Having internet connectivity for your business is no more a nice-to-have, but has become a must-have. Think about the ways you use the internet in your business today; you access cloud-based web applications, market your products/services online, make phone calls, interact with customers via email, hold a video conference – the list goes on. With multiple users connecting at the same time, these large data volumes can put pressure on your bandwidth and cause it to slow down or run out.
For this reason, your business will benefit greatly from an internet solution that’s reliable, high-speed, and reasonably priced. We understand that connectivity options out there can leave you baffled. We believe it’s crucial that you know exactly what you get when you sign up for a wireless or fibre internet package – and this often comes down to terms such as ‘uncapped,’ ‘unshaped,’ and ‘unthrottled.’ So we’ve put together a brief guide to help get you up to speed with the language of internet service providers.
Some internet solutions put a restriction on how much data you can use each month. These packages are the same as your cell phone contract; you need to keep tabs on your data usage and if you deplete your data allocation before the month runs out, you will incur additional costs or will be cut off.
An uncapped internet plan is exactly what it says on the tin. It offers you an endless supply of data each month for one flat monthly rate. No matter how many videos you stream or how long you browse the internet, you will never be disconnected and your bill will always be the same. If you’ve got a large organisation with multiple devices connecting to the internet throughout the day, then an uncapped package is the way to go.
Shaping happens when an online activity gets prioritised above others when the network is busy. For example, when you’re having a video call on Microsoft Teams, your server will treat it as more important than YouTube videos other people might be watching because even a one second data delay can result in a poor video calling experience, including dropped calls. All other unimportant activities will therefore run at a slower pace when there is a surge in data consumption.
On an unshaped account, heavy data usages such as torrenting, downloading, and excessive streaming are treated the same as those activities that would otherwise be prioritised during peak hours such as browsing, emailing, and video calling. Your internet will not stutter and stop at some point and you will always receive reliable internet to get the job done.
Throttling is very much the same as Shaping in that these processes both result in slower internet speeds. With shaping, only certain online activities are restricted during peak times of the day while throttling reduces all activities when the network is strained. Aside from network congestion, you can also experience throttling because your ISP has placed a data cap on the amount of high-speed bandwidth you can use.
So if you’re experiencing slow connections toward the end of the month, it’s likely that your ISP has throttled you until the next billing cycle comes along. Of course, as you may have guessed by now, there are internet service providers who claim not to impose these restrictions in what they call an unthrottled internet plan, however most of these plans – including uncapped and unshaped – are subjected to a Fair Usage Policy (FUP), that limits your internet speed if you reach your line speed’s data threshold.
An uncapped and unshaped internet package won’t always let you do anything you like as much as you like. When too many people are online at the same time, your ISP will offer you slower-than-normal connection speeds to ease congestion on the network. When signing up for an uncapped plan, make sure that you read the fine print agreement to check for restrictions and limitations that could affect your internet user experience.
Our connectivity solutions are now also available as part of our three work-from-home bundles. Contact us via our Remote Working Packages pages for more information on our ICT solutions.