A best-effort Internet connection grants us access to the Internet so we can do amazing, magical things. These plans are “best-effort” because they’re typically shared data lines amongst the customers in your area. You share the same uplink to your Internet Service Providers as your neighbors, and as such, your upstream link fluctuates with the traffic your neighbors push over that same stream.
For most consumers, best-effort Internet plans are a great option because they’re readily available and they fulfill the expectations of service for many: you can check email, play games online, and watch most streaming content to name just a few generic actions. The best thing to do as a general consumer is to choose an “up to” plan that gives you enough bandwidth to do your most strenuous tasks.
A “dedicated” internet plan.
The “best effort” plan is always going to be risky in a scenario where urgency of data delivery matters. In the case of critical business connectivity, the method with the most reliability would be using a “dedicated” line.
A dedicated line is exactly what it sounds like: data drawn directly between you and your ISP that is committed to you, and only you. If you have a 20 Mbps dedicated line, for example, you are receiving 20 Mbps all the time regardless of your neighbors traffic.
Consider the following scenario: It’s 8PM on a Wednesday and you are at home relaxing when you receive a call from one of your biggest clients. They are several time zones away and need your help with a deal-breaking issue right away.
No big deal. You grab your laptop and access your Virtual Private Network (VPN) into your office computer. A few tasks later, you’re on your way to fixing the issue. You send an email to the client saying “crisis averted” and you go back to your evening.
If your business’ line is a best-effort service, there’s a decent chance you will have some problems. Eight o’clock in the evening is a typical ISP rush hour and everyone is online watching Netflix, playing games, and downloading their favorite album. Do you want your biggest account in jeopardy because someone on the same data line as you is Skyping their mother or streaming the latest reality TV show?
Different plans for different needs
Dedicated high-speed internet lines typically cost more than a best effort line for obvious reasons. You are using more resources, and so it’s only fair you pay a little more. Every last byte of that pipeline is yours though, so for many it is worth every penny.