Today, pretty much any company needs a decent broadband and phone package, even small ones - whether it’s for taking customers’ calls, running a website, or doing some online banking.
Not all businesses need super complicated business broadband. A local café is unlikely to need a leased line, and a complex business phone system is hardly necessary if you just get a few calls a day.
Nonetheless, a business broadband package could well be worth it - partly for the ex-VAT prices, and partly for the extra dedicated services on offer. Here's what your small business can get.
On the other hand, if you've got a large business and need something more complex, ring 0800 092 5745 for more info.
Best small business deals
Here are some of the best current deals for small businesses:
What could a small business get from a broadband package?
- Faster speeds, including faster upload speeds. Decent upload speeds are vital if you're hosting a website, for instance, and faster speeds in general means it's easier to access work materials, upload files, sync data, hold video calls, and so on. It'll also offer extra bandwidth if multiple people need to get online at once. A business package can help guarantee you're not slowed down - and can even offer public Wi-Fi for customers or clients.
- Priority customer support. When you're running a business that needs the internet or a phone line, you can't afford for anything to go wrong - so most broadband providers offer prioritised customer service and tech support for businesses.
- Static IP address. While most home connections have a dynamic IP address, which changes every time you connect your router, with business broadband you can get a static IP, which always stays the same. This is essential if you want to run a website, host a VPN, run CCTV, or access your PC desktop remotely. Read more about static IPs.
- Internet security. Online security is vital, but even more so when you're dealing with sensitive business data or using that static IP. A program to protect from malware, phishing, and hacking is generally included as standard with broadband packages, including home ones - though some offer more business-oriented security. Read more about cybersecurity for SMEs.
- Web hosting. This could include your own domain name with email addresses, or cloud storage to back up your data and files.
- Business phone lines. Besides perfect reliability, the phone line for your business may also need an easily-remembered number - or an extra line entirely, perhaps to separate it from your home number if you work from home. That's where a business phone package comes in.
So which providers have suitable solutions?
TalkTalk for small business
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.
XLN Telecom for small business
XLN's packages are kind of perfect for small business - there's a big range, all designed with businesses like yours in mind. For line rental, ADSL broadband, and fibre, you can choose between two packages - Basix and Max. There's everything from a basic pay-as-you-go landline, all the way up to 76Mb unlimited fibre optic business broadband with unlimited UK landline calls.
Its services are also excellent value, and you'll get 24/7 UK-based customer support, multiple email addresses, and the option to add extras - like internet security or a business mobile SIM.
BT for small business
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.
bOnline for small business
Small business broadband specialist bOnline focuses on affordable, simple to understand internet options and top-notch customer service. Its packages gives you speeds of up to 24Mb, 40Mb or 80Mb, all with unlimited downloads.
It also offers additional business services, including web design and search engine optimisation (SEO). To find out more about bOnline, check out our full guide.
Toople for small business
Delightfully-named Toople is great for a brand new business - it offers good value, straightforward broadband, at three different speeds. That includes a 'free' tier where you only need to pay for basic line rental, with pretty respectable download speeds of 24Mb. There's also options to add unlimited calls and minutes to phone 39 international destinations, and totally unlimited downloads on all packages.
Virgin Media for small business
Small and medium-sized businesses can choose between two primary package types from Virgin Media. Essential Business Internet give you download speeds of up to 50Mb, upload speeds of up to 5Mb, unlimited downloads, Hitron Wi-Fi router and up to 72-hour fault response; whereas Voom Fibre gives you an ultrafast connection of up to 350Mb, upload speeds of up to 20Mb, and up to 12-hour fault response. It's appropriate for small businesses with an office, or growing companies of up to 250 people.
Onebill for small business
Onebill offers a number of both standard and fibre optic broadband packages aimed at small businesses. Each includes a free router and is available as a 24-month contract. Fibre is perfect if you have multiple employees sharing in an office, or require fast and reliable internet access to do business. Onebill has four fibre options available.