There are very few companies that don’t rely heavily on their internet connection and for many it is their life blood, so any loss of connectivity is a disaster.
A single internet connection means a single point of failure and, with most internet connections such as ADSL or FTTC (BT Infinity), there are no guaranteed service levels, which means that any problems will be dealt with on a “best endeavours” basis, jeopardising your internet continuity.
For any company which would experience significant business disruption, the best option would be to have a leased line with a backup failover line (either FTTC or ADSL). Unfortunately, this option is expensive and for many companies it’s not economical, so an alternative would be to have two internet connections with the ideal scenario being both a Virgin cable connection and BT FTTC.
For many locations this is not an option, as Virgin do not have their cable service everywhere or the cost may be prohibitive, so you might need to look at alternative internet continuity solutions.
Internet continuity with a 4G card and router
You get a 4G data card plus a router that is designed to handle both a normal internet connection and a 4G connection, so you can switch over to the 4G connection as a temporary measure if your main broadband fails. You won’t need to make any changes to your network, as the connection is still through the same router.
If you do not have good 4G coverage in your area, 3G may be a suitable option, but it will be slower. Don’t expect it to handle 20 people all needing to access the Internet at the same time.
A word of caution – make sure that the plan you sign up to includes enough data usage for your needs. If you go over you plan, the charges can add up very quickly.
Here are some tips:
- Don’t leave the 4G card plugged into the router all the time. If your ADSL cuts out, your network could downloading routine updates that very quickly eat up your included data
- Test the connection every few months to make sure that it works and you have installed all the updates
- Make sure the provider you choose has good a 4G/3G signal in your area
Two internet connections with dual routers
If you are a company that has a fixed IP address, we recommend implementing a solution that has two internet connections (from different carriers) configured with dual routers and an IP address range that works at a higher level and thus isn’t linked to a single fixed line.
We would provision both the lines (with different carriers) with the same ISP who would then manage the IP address allocation at the top level on their platform thus giving a seamless failover in the event of the main internet connection failing.
The ongoing cost of this solution would depend on the type of internet connections you decided to go with and an upfront cost of about £750 for the hardware and configuration of the solution.