Your business needs redundant input. Nowadays, you can’t run a business without a good, solid internet connection. Once upon a time, you could run a little shop with nothing but a telephone and a mailbox. Nowadays, you have to stay in touch with your customer base. It requires email. It requires a website with interactive forms. And above all, it requires a solid internet connection.

For this reason, your business needs redundant internet. If your main internet connection goes out, you lose your connection to the world, unless you have a redundant backup. So how much money does it cost to have redundant internet? Well, prices can vary. It can be quite reasonable if you have a simple dual WAN router which changes IP address when your main connection goes down. On the other hand, if you go with an SD WAN router which keeps the same IP address regardless of which connection you’re using, those are more expensive.

But the advantage is, since your IP address never changes, you don’t see any sort of blip in your connection when you lose it. With a classic dual LAN router, you will experience a few seconds of downtime while you switch from one source to the other. But that’s still considerably better than just being down because your internet is dead. Do you currently have redundant internet? If not, give me a call and let me come out and give you a price for getting you set up.

What are your internet options? Cable internet is still hugely popular and freely available. And since you can now get gigabit download speeds on it, it’s a good choice. Upload speeds are always going to be lower on cable. To be honest, I don’t know why. That’s just how it works. Fiber is a better option. With fiber, you usually get even upload and download speeds. Again, I’m not sure why fiber works that way and cable doesn’t. I’m not that great of a network engineer.

Gigabit fiber can be available for a surprisingly reasonable amount. Gigabit fiber gives you a connection which is probably about as fast as your computer can currently handle. Network speeds are going up, but they’re going up a lot slower than they have in the past. Another option is 4G or 5G. This means that you have a modem which connects to a cell phone. This can be a very reliable internet connection as well, although their speeds do tend to go up and down.

Most people will use 4G or 5G as the backup network rather than the primary. However, you need to use whatever you can.

Classic satellite internet is a dying technology, but in some areas it’s still the only one available. It should never be used for anything other than backup. Then there’s Skylink. Skylink has changed everything.

Starlink is a satellite network which was invented by Elon Musk, which does things differently from classic satellite internet. It involves literally hundreds- Of satellites orbiting the Earth at once, and you switch from satellite to satellite as they go over you. This means that your speed will go up and down. I have seen speeds vary from 50 megabit download to 250 megabit download with Starlink. Starlink’s biggest problem is it’s hard to get. You have to get on a waiting list. But Starlink would provide an excellent backup source for your internet and even a good primary source. So in the ideal situation, what you have is either fiber or cable as your primary and then. 4 or 5G and Starlink as your backup. This would provide you with a good, rock-solid internet connection.

What else can you do with redundant internet? If your router is sophisticated enough, you can route one sort of traffic over one of your internet connections and another sort of traffic over the other. For example, you might dedicate one internet connection to voice-over IP phones, since these are usually the most finicky part of your network, most prone to having issues if there’s any sort of network trap. You can designate your backup link to be your voice over IP link.

But what happens if your backup link drops out? Well, your router should be smart enough to switch the voice over IP traffic back to your primary link temporarily until your secondary link comes back. Doing this will ensure that your phones have a good, unplugged pipeline. Perhaps you want to have your VPN traffic come in on a certain internet path. Why would you do this? Well, one thing, your VPN often requires an IP address to connect to.

And if your internet changes from your primary to your backup circuit, your IP address will change unless you’ve popped the extra money for an SD-WAN router. With this in mind… Some people will take the backup internet path for their VPN, reasoning that it’s… A personal matter, Frank, you can do it this way or you can just let things run in default. With VPNs, you’re probably not going to see much of a performance difference.

Long story short, if you’re running a business, you need dual internet. You need an option if your main internet goes out. Your business is probably facing enough pressure from various sources that you really don’t have time to deal with the added pressure of losing your internet connection. Redundancy is the answer. And if you don’t already have a redundant internet, give me a call. Let me see what I can do for you. This is good for any Northwest Arkansas community. If you live in Bentonville, Rogers, Fayetteville, Springdale, Lowell, Centerton, Hiwasee, Gravett, Decatur, Gentry, Southwest City, or any other town in Northwest Arkansas, give me a call. This also applies to people in Southwest Missouri. If you’re in Neosho, Anderson, Goodman, Pineville, or Jane, give me a call. Let me see what I can do for you with redundant internet. Thanks for your time reading this.