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WOW! Business Blog

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October 9, 2023

What is the Difference Between Residential and Business Internet?



If you’ve been shopping around for internet service for your home or business, it’s likely you’ve found features and pricing for “residential internet” and “business internet,” but what is the difference? Are there any circumstances when you might need business internet in your home, and would residential internet be sufficient for a small company or startup?

Keep reading to learn about the different features, benefits, and pricing of residential internet and business internet.

Internet Services Designed for Home or Business Use

Residential internet plans for households are designed to accommodate typical individual or family internet usage. This can range from intermittent use for email, web browsing, social media, and TV streaming, to always-on usage for numerous smart home devices, heavy gaming, frequent video calls, remote learning, and home offices.

Internet plans for businesses support all professional uses, from email, web browsing, and market research to video conferencing and cloud services. Business internet might also include the ability to host web servers, security systems, and guest networks, and engage in frequent video conferencing, cloud file sharing, high-resolution video streaming, and FTP file sharing. A business internet plan may have options for dedicated internet access, hosted VoIP, static IPs, ethernet networks and data center co-location services.

What are the Features and Benefits of Residential Internet?

Internet plans, especially faster speeds, enable not just emails, web applications, social media, and video streaming, but also multiplayer gaming, video calls, and distance learning. The cost is typically less than for a business account.

What are the Features and Benefits of Business Internet?

Business internet supports a company’s daily operations, from video conferencing and cloud-based applications to e-commerce hosting, business automation, and corporate networks. These accounts feature faster speeds, greater bandwidth, and 24/7 customer service.

What is the Cost Comparison Between Residential and Business Internet?

Business internet is generally more expensive than residential internet, but overall it can be more cost-effective for a company. It allows advanced features like network hosting, a storefront, a client portal, cloud-based services, and company-wide video conferencing.

What Factors Should be Considered When Selecting the Right Internet Service for Your Home or Business?

Two things to consider when choosing the best internet for your home or business are what you’ll be using it for and the number of people using it simultaneously.

What is a Good Internet Speed for Business?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines high-speed broadband internet as having at least a 25 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed. This can accommodate cloud-based software, emailing, file exchange, and video conferences. But many companies need more.

When to Choose Residential or Business Internet

Think of what you will be doing online and how many users will be accessing your internet connection at the same time. When deciding between residential or business internet, consider the future and how your internet usage and applications may change over time.

Do any of the following describe your situation?

  • You have a family of internet users who use different types of internet applications.

  • You or a family member engages in remote learning.

  • You don’t anticipate additional users in the future.

  • A child (or you) enjoys playing multiuser video games.

  • Your family makes a lot of video calls to family and friends.

  • You do your banking and bill paying online.

  • Your household includes multiple “smart devices” around the home.

  • You run a sole-proprietorship business from your residence, where you are the only employee.

  • Your small home business only uses email, social networking, and web browsing for market research.

  • You are looking for the most inexpensive option.

Residential internet is likely your best choice.

Do any of these situations apply to you, or will they in the foreseeable future?

  • You have a startup company or small business with a brick and mortar storefront.

  • You regularly send large files to potential customers and clients.

  • You host frequent videoconferences from your office.

  • Your company has or plans to create an eCommerce site.

  • You want to install a more robust company network with advanced security features.

  • Your business wants to have 4k streaming and FTP file-sharing capabilities.

  • You want to be able to conduct frequent company-wide backups to the cloud.

  • You’re engaging in bandwidth-intensive data analytics and other cloud-based computing.

  • You want to implement a client portal or back-office platform for your company representatives.

  • Your company wants to be able to incorporate future technologies as they become available, such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), blockchain and business automation.

Your most cost-effective option is business internet, which can handle the fast-changing needs of today’s businesses.

The WOW! Internet Difference

As your premier internet service provider, WOW offers both residential and business customers 99.9% network reliability and your choice of different speeds to perfectly match your needs, with the ability to scale over time. Our business clients can choose from our 60 Mbps to 1 Gig plans. Our fiber business internet plan delivers a lightning-fast high-speed connection with built-in support and the bandwidth your organization needs to grow and thrive. Learn more about WOW! business internet and get your company onboard today!