Business internet vs residential internet: What’s right for you?

February 28th, 2022 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here. Colette Smith

The global pandemic had a huge impact on Australian small businesses, changing how and where they conducted business. For many, the biggest change included relying more heavily on the internet for sales and marketing opportunities, connecting with employees working from home, as well as finding and meeting with customers.

Understanding the various benefits of a residential or business internet plan is important, particularly for businesses where the line between home and work is more blurred.

Whether starting a new business from home, your home adjoins your business’s workspace, or you’ve shifted operations from a physical space to one that’s completely work-from-home, getting the right internet connection could make a big difference.

Here, we break down the differences between these plans and the options available so you can decide what’s right for you.

Business internet vs residential internet

There are three main differences between an Aussie Broadband residential internet connection and a business internet connection:

  1. Dynamic vs static IP address
  2. Levels of support
  3. Speed options

Now, let’s look at what these all mean for small businesses.

*Actual speeds on FTTN/B/C technology type confirmed upon connection. Actual speeds may vary due to external factors including in-building wiring

Residential typical evening speeds (7 pm – 11pm)/ Business typical business speeds (9 am – 5pm)
1. nbn 12/1 – 11Mbps; 2. nbn 25/10 – 24Mbps; 3. nbn 50/20 – 49Mbps; 4. nbn 75/20 – 73Mbps; 5. nbn Homefast – 98Mbps; 6. nbn 100/40 – 98Mbps; 7. nbn Home Superfast – 245Mbps; 8. nbn 250/100– 245Mbps; 9. nbn 500/200 – 490Mbps; 10. nbn Home Ultrafast – 600Mbps; 11. nbn 1000/400 – 600Mbps

**Superfast and Ultrafast only available for FTTP and select HFC connection types
***Actual Enterprise Ethernet wholesale speeds capped at 952Mbps as prescribed by nbn™ due to many factors including equipment and network limitations not operated by Aussie Broadband. Fibre build cost may apply pending site qualification check.

Dynamic vs static IP address

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a series of numbers that identify a device on the internet. These identifiers allow information to be sent between devices across a network.

Dynamic IP address

A dynamic IP address is one that changes from time to time.

These are generally the default type of IP address for most internet providers as they require no setup or configuration for customers and they’re the most cost effective for providers. Also, because the IP address is regularly changing, they’re considered quite secure.

Static IP address

With a static IP address, as the name suggests, the IP address assigned to the network remains the same. There are a finite number of static IP addresses available, which is why many internet providers charge extra for them. Setting up a static IP address also generally requires some configuration.

Which IP address is right for you?

Aussie Broadband residential customers automatically receive a dynamic IP address, but a static IP address is available for an additional cost.

Although there are advantages to a dynamic IP, when the addresses change, it can sometimes cause dropouts. This is why some residential customers who use a VPN (for work or private use), voice over IP (VoIP) services, or who play online video games may prefer a static IP address.

Business and enterprise customers, however, have different internet and networking needs. That’s why all Aussie Broadband business internet plans include a static IP address for free.

(Need help finding the right business internet service provider? Check out our guide)

For businesses, a static IP address makes it easier to use file hosting on a network server, access peripheral devices like printers over the network, host your business website or email server, and set up access to your network for yourself or employees so they can work remotely.

Levels of support

Aussie Broadband is highly celebrated for our top-notch customer service. So, whether you’ve got a business or residential plan, you know you’re going to get outstanding support from our Australian-based team.

Business customers, again, will have different support needs than a residential customer. For businesses large and small, any amount of downtime can be extremely costly. Estimates vary, but one study showed that downtime costs small businesses around $137 to $427 per minute. For bigger organisations and enterprises, that number averages from around $5,600 to $9,000 per minute.

No business can afford that kind of per-minute spend, so it’s especially critical for businesses of all sizes to stay online and minimise their downtime.

With this in mind, Aussie Broadband’s business plans offer tiered support options so your business can tailor a plan that meets your needs.

