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We’re here with practical IT information for your business.


How to choose the right computer equipment for your business to increase your productivity and efficiency without it costing the earth.

Business software helps you complete a range of tasks. Choose the right software, provide support and train your staff with our introduction.

It is highly likely that you depend on the internet for some aspects of your business. Find out how you can use the internet more effectively.

Good communication with customers, partners and suppliers is vital for business success. This summary explores business communication methods.

How would you cope if your IT system failed or was breached? We cover the main IT security issues and how to protect against them.

Good IT management can help you choose, use and implement IT. Our overview helps you manage IT in a way that maximises the return on your investment.

IT support is vital if you rely on your IT system. But how can you set up an effective safety net in case things go wrong? We explore the options.

Getting the right IT is just the first step. Appropriate training, policies and working practices can help you maximise return on your IT investment.

Choosing an internet service provider - checklist

Your internet service provider (ISP) will provide an essential business service. It is vital you choose one that can provide the broadband service you need.

  • Establish what you need. Will you be connecting a single computer or your entire network? You will need a faster broadband connection if it is to be shared.
  • Evaluate how much data you need to upload. Cloud computing and remote access services often require good upload speeds, but cheaper connections are designed mainly for downloads.
  • Determine what type of connection you require: standard broadband or a faster fibre optic connection (if available near you). If fibre is available, it's a much quicker, more reliable option.
  • Steer clear of rock-bottom packages. These are rarely a good deal for business purposes, as they offer slower upload and download speeds.
  • Decide whether to get a business package. These usually provide faster connections and a higher level of service than consumer packages and are the better option for all but the smallest companies.
  • Check broadband providers and connection options in your area. You can use a website like Think Broadband to see what's available to you.
  • Consider how your internet needs may change in future. For instance, if your company grows, you may need to upgrade to a faster connection.
  • Investigate ISPs' reputations for speed and reliability. Read reviews online from sites like Broadband Choices. Many providers deliver a slower speed than that advertised.
  • Compare the cost of different broadband packages. Many providers offer introductory deals, so check what their prices will rise to. Watch for extra charges for things like line rental, too.
  • Check the contract carefully. A year's contract is common, but some providers will sign you up for 18 months. Make sure you can upgrade during this period if you think your requirements will change.
  • Decide whether you need a service level agreement (SLA). This guarantees you a certain level of broadband reliability. Packages with an SLA usually cost more, but provide greater reliability.
  • Check what support you will get. Most providers offer telephone support and online chat, but the quality can vary.
  • Check what security measures they provide to protect your company from viruses, malware and hacking. Some packages come with free security software.
  • Get recommendations from your IT supplier, advisers and contacts. Broadband performance sometimes varies by area, so it can be a good idea to check with businesses nearby.

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