The internet is data hungry, and it has a growing appetite. As time goes by, the amount of media we create and consume online means that higher bandwidth and faster speeds are required to maintain a similar experience, both for businesses and consumers. Whether it’s watching Netflix, uploading videos to social media or fulfilling eCommerce orders, everyone wants the best connection possible.
While buffering videos are annoying, a slow and unreliable connection can be make or break for a business. If you’re struggling with your business internet connection, it may be worth considering a leased line solution. Below we’ve compiled a list of 4 key benefits of a leased line for businesses, including exactly what it is and why it’s an increasingly useful and viable option for so many businesses.
What is a leased line?
A leased line is a private, dedicated line between two premises. This may run straight from your business premises to a local internet exchange or be routed to the exchange via a local internet provider. Rather than sharing existing internet infrastructure, leased lines provide an unshared and uninterrupted connection from a business to the exchange.
The way most internet connections work is that a copper or fibre connection runs from your premises to the nearest cabinet, which is then connected by copper or fibre to the local exchange. A leased line cuts out the middleman: instead of sharing bandwidth with everyone else on the line to the cabinet and then to the exchange, you benefit from a dedicated connection, with all the bandwidth to yourself.
The benefits of a leased line
A leased line isn’t for every organisation, but what was once the preserve of only the biggest businesses is now more accessible and sensible. Here are four of the principal benefits of a leased line for businesses, from its increased speeds and reliability to the surprising advantages for people working from outside the office.
1. Faster speeds
We’re all aware that the speed internet providers advertise isn’t necessarily the speed we’ll get. All sorts of factors influence download speeds, from the line you’re using to the distance between your premises and the exchange to the time of day and the weight of traffic. It’s common for many ISPs to throttle speeds at peak times, reducing the amount of traffic coming down the pipes to preserve a stable connection for everyone.
There’s also the factor of upload speeds. While your downloads may be fast, upload speeds tend to be capped much lower, as people download far more content than they upload. Unfortunately for businesses (and homebound content creators), this doesn’t jibe well with the increasing need to upload large files, whether that’s using everyday cloud storage, backup and recovery services, or uploading large videos to social media platforms.
With a leased line, there’s no speed throttling, meaning that the peak speeds you achieve are the speeds you should get all of the time. As leased lines tend to be end-to-end fibre optic, you’ll also benefit from much faster speeds than you’d get from a typical fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) connection. They’re also symmetrical, meaning as much bandwidth is available for uploading and downloading – making uploading those large videos or database files magnitudes faster than a typical connection.
2. Better reliability
Performance on a shared line tends to fluctuate along with demand and how heavily it is being used. You’ll see this when you run speed tests at home, where the final result may be different each time and substantially different at different times of day. This isn’t ideal for businesses that rely on having a fast and stable connection at all times of day, both in their daily activities and their ability to respond to any issues.
A leased line provides far greater reliability than a shared one. For one, the fact that only you are using the line at any given time means that it is completely uncontested and will not suffer any issues due to limited bandwidth. Leased lines also tend to come with much better support from your provider, with staff on hand to provide technical support and resolve any issues in minutes – a far cry from 2-hour tech support calls with your ISP.
3. Increased security
Traditional network infrastructure isn’t insecure, but it also isn’t impervious. It’s possible to hijack traffic on a traditional line or for it to become disrupted. As a public line is shared and accessible from multiple locations, it’s easier to wiretap it, or for things like construction work or even bad weather to disrupt the service. Copper lines are generally more vulnerable to access, not to mention theft (due to high prices) and interference (due to a lack of shielding).
A leased line provides a dedicated, point-to-point connection between two premises, generally using fibre optic cables. Fibre is harder to tap into, and the fact that it isn’t shared limits the potential access points, meaning that someone would need access to one of the two endpoints to compromise it. It’s also better shielded – massively reducing the interference from weather and the degradation of data over distances – and less valuable as scrap.
4. Greater accessibility
It may seem like a contradiction in terms, given that a leased line runs between two fixed points, but it can actually support greater accessibility and connectivity. For a company with many different locations – particularly around the world – or one with many clients, the extra bandwidth can be invaluable for regular and concurrent video conferencing. It’s similarly useful for frequent VoIP calls, as well as media sharing and calls over apps like Slack and Teams.
A leased line can also benefit companies with a large number of remote workers. The improved connectivity of the business premises doesn’t just improve things for people in the office but for anyone remotely connected to office hardware or wanting to access resources on office servers.
The higher bandwidth and speeds mean that these resources will be quicker to access, files quicker to upload, and more can be accessed simultaneously – transforming your workplace into a digital hub that people can telecommute to.
Sota offers a range of connectivity services under SotaConnect, including managed internet, cabling projects and private ethernet connections. To learn more about our services and how we can improve your business connectivity, get in touch with our team today.
Sota is one of the UK’s leading independent IT companies, providing professional IT support in Kent, cloud computing, cyber resilience, connectivity, and unified communications. Having worked with countless businesses over the years, they are experts in their field, ready to advise and offer tailored solutions for each and every company.