Leased Line for Business – Why It Could Be the Ideal Solution
Learn all about leased lines and the benefits your business could acquire from a dedicated connection
Do you ever wish that your business internet connection was more reliable? That you didn’t have to wait so long for files to upload? That it didn’t slow down in the evenings? If you’ve experienced any of these problems then maybe it’s time you considered trading in your broadband connection in favour of a leased line.
Broadband is in widespread domestic use across the UK. As a result, many people think it’s the only answer to internet connectivity. But broadband has the drawbacks mentioned above in terms of speed and reliability, meaning it may not be the best choice for business use. A leased line for business, on the other hand, can give you a reliable, secure, dedicated connection to the web.
What is a leased line?
A leased line also known as Ethernet is often seen as an alternative to broadband. It is a dedicated connection between you and your ISP. It can be used to connect other places too. it is a circuit rented solely for your use which has many benefits to it.
Broadband for business
Over the last few years, broadband has been heavily promoted by the telecoms industry. It’s easy to fall for the advertised attractions of fast streaming and convenient Wi-Fi connection for all of your devices, and indeed for domestic use, it provides everything that most people need. For smaller businesses too, it can be a perfectly acceptable way of getting online at a reasonable cost.
Unfortunately, however, broadband has some downsides which make it a less than ideal solution for a growing business. First of all, it’s an asynchronous connection – you’ll often see it called ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line).
What that means is that while you get fast downloads, upload speeds are quite a lot slower. On a normal UK fibre broadband service you might get up to 40Mbps or faster downloads, but just 1.5Mbps uploads. While this isn’t too much of a problem when you’re streaming a movie or catching up on episodes of your favourite soap, it is an issue if you need to send large files to another site or want to backup big volumes of data to a cloud service.
Domestic broadband contracts often have a cap on the amount of data that can be transferred. If you exceed that cap you’ll be faced with an extra charge at the end of the month. Even when services are described as being unlimited, there will almost always be a ‘fair use’ clause in the contract which means the ISP can restrict your link if it thinks you’re using it too much. This can cause problems for businesses where there may be peak times of year when they transfer large amounts of data.
Broadband suffers from something called contention. Typically UK broadband has a contention ratio of between 20:1 and 50:1. This is because once the line leaves your premises, you’re sharing it with other people on its way to the ISP’s data centre. The effect of this is that at peak times, such as in the evening when more people are online, your connection speed is likely to slow down. This is something you can witness for yourself by running a speed check. There are plenty of free sites on the internet that will let you do this, with some even allowing you to compare speeds with your neighbours. Run the test at different times of day and note the difference in performance.
There are no concerns relating to contention when using a leased line. Since the circuit is reserved for your use only, it’s not going to slow down due to higher demand from other people at peak times. This matters if your business is heavily internet based, especially if you want to run your own in-house web servers where a fast connection in both directions is crucial. An added advantage here is no usage caps on the amount of data you can transfer. At the busiest times, therefore, you won’t find yourself facing a big bill for going over your data allowance at the end of the month.
Find out more about the differences between leased lines and broadband here.
Leased lines for business
How then does a Leased line for business differ and why is it better? A leased line gives you your own private connection to the ISP’s data centre. This has a number of advantages; for a start, a leased line is synchronous so you get the same transfer speed for data being sent in both directions. If you have systems in the cloud it means your critical business processing is likely to be heavily reliant on having an internet connection, so this equal speed is a significant advantage as you won’t have delays while data uploads. It also means you have a connection that will deliver more reliable use of communication services like video calling and VoIP telephony that are increasingly being adopted as a means of reducing business communication costs.
A leased line for business will, of course, be focused on commercial use. Leased lines come with robust SLA’s (service level agreements), meaning you will get guaranteed levels of service to ensure your business keeps running. The associated support is also designed to get you up and running again quickly in the event of a problem.
Types of leased line:
It’s important to understand that there are different types of leased lines meaning whatever your business size or budget, there will be a leased line to suit your business needs. A leased line service is usually delivered in one of three ways. The first and most popular connection is the fibre leased line. This fully managed end-to-end fibre solution offers unparalleled levels of reliability and speed, and can be implemented in most locations regardless of whether or not fibre is available. Boasting speeds of up to 10Gbps and low latency, fibre Ethernet ensures that the most demanding applications can be handled with ease.
Ethernet first mile
Another popular option is Ethernet first mile (EFM). Where fibre Ethernet is not available or would be expensive to install, Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) provides an end-to-end solution using multiple copper wires to connect your premises straight to the Ethernet core network. The dedicated, uncontended connection provides a high symmetrical bandwidth. This is the perfect solution if you would like all the benefits of fibre Ethernet and you can predict your future data requirements. If your business desires complete control of its connectivity and any loss of service would have a fundamental or operational impact, EFM would be an ideal choice.
GEA (Generic Ethernet Access) or EoFTTC (Ethernet over Fibre-to-the-Cabinet) is a cost-effective solution where existing fibre or copper cables connect your business to the nearest street cabinet, and then a dedicated Ethernet line carries your data to the core network. This solution promises symmetrical upload and download speeds of up to 19 Mbps, with unlimited data usage and an 8 hour fix time.
What can a leased line do for your business?
Now we’ve looked at the technical differences between broadband and leased lines, let’s look at some other benefits leased lines offer which could benefit your business.
If you’d like to learn more, check out this article which explains all about the different types of leased lines available so you can find the best one to suit your business needs.
Cloud is becoming increasingly popular for business, with over 90% of companies surveyed claiming to use some form of cloud computing. Of course, the cloud has many advantages, but it places even greater emphasis on having a reliable connection to the internet.
The reliability and equal connection speeds of a leased line make for smoother cloud use. If you’re using the cloud either to store data or to run as-a-service systems, then you more than ever need a reliable connection. If you can’t access your systems then you’ll be losing business and losing money.
A leased line also has security advantages. Because it’s a dedicated connection, it’s much harder for data in transit to be intercepted, and you have the flexibility of being able to use your own access control and encryption solutions to guard your information further.
Leased lines aren’t just about connecting to the internet. If your business has several sites all relying for their computing needs on a central data centre, then a leased line connection also makes a lot of sense. The synchronous nature of the link makes it easier and quicker to transfer large files around between your sites – uploading designs for production for example – and as we’ve seen above it will be better for data-hungry cloud applications. It’s also an advantage for communication such as video calling and VoIP phone calls which use an internet connection and are increasingly popular with businesses looking to keep down calling costs.
Conclusion: Should your business invest in a leased line?
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what may be the right solution for your business. A lot depends on the size of your organisation and how you use the internet. For small companies, broadband might be fine, but if you’re heavily reliant on the cloud, you have a few employees, or you have more than one location to serve, then a leased line starts to look like a better solution. Because leased lines deliver the same connection speeds at all times of day with no contention, there are no slow-downs if you’re working outside normal office hours. If your business can’t afford downtime, a leased line is likely the ideal solution for you.
For more information on the best leased line solution for your business, contact leasedline.co.uk and speak to our team directly by calling us on 0808 115 4281 or get in touch online today.Call Us On 0808 115 4281