If you run a small business or just want to access office files from home, you’ll want to get the most you can from your broadband connection.
Working from home can improve productivity, and lead to a happier working life. But you can only work efficiently if you have a fast, secure and reliable broadband connection.
Follow our 10 tips for working from home, and you should be up and running in no time.
1. Get a business broadband package
If you run a small business from home, it's essential that you have a fast, reliable broadband connection.
Business broadband providers like Eclipse (www.Eclipse.net.uk), TalkTalk (www.TalkTalk.co.uk), and BT (www.BT.com) all offer broadband suitable for home offices or small businesses. However, it's important to make sure you know what's available in your area and what speeds you're likely to receive before signing up to any broadband packages.
Alternatively, you can use your home broadband connection, but
you should be aware of the impact working from home will have on
2. Connecting to the office from home
If you don't run your own business but simply want to connect to the office from home, you'll need to use software like Remote Desktop from Microsoft. There are loads of remote access programs that allow you to connect to your office PC from home - allowing you to access all of the same files that you would at work.
3. FTP services
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) services allow you to share and edit files with other users over a secure connection. This allows you to send and receive files from clients that might be too large to email.
You can either set up your own FTP server or use a service like YouSendIt.com.
4. Use professional email addresses and webspace
Most business broadband packages offer a number of .co.uk email addresses and a webspace allowance. Having your own website will be a huge boost to your business and using a .co.uk email address will make you look more professional.
5. Get a static IP address
The majority of home broadband packages have dynamic IP addresses but upgrading to a static IP address offers more benefits for people working from home. It allows you to ditch unprofessional Hotmail and Yahoo email addresses and receive emails direct to your PC, set up your own FTP server and connect to your office PC from home.
6. Get fast upload speeds
Whether you run your business from home or occasionally connect to your office PC, a fast upload speed is an essential when working from home. Upload speeds refer to how quickly you can transfer data from your machine over the internet.
Providers like BE Broadband (www.BeThere.co.uk) offer packages with upload speeds of up to 1.9Mb. Fibre optic broadband will cost more, but increase upload speeds dramatically. BT Infinity, for example, offers upload speeds of up to 19Mb with some packages.
7. Boost your download speeds
A faster download speed will speed up everything you do. You can either go for a home broadband connection with a fast download speed or a business broadband package.
Although many business broadband packages offer similar speeds to home broadband, because they offer priority network access, you're going to get a much better connection than you would with a residential package advertising the same speed.
8. Get a suitable download allowance
When you work from home you need to make sure that your broadband package can handle your downloading - especially if you're downloading a lot of files from the office or uploading them to an FTP server.
Even if you don't get charged for exceeding your download allowance, your connection could still be throttled - something you can't afford if you're working from home. The Sky (www.Sky.com) Unlimited package offers truly unlimited downloads - with no fair usage policy, while BE and O2 both have very generous fair usage policies on their "unlimited" packages.
9. Get secure
It's essential that you have adequate internet security. You don't want to infect your office network with viruses from your home computer and you can't afford to have your files corrupted if you run your own business.
10. The best customer support
If you work from home, you can't afford to have problems with your broadband. Business broadband packages offer prioritised customer support - so if anything does go wrong with your broadband it will be dealt with as soon as possible..
Use our free price calculator to compare broadband or get more information.