Shared vs Dedicated Business Internet Plans: What’s the Difference?

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30.6.2020 | Shared vs Dedicated Business Internet Plans: What’s the Difference?

When you’re deciding on the right Internet plan for your business, you will need to choose between the two basic types of Internet plans. These plans are not based on connection technology, such as wireless, satellite, landline or fiber-optic Internet connection, but rather on allotted bandwidth.

Before you can consider your plan choices, you must first understand your needs. Here are the facts you need to know about each of these plans so that you can decide which one is best for you:

How Shared Business Internet Plans Work

When you sign up for a shared Business Internet plan, your service provider makes an estimate of how many users are likely to need online service at once. The provider will sign up more users than the system can accommodate at one time because the expectation is that they will not all need to transmit large amounts of information at once.

Download and upload speeds on a shared-system perform “up to” a particular speed. If traffic on the shared system is light, users will experience faster download speeds.  If the system is busy and other users are streaming video or uploading large files, download speeds will decrease.

Typically, providers will not specify a minimum download speed because it purely depends on what everyone else on the shared system is doing. For this reason, shared plans are sometimes called “best-effort” plans because the provider cannot give you any guarantee regarding connectivity speed and uptime.

How Dedicated Business Internet Plans Work

Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) is one of the purest forms of Internet access.  With a dedicated plan, your business is the only subscriber to a specified amount of bandwidth – the bandwidth allocated is for your use only. Unlike a shared plan, your access is not oversubscribed and speeds are guaranteed, not “up to.”  Performance is consistent and has guaranteed minimums and uptime.  Download and upload speeds are typically synchronous, meaning that they are the same.

Making the Choice for Business Internet:

The decision regarding which type of Internet plan is right for your business really comes down to your needs and costs. Let’s say you are a smaller organization. You have standard Internet needs – the need to email, use basic cloud applications, communicate online, and process credit card transactions. You are a single location and occasionally transmit large files. You have a conservative budget because you are a smaller, growing organization.Your needs are standard and you and your staff will likely will not be inconvenienced or even notice occasional slow-downs, depending on the subscribe-to speeds. In this scenario, a shared plan is the best choice for you.

Now let’s say you are a medium to large-sized organization.  You transfer large files throughout the day, so you must be able to upload just as fast as you download.  You are heavily reliant on the Cloud, have multiple locations that you need on one network, and are in a highly regulated industry.  You have greater technical needs and require dedicated, guaranteed speeds and your budget accommodates for those needs. In this scenario, a dedicated plan is the best choice.


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