Residential and Business Internet Are Different: Here is How

Running a small business with a slow Internet connection is frustrating for any business owner. More than ruining your Netflix plans for the weekend, it can stop business operations, including sales, customer services, and overall productivity.

Due to a slow or lagging connection, businesses may lose potential customers. To avoid this, migrating from residential to business internet can be a great option, especially if working from home or managing a small business.


Knowing the difference between business and residential internet is essential. Many people are already familiar with residential services, but what is business internet? Read on to learn how they’re different from each other.

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Business Internet vs. Residential

Business internet is an internet connection meant initially for businesses. It comes with quicker download and upload speeds, additional features, and better customer service. However, it is more expensive than residential internet.

The internet that you’re using at home is a residential internet. Unlike business-grade options, it comes with lower starting speeds and asymmetric download and upload speeds – your download speed is more reliable than your upload speed.



Which is cheaper between the two should not be the basis of your decision to migrate from residential to business internet. There is more to lose when your business experiences an internet slowdown, or total outage.

You may initially save from choosing residential, but the loss of connectivity and productivity can easily take all those savings back. In the end, it may cost you even more.

What will not cost you anything (except for a few minutes) is evaluating business internet features and pricing and searching further into what will benefit your business in the long run. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

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Business internet speeds appear to be two to five times higher than residential connections. More people can do more of the tasks more quickly.

If you depend on it to help you complete transactions and gain money, twenty staff sharing a 5Mbps residential-style connection at work will have little economic sense.

Also, as annoying as you may imagine a slower residential connection’s sluggish downloads and eternal uploads, they’re much more frustrating for your customers. It can predate the Internet, but the standard saying, “time is money,” continues to hold up.


Residential, as well as some business internet service providers, keep prices down by providing outstandingly powerful download speeds while glossing over their much slower upload speed.

Download speed matters for watching videos and browsing the Internet. If you’re producing content and need to get it to consumers, it’s vital to take into account the upload speed – the same applies to backup of your data offsite.

Business internet connections usually charge the same download and upload speeds, which are called parity.

Service Level Agreement

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a service contract between you and your internet service provider. It clarifies performance standards and how you will be compensated if the level of service you expect is achieved or not.

Internet service providers use SLAs to monitor consumer expectations and explain that they are not responsible for issues or shortcomings in performance.

Business customers know what to expect from providers by being informed about these parameters and can compare them to SLAs from other providers. Residential customers are typically granted less binding or “best-effort” commitments.


The exceptional features and advantages of business internet are good enough to justify its higher cost when compared to residential internet.

Since residential internet often has slower and limited upload speeds and best-effort service agreements, which essentially means they promise to do their best, it might be time to migrate to business options.