How much does your internet connection cost you? Now how much does that same internet connection cost you when it goes down?
The Real Cost of Business Continuity
We completely rely on the Internet – there’s no two ways about it. Your sales orders. Your purchasing. Your internal communications. Your external communications. Even your business telephone system depends on your connectivity.
The cost of a broken connection can be substantial. Not just your time, but your reputation too. They say that a single dissatisfied customer can almost cost you your business – one unhappy customer once cost United Airlines $180 million – so do you really want to risk being unavailable when your customers need you?
Relying on the Unreliable
The problem is that ISPs generally don’t offer any sort of guarantee of reliability on ADSL lines. They can’t – there are too many things that could go wrong. For something we rely on so heavily, the Internet is, unfortunately, notoriously unreliable.
Anything from a line failure to a routing fault; scheduled maintenance to unscheduled damage can damage your connection. It might only be for a moment, or it might be for days. The length of time doesn’t really matter – once the connection breaks, the damage is done.
It’s strange, when you stop to think about it, that we’re happy to leave our efficiency, productivity and reputation so much to chance…
There are options though – ways to insure against the inevitable and ensure your business can keep running smoothly.
Insure Against Disaster
DrayTek routers are the most popular solution. They provide a range of security features, as you’d expect, but they also provide a secondary connection method to ensure your business is never disconnected.
If you use a Vigor 2830 Router/Firewall, for example, your main connection is ADSL. If your ADSL fails, your router will auto-switch to one of several options:
- Using Ethernet cable to access another internet connection
- A cable modem service such as BT
- Single or dual channel ISDNA dialup (if you use an ‘S’ model)
- Secondary ADSL line using a separate modem and ISP
- Secondary VDSL line using a separate modem and ISP
- 3G Cellular Data via USB 3G dongle modem (using a service provider such as T-Mobile, for example)
It’ll even complete analogue dial-up through a USB modem, which although much slower than DSL does mean you have a useable Internet connection. Of these, the most popular configurations are probably contended ADSL or using a 3G Data modem. With both you can still access the Internet when your primary connection goes down.
Although the connection isn’t likely to be as fast or as clear, it’s still a connection, and that’s what gives your business the edge. Once your primary connection is restored, you’ll automatically switch back again and things will continue to run smoothly. The overarching principle is this: you won’t lose your connection, so your business won’t grind to a halt.
Two Is Better Than One
The thing about DrayTek products is that they can also use the second connectivity on a day-to-day basis, not just when your primary connection fails. This is known as load balancing, where you can split your Internet traffic between the two. This gives you more bandwidth, so your connection is faster and your business can run more smoothly.
No more slow Internet during peak times, basically. Broadband fails, full stop. With the best will in the world, no Internet connection is as reliable as we like to cross our fingers and pretend it is. Businesses should focus on how to manage the situation when the inevitable happens – and by using a router with guaranteed second connectivity you can ensure you’re never thrown into the dark.