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5 Ways to Avoid Internet Outages for Businesses

Internet downtime is a nightmare for businesses as it can cause a complete shutdown of productivity. The corporate network currently forms the lifeline of every critical business workflow including email, video conferencing and VoIP telephone communications to cloud platforms and database access. A single disruption here can mean losses amounting to thousands of dollars. The damages include everything from downtime impacting employee productivity to causing disruptions in critical client communications and services. 

Gartner Research estimates that, on average, businesses in America tend to lose around $5,600 for every minute of Internet outage (!) The extent of damage differs depending on the industry/vertical the business is in, and its risk tolerance. Recent research by Cisco shows that an hour of internet downtime can cost SMBs anywhere from about $8,500 to about $70,000. Needless to say, this is an extent of damage that most SMBs cannot afford, especially if outages are likely to recur. 24/7 IT Support can help your business setup failsafe internet connections.

While it may be impossible for businesses to hunt down an internet provider who is guaranteed to never face an outage, there are multiple ways for you to ensure a degree of connectivity and protect your business.

What Causes Internet Outages:

Here are the main reasons behind the down time:

  • Network congestion
  • Hardware problems/failure
  • Firewall and router is not configured properly
  • Natural disasters
  • Electrical power surges
  • Unintentional failures

5 Ways to avoid Internet outages for businesses:

  • Redundant Internet Providers 

It’s always better to have a backup. This holds true for Internet service providers as well and it’s always safer for your business to have a second or even a third Internet service provider router installed in your office. This provides a much-needed failsafe when your primary Internet connection goes dead for some reason. You can still ensure connectivity by simply switching over to the redundant one. Keep in mind that this kind of failsafe only works when the problem lies with the router or modem or with the network provider itself. A power failure can still result in all routers being rendered non-functional.

  • Different Types of Internet

If your primary mode of network connection is through wireless or ethernet, consider having a fiber or a microwave Internet backup. This is very similar to having redundant Internet providers and you are essentially trying to get access to the Internet through different ways of connecting to it. You could employ this method even if you’re sticking to a single Internet service provider. You are essentially using multiple methods of wiring your systems for Internet access that can help you bypass problems with the router or modem. 

  • Invest in Backup Connections

Separate broadband Internet connections from different Internet service providers is a popular solution to circumvent Internet outage problems. While this may ensure access to the Internet for your mission critical applications when you suffer an Internet outage, keep in mind that you will still have to pay for the extra broadband connection even when you’re not using it. This is especially true if your primary Internet service provider is fairly reliable and you experience minimal outages. However, given the steep productivity and financial losses you may face even with a single downtime lasting anywhere between minutes to hours it may be advisable to invest in backup connections. 

  • Ensure Constant Uptime with SD-WAN

If connectivity is crucial to your business and your service simply cannot suffer outage, we recommend investing in SD-WAN technology. This technology essentially enables multiple heterogeneous internet connections. The different connections act as one unified system through the SD-WAN, enabling businesses to never suffer an outage and to make full use of primary and backup connections during an outage and even outside it. Managed IT Services can help you deploy SD-WAN at your workplace. This technology sports intelligence software that monitors your network conditions and adapts to changes in real time to send your mission critical traffic through the strongest and most reliable connection at that point in time. It essentially acts as an aggregator for bandwidth and empowers organizations with superior network speed and reliability with zero service disruptions. SD-WAN systems typically come with built-in application awareness that not only ensures seamless failover capabilities, but also fine tunes network resource usage that allows for bandwidth-hungry mission critical applications to get prioritized over other functions as needed.

  • Cloud-based VOiP System
    There are instances where the survival of a business may depend on clarity and reliability in client calls and overall communications. In such cases, Internet outages can not only cause complete shut downs, but even a minute hitch in bandwidth reserves can cause the quality of calls to dramatically go down. Particularly bad cases can result not only in poor communications, but also wreak havoc on productivity, client relations and revenue. Cloud-based VOiP Systems can, quite literally, save your bacon here by ensuring business continuity even when your desk phones are out of order. Needless to say such mobile solutions can also help your employees, clients and extended network of business partners and service providers to stay connected wherever they are. Managed Security Services can help you deploy and manage Cloud-based VOiP Systems.

How to handle Internet outages while working remotely?

Apart from businesses suffering productivity losses, people working remotely, or from home can also have their productivity crippled with Internet outages. Here are a few options for remote workers to get connected while suffering an Internet outage:

  • Tether your phone or use an inexpensive mobile hotspot

Tethering your phone or getting an inexpensive mobile hotspot can be the next best alternative when your main Internet connection suffers an outage. Direct tethering normally costs quite a bit so you could look for cheaper options on the android or iOS stores. 

  • Have a backup plan set up with a friendly relative or neighbour
    If you are unable to use a mobile hotspot or even tether your phone, You could ask to borrow your friends or neighbour’s Wi-Fi for the duration of the Internet outage. They should be able to help out unless they suffer an outage at the same time as well. Please ensure that you remain in range for their Wi-Fi signal to actually reach your device and that you have the correct password.
  • Know the nearest coffee shops or businesses with reliable Wi-Fi
    While it is not advisable to use a public Wi-Fi hotspot for work purposes, it can sometimes be your last option for connectivity. But you need to do some research for this beforehand. Not all coffee shops or business Wi-Fi are reliable or fast enough for work. Sometimes it may be advisable to go to a place that’s a bit further away from your place of work or home to get reliable connectivity, instead of getting frustrated with slow connections at local coffee shops. You could also look at public libraries with free and reliable Wi-Fi connections. 

About Nora:

Nora Erspamer is the Director of Digital Marketing at New Charter Technologies, a group of companies specialized in managed IT support services. She is an experienced marketer and sales strategist with a demonstrated history of working in various technology industries. Skilled in strategic campaign development, lead generation, and marketing automation software. Her blog can be found at