Leased lines: What are they, and should I get one?

Leased line icon

When it comes to broadband for your business, you’re not short on options. There’s ADSL, fibre optic broadband, FTTP, enterprise broadband - and leased lines.

What's a leased line?

A leased line is a dedicated broadband connection. Rather than sharing a broadband line with your neighbours - like you do with any other kind of broadband - you rent a single line all to yourself. They're generally used by businesses with high-powered broadband needs.

With a standard shared line, the speed and reliability of your broadband can fluctuate as other users go online and eat up bandwidth. It can also mean slower speeds in general, depending on the contention ratio in your area. This isn't an issue with a leased line, however - since it's entirely yours to use, speeds are steady and it's more secure.

Speeds on a leased line are available from 10Mb all the way up to 10Gb (10,000Mb), and they're symmetrical. In other words, your download and upload speeds are the same - which is incredibly helpful if you need to upload data, host a website, use a VPN, or let remote workers use your office's servers.

It'll also give you low latency (lag) - essential for things like making video calls and accessing data remotely. And in most cases, you'll get 24/7 customer care and priority fault fixes when things go wrong.

Do I need a leased line?

As broadband goes, a leased line is a very costly option. We're talking a few hundred pounds per month, plus anything from £500-£1,500 for installation.

However, if a high-quality broadband connection is absolutely vital to your business - or would give it that extra oomph - it's worth every penny.

Consider leasing a line if your workplace...

  • Is a very big office with dozens of people to connect
  • Needs to transfer large amounts of data, all the time
  • Does financial trading
  • Runs a big website
  • Needs guaranteed, reliable internet for many people, 24/7
  • Uses VoIP a lot

Crunch the numbers and work out if it's the best option for your company. If not, take a look at the rest of our business broadband deals.

Woman in office

For residential broadband, it isn't worth getting a leased line at all - though if you can afford it and want guaranteed broadband for your home, then hey, we're not going to stop you.

Pros of getting a leased line

  • It can give you positively lightning-fast downloads, with symmetrical upload speeds - BT offers speeds up to 10Gb, in fact.
  • It's not shared with anyone, so speeds are steady and won't fluctuate.
  • With most leased line packages, you can change your bandwidth whenever you want - meaning you can pay less in quieter months.
  • Latency is low.
  • It's more secure and private than a shared line.
  • You're guaranteed to get a connection at the speeds you want wherever you are, with certain providers.
  • You'll get a service level agreement and priority fixes for faults.
  • It often comes with static IP addresses.

Cons of getting a leased line

  • It's expensive.
  • Like, really expensive.
  • It gets even more expensive if your workplace is a long way away from the nearest exchange.
  • It also takes longer to install - it can be up to three months, whereas regular business broadband can go live in a fortnight.
  • On that note, a leased line needs to be physically installed, which is hassle.
  • A leased line package doesn't usually include landline phone plans - you'd need to sort those out separately or get them as an add-on.

Interested? Want a broadband solution for a large business? Ring 0800 092 5745 for more info.

There are a number of business broadband providers such as: BT Business; Onebill; TalkTalk; XLN Telecom; bOnline and Virgin Media Business, offering a mixture of standard broadband and fibre solutions.

Vodafone business broadband deals

Package Broadband Speed Contract Length Discount
Vodafone Business Essentials Superfast 1 (existing mobile customers) - £16.66 p/m 0Mb average 18 months -
Vodafone Business Essentials Superfast 2 (existing mobile customers) - £20.83 p/m 0Mb average 18 months -
  • Essentials Superfast 1 (existing mobile customers)
    • Speeds up to* 35Mbps
    • Pay As You Go phone
    • £16.66 per month
    18 month contract
  • Essentials Superfast 2 (existing mobile customers)
    • Speeds up to* 63Mbps
    • Pay As You Go phone
    • £20.83 per month
    18 month contract

*This is the maximum possible speed. Broadband speed may be lower at peak times and can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. Fibre/cable services at your postcode are subject to availability. You can confirm availability on the provider's website. Providers may increase charges. You should have the right to exit your contract without penalty if this happens.

