Understanding Redundant Internet Connections
A reliable internet connection is critical to the productivity of most businesses today. Without it, your employees cannot work, teams cannot be productive, and you may be unable to serve your clients. An internet outage or disruption can cost your business hundreds if not thousands of dollars for every minute offline. With mission-critical systems such as phones, email, and work applications living in the cloud, losing internet connection is like losing electricity.
When there is an internet outage, there is little that you can do until the Internet Service Provider (ISP) brings their connection back online. Waiting for the ISP to solve the issue can be highly frustrating for you, your employees, and customers as your ability to serve them is affected. That is where having a redundant internet connection comes in – it minimizes the impact that internet disruptions can have on running your business and serving your clients.
What is Redundant Internet?
Redundant internet is a second internet provider link that allows a company to continue working if one connection point experiences interruption. Also known as a failover internet connection, redundant circuits ensure that there is no single point of failure in the connection path to the web. Think of a redundant circuit as a backup generator that can power on at a moment’s notice and keep email and data flowing without skipping a beat.
Your IT provider can configure a redundant connection in different ways depending on your most essential business systems. For example, suppose calls are the primary tool for conducting business. In that case, your IT Provider can set up IP (Internet Protocol) Phone systems to always operate based on the redundant link.
What is Needed for Redundant Internet?
When planning for a redundant internet connection, the main requirement is getting 2 unique ISPs at the desired location. Using different ISPs gives the best chance for continued internet uptime and operation. In the event one ISP experiences a problem, the other service should be unaffected.
Another requirement is a firewall capable of automatic failover. Finally, you will also need the proper system configuration to respond to network outages. An IT Provider like Kite Technology can make recommendations on developing a suitable redundant internet solution to meet your business needs.
Types of Internet Connections
Internet connections come in several types and price points and redundancy occurs when you have two or more active connections. Here are some options to consider:
- Cable internet service providers use coaxial connections to deliver service and are the most common and widespread option. Cable internet can provide high speed at the lowest price points. Often, Cable service is delivered across aging infrastructure which may present occasional service outages. Another concern with Cable service is that it is normally shared access, meaning the users in a geographic area (neighborhood) are sharing the bandwidth, and significant usage in that area will impact the speed available to others in that same area.
- Fiber-based internet is another strong option to consider. Fiber provides some of the highest speeds for businesses and is becoming more cost competitive. Fiber provides a dedicated service that is not impacted by the activity of neighboring users, and for the most part Fiber is delivered on fairly new infrastructure which has significantly better uptime.
- Dedicated access internet circuits were previously the gold standard with names like T1 and EOC. Those copper-based services provided great stable connections with solid uptime, but are being depreciated in favor of fiber based direct connections.
- Wireless point-to-point internet access or mobile 5G solutions are also coming into the market. The major carriers like Verizon, and T-Mobile and even new startups like StarLink are significantly improving the wireless access to the internet. These are both residential and business class services and work well for rural and other areas not in reach of the classic copper and fiber services.
Is Redundant Internet Right for Your Business?
If you rely on the internet to get your work done and service your clients, a redundant connection is strongly advised. A failover connection could pay for itself several times over in the event of a single period of downtime. Hours or days of productivity could be lost if the internet goes down, which has a significant impact on the bottom line. Technical issues, construction, natural or building level disasters at an Internet Service Provider are just a few of the threats beyond your control. Having a redundant internet connection is a best next step to keep critical data constantly flowing.
Here at KiteTech, we continually monitor and test emerging technologies for the benefit of our clients. We take pride in helping our clients leverage technology like redundant internet access to help them operate more effectively and securely. If you would like to learn more about how our IT Services can help you improve your business performance, please reach out. We’re here to help!