Skip to main content

Dedicated Internet vs Broadband Internet

Dedicated Internet vs Broadband Internet

Businesses are reliant on stable Internet Connections for accessing Cloud Applications, Conferencing, VOIP, File sharing, Email, and more. This is key to performance and business continuity. It is important to understand the key differences between Dedicated Internet vs Broadband, also known as a Shared Internet service.

What is a Dedicated Internet Connection?

A dedicated Internet connection refers to a service where a provider dedicates a particular amount of bandwidth for that connection.  This bandwidth is not shared with anyone else other than the users of that physical circuit.  Being a dedicated connection the performance is always consistent and reliability very high. Dedicated Internet access is also known as DIA, and comes in a number of connection types, including:

  • T1 – DS1
  • T3 – DS3
  • Dedicated Fixed Wireless

What is a Broadband Internet Connection?

On the other hand, a Broadband Internet Connection refers to a shared network, between many different users in an area, sharing a common larger connection. Unlike dedicated Internet service, the amount of bandwidth offered is only up to the maximum available or package speed. There are no guarantees on what speed you actually get or the quality of the connection. Speed is determined by the ISP’s network traffic and congestion, which can vary greatly depending on the location or time of day. It is not uncommon for users to notice that their Internet is slower during the day and performing great late at night. The bandwidth speed tends to be unpredictable and performance varies widely, which can result in issues with applications, as well as annoyed users. There is a significant difference between dedicated Internet service and broadband service in terms of performance and reliability.

Below are some examples of broadband Internet connections:

  • Shared Fiber – Branded as AT&T Business Fiber, Verizon Fios, Frontier Fios, Centurylink Fiber+
  • DSL
  • Cable
  • Wireless
  • Satellite

Differences Between Dedicated Internet vs Broadband

A dedicated Internet connection vs. a shared connection has key differences in performance and predictability. Consider carefully about the tasks your business will be performing on a day to day basis. Making the right decision for your company depends on what your employees will use the Internet for.

Below are the key differences you will find when comparing dedicated Internet vs broadband connectivity.

Symmetric Upload & Download Speeds

One of the vital benefits of dedicated vs shared Internet is that bandwidth is guaranteed. Downloads and uploads are always consistent symmetrical speeds. This makes applications run smoothly and eliminates the chances of slowdowns that can impact your entire business operations. Large file uploads are a common problem many businesses face, dedicated Internet addresses this issue with a high upload speed and low latency. Also, applications like VOIP and video require consistent upload performance as well for QoS. Business processes that have deadlines to meet, are another reason people choose dedicated Internet vs broadband. Time can equal money for certain industries, and only dedicated Internet connections provide the consistency and reliability many businesses need.

Greater Throughput

When Internet connections suddenly slow down, one of the first things people normally do is to run a speed test. Unfortunately, many times the bandwidth speed (Mbps) is not the only factor in true Internet performance. Network latency is the speed (ms) that data travels, so having a lower latency clearly equates to better performance. Packet loss is another factor (%), this occurs when one or more packets of data traveling across a network fail to reach their destination. Having a low level of packet loss equals less dropped connections and application timeouts.

Higher Quality of Service – QoS

Packet loss, latency, network uptime and jitter all affect the speed of Internet access, and businesses want a guarantee that applications will perform at a high level as well.  Dedicated Internet access providers offer guarantees for all these metrics in the form of a Service Level Agreement (SLA). If at any time you’re dedicated Internet connection doesn’t meet these standards, you are eligible for SLA credits. This ensures there is monetary compensation for not living up to the guarantees a provider sets, unlike broadband connectivity where there are no performance guarantees.

Faster Troubleshooting

Even with the best Internet connection types, there are issues and outages that can take place. With dedicated vs shared Internet connections, there are set response times to address trouble issues, typically called mean time to repair (MTTR). These timeframes are outlined in the SLA or contract to allow for the quick resolution of problems, as well as peace of mind. The average MTTR for a dedicated Internet connection issue is typically 4hrs or less, with shared Internet response times lasting hours to days, with no given timeframe or guarantees. This type of extended delay or outage can have a negative impact on a business, even with the correct failover connectivity in place.

Higher Monthly Cost

Cost is the one area where broadband Internet connections shine and can be easily justified to management, since it is a lower fixed monthly cost over the contract term.  But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and with lower cost comes lower levels of performance, reliability, support.  Shared Internet connections are the ideal solution for a home or small office but become a burden for larger businesses that rely heavily on Internet connectivity performance.

Final Say, Evaluate Your Business Requirements

Understanding the pros and cons of Dedicated vs Shared Internet can help with your Internet Connectivity decision. For more information regarding our Internet Connectivity solutions, contact our experts today!