Vodafone business broadband is well priced, with simple, fast and reliable packages at prices that start at around £20 per month.

Its Essentials Superfast 1 package gets you an average download speed of 35Mbps (guaranteed minimum of 25Mbps), as well as a static IP address, unlimited usage, a Vodafone WiFi hub and a free three-month trail of F-Secure SAFE security software.

Priced a little higher, Essentials 2 offers all the same features. But gets you a faster service, with an average speed of 63Mbps and guaranteed minimum of 55Mbps.

Other key selling points include:

  • Option to add more static IP addresses for an extra charge
  • F-Secure is free for three months and offered at discounted rate if you extend for 12 months
  • Discounted business broadband for existing Vodafone business mobile phone customers

BT for small business

Package Broadband Speed Contract Length Discount
BT Business Superfast Essential + UK Calls - £45.99 p/m 0Mb average 24 months -
BT Business Broadband Essential + Value Line Rental - £19.99 p/m 0Mb average 24 months -
  • Superfast Essential + UK Calls
    • Speeds up to* 76Mbps
    • £8.50 up-front costs
    • Day, eve & wknd calls inc.
    • £45.99 per month
    24 month contract
  • Broadband Essential + Value Line Rental
    • Speeds up to* 17Mbps
    • £8.50 up-front costs
    • Pay as you go phone
    • £19.99 per month
    24 month contract

*This is the maximum possible speed. Broadband speed may be lower at peak times and can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. Fibre/cable services at your postcode are subject to availability. You can confirm availability on the provider's website. Providers may increase charges. You should have the right to exit your contract without penalty if this happens.

BT (www.bt.com) has a huge range of deals for businesses of all sizes. The basic connection on offer is either BT Broadband, with download speeds up to 17Mb, or BT Infinity, a fibre optic package with speeds up to 38Mb or 76Mb.

You can get an Unlimited package, for unlimited downloads; or Premium, which gets you extras like Microsoft Office 365 and personalised 'Tech Heads' customer support.

All come with free access to Wi-Fi hotspots across the country and the option of a static IP address.

Business line rental is available either on its own or bundled with broadband, and gets you prioritised customer care. Calling features can be added on, including three-way calling, call divert, withhold number, and more.

TalkTalk business broadband deals

Package Broadband Speed Contract Length Discount
TalkTalk Business Simply Business Broadband - £18.00 p/m 0Mb average 12 months -
TalkTalk Business Complete Business Broadband with Anytime Calls - £24.00 p/m 0Mb average 12 months -
  • Simply Business Broadband
    7 day UK business support
    • Speeds up to* 17Mbps
    • £8.99 up-front costs
    • Pay as you go phone
    • £18.00 per month
    12 month contract
  • Complete Business Broadband with Anytime Calls
    7 day UK business support
    • Speeds up to* 17Mbps
    • £8.99 up-front costs
    • Day, eve & wknd calls inc.
    • £24.00 per month
    12 month contract

*This is the maximum possible speed. Broadband speed may be lower at peak times and can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. Fibre/cable services at your postcode are subject to availability. You can confirm availability on the provider's website. Providers may increase charges. You should have the right to exit your contract without penalty if this happens.

TalkTalk (www.talktalk.co.uk) has a pretty wide range of services for businesses of all sizes. Smaller companies will likely be most interested in its basic broadband and phone - available as an ADSL connection with up to 17Mb download speeds, or fibre optic with speeds up to 76Mb. You'll get unlimited downloads, WorkSafe internet security, and the Talk2Go app for your smartphone.

There's plenty of voice and calling services too. Most are better suited to larger offices or companies with multiple sites, but small businesses can still snag a phone line tailored for business use, with options to add things like anytime calls and easy-to-remember business numbers.

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