplied by Virgin Media) and ADSL (the most common form of connection, known as the BT connection). Using 2 different types of connection will provide better fault tolerance if there’s a problem with either type of connection in your area, though having 2 ADSL connections will still improve speed and continuity.
Once you have chosen 2 broadband suppliers that can deliver your office fast internet, you will need a dual WAN router, such as the Draytek 2820n. These types of routers can offer 2 internet connections simultaneously; either 2 x ADSL connections (with the addition of an Ethernet modem) or an ADSL and a DOCSIS connection. Most dual WAN routers have options to either utilise both broadband connections at the same time, or provide fail over measures if one of the connections drop.
A dual WAN solution that uses 2 broadband connections is the best option for small businesses wanting fast and resilient internet, it offers;
- Cheap setup and on-going costs
- Faster speeds than a single broadband connection
- Greater performance during heavy internet periods
- Resilience in times of telecoms problems
Until we start to see fibre optic broadband become more widespread and a viable option for small businesses, this type of solution will continue to get our recommendation.