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Selecting an Internet Server Provider

ISP LogosA number of factors need to be taken into account when selecting an ISP for your online business, the main ones being cost, type of connection, speed and bandwidth.

Costs can vary significantly between various providers and there are often special offers available, so it's well worth looking around to see what you can get. The UK is one of the cheapest places in Europe for broadband connections. Watch out for ISPs who offer a lower rate for the first few months in order to attract customers.

There are various different types of connection available, including dialup, cable, ADSL and wireless. Most businesses are likely to go for ADSL, as dialup is too slow and cable is generally only available bundled with entertainment services. Wireless connections can be expensive and are generally only useful in areas where there is no landline telephone service available.

3G services, based on mobile telephone technology are becoming increasing popular, but while they may be useful to mobile members of staff they're not really suitable for use as a principal means of access to the internet.

ISPs are increasingly charging customers for the amount of bandwidth used, which determines the amount of data that can be transmitted or received in a given period. Ideally you should look for a supplier who offers unlimited bandwidth. Failing this, you should check how much your bandwidth requirements are likely to cost.

You may also want to choose an ISP who offers additional services such as domain name registration and website hosting.

The Broadband Finder website allows you to compare all the broadband offerings currently available in the UK.

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