(5G vs nbn™: Which is best for your business? Find out here)

For a lot of small businesses Aussie Broadband’s basic customer support package, which covers you with priority business support from 8am to midnight, is all you’ll need. This is a step up from residential support as business customers receive priority ticket handling. And, as always, you still get Aussie Broadband’s stellar support and customer service from our local call centre.

Above the basic support package, there’s the Bronze, Silver, and Gold packages, each of which includes 24/7 enterprise support. The main difference between the Bronze, Silver, and Gold packages is our uptime Service Agreement Guarantee (SAG) and nbn™ ‘s Enhanced Service Level Agreement (eSLA) on fault restoration timeframes.

What is the uptime Service Agreement Guarantee & Enhanced Service Level Agreement?

Aussie Broadband’s Service Agreement Guarantee (SAG) means we’re committed to ensuring your service sees minimal disruption. So, if an unscheduled event causes downtime to your service, we pay you a percentage rebate back on your monthly service cost. Each support package offers a different Service Agreement Guarantee for uptime.

The Enhanced Service Level Agreement (eSLA) provides businesses with a commitment from nbn™ to provide faster fault rectification and a higher level of support. Like the SAG, it aims to keep downtime as minimal as possible. Again, each support package tier offers a different time frame to choose from so your business can tailor a support solution that meets your requirements.

Different businesses have different needs, so assessing how critical it is for your business to remain online will be an important factor in deciding if you need to upgrade to a business internet connection or stick with your residential plan.

Internet speed options

As with support and IP addresses, small businesses will also have quite varying needs when it comes to internet upload and download speeds.

Aussie Broadband residential customers can sign up to the full range of nbn™ speed options, each including unlimited data. These internet speeds may be sufficient for small business owners who just need the internet to run smoothly and reliably.

If your business requires more intensive upload speeds, Aussie Broadband’s business internet plans extend beyond those of residential plans. These are especially useful for businesses that heavily use cloud services, video conferencing, or who need to frequently upload large files.

It’s worth noting that the same speed for a residential plan costs the same as a business nbn™ plan. So, even if you don’t need the extra speed, the additional perks (as mentioned above) make the business nbn™ plan worthwhile.

Some businesses with especially high download and upload needs and work across multiple sites (like Cumulus Visual Effects in Byron Bay) may also consider upgrading to an nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet end-to-end fibre connection.

(Find out more in our guide to nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet)

An nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet connection runs on an nbn™ Traffic Class 2 (TC-2), whereas other business nbn™ plans run on Traffic Class 4 (TC-4). You can read more about the difference between nbn™ Traffic Classes here and here, but the general advantage of an nbn™ Traffic Class 2 (TC-2) is that it offers higher performance connection for services where your business may need consistent and predictable download and upload speeds. It also gives businesses the opportunity to prioritise traffic and enables a symmetrical bandwidth profile.

(Is your business eligible for a $0 nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet fibre upgrade*? Check your address here)

*subject to site qualification check on only available on 36 month contract.

Can you get business internet at home?

If you aren’t running a business and just want that free static IP address, priority support, and higher upload speeds, then the simple answer is no. But kudos for trying!

BUT

If you have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) or an Australian Company Number (ACN), you can connect to business internet at home, in your office, your store, or anywhere you do business!

Is it worth upgrading to business nbn™?

Ultimately, every business is different, and every business works with a different set of needs and budgets.

For many businesses, especially those who don’t require high-speed internet, a home broadband connection may be sufficient enough to fulfil your small business needs.

However, other businesses may find a residential plan limiting to their operational needs, and may require a static IP address, uptime guarantees, around-the-clock support, and higher upload speed capacity. In these cases, upgrading to a tailored business nbn™ connection will be the better approach.

 

Aussie Broadband delivers high speed nbn™ internet connections to homes and businesses around the country. Get in touch with our local team to have a chat about your small business or enterprise needs.