For some people, being unable to get online feels like losing a limb. But for businesses, losing internet access can be much more serious. You can be looking at missed enquiries, lost orders, a lack of productivity … potentially, you’re losing money every minute you’re offline.
Let’s face it, your business relies on the internet. There are very few businesses that aren’t connected for at least part of the day. Therefore, it’s a very good idea to think about how your business would cope if your internet connection failed. Obviously, you’ll hope this never happens, particularly if you’ve chosen a good quality broadband supplier. However, even the best internet connections can fail occasionally – so here are six ways to get the emergency internet access you need.
Ask your neighbours
If you share a building with another business, consider setting up a reciprocal arrangement to share internet connections. If yours fails, you can borrow theirs – and vice versa. Just make sure you get your connections from different providers so problems don’t affect you both.
There is a security issue in sharing connections, but if it is an emergency measure, you may be willing to take the risk. If you both have clients, or other visitors coming to the office, you should have a separate WiFi network for them – to protect your network from being breached – so that could be what you share.
Buy a 5G router
If you want to keep your employees in the office, then a 5G back up solution may be right for your business. In the event that your internet connection fails, the router will connect to a 5G signal.
Vodafone offers their Gigacube on 30 day terms or you could buy a router and fit a PAYG sim. Most of the networks provide that option. With data costs much lower than they used to be, this is definitely a good option. The only proviso – check your 5G coverage
If you’d like to know more about 5G routers and are interested in getting one, get in touch now.
Buy a backup line
Basic broadband connections can cost as little as £10 a month. So why not buy one to use as a backup?
It might not be as fast as your main connection, but it’ll get you online in an emergency. The extra cost is low – see it as a kind of insurance for your business, if you like.
Get a mobile connection
Mobile broadband connections are available from mobile phone networks. You buy a small ‘dongle’ which plugs in to your computer and connects you to the internet.
Mobile connections tend not to be as fast as fixed-line broadband and coverage varies vastly. But if you’re in a strong signal area, it can be an effective temporary option. In the current lockdown situation, internet connections at home are going to be slow. This is simply because so many people are on their home connection. If your staff are experiencing slow internet at home, consider giving them a mobile connection:
- If they have a company mobile, add a 4G or 5G data package and let them use that instead of their home connection.
- If they use their own phone, they can increase their data package and claim on expenses, simply until you go back into the office.
Start working flexibly
If there’s no internet connection at your premises, why not get out and about? Are you one of the increasing numbers of companies now on Microsoft365 (the new name for Office365)? There’s no real reason you have to have the team in the office. They can work, pretty much, from anywhere.
You can find free wireless internet in cafes, restaurants, pubs and – increasingly – in ‘coworking’ spaces specifically designed for mobile workers. Grab a coffee and log on – you’ll be surprised at how productive you can be.
Have a backup office
Some big companies – like banks and insurance firms – maintain emergency premises they can decamp to in the event of problems.
For most smaller firms, providing such facilities is prohibitively expensive and over the top. But you could look into options like Regus Businessworld membership, to give you an alternative place to work from in an emergency.
Of course, none of these options are ideal, and you’ll probably suffer some loss of productivity no matter how quickly you can get back online following a problem. But at least if you have a plan for emergency internet access, you can keep dealing with customer emails and access cloud computing services with minimal disruption.