Leased Lines in the UK
Internet is a very big thing for so many businesses nowadays, and there are now so many different ways for you to access it. So, this can be difficult to find the best way that works perfectly with your business. Especially when it comes to comparing them, as they can sometimes all blend together and it can get very confusing, when they all seem to offer similar things to one another. However, this article is here to help you!
This article will look at what exactly a leased line is and whether or not it is the best thing for your business as well as all of the benefits and drawbacks that can come from using a leased line in the UK; and so much more!
What is a leased line?
First of all, we need to look at exactly what a leased line is. It is quite simple really. A leased line is a dedicated, fixed-bandwidth, symmetric data connection, which us usually used to link two different locations together. The first location will typically be a corporate office, and the second location will usually be another corporate office that is connected to the internet or a data centre that is connected to the company’s existing Wide Area Network.
Leased lines are dedicated. This simply means that along the route of your leased line, the bandwidth that you need has been reserved for you and you only. As a result of this it means that the bandwidth that is available does not become less accessible for you to use when more people are using the internet.
Leased lines are symmetric. This means that they are able to upload data at the same fast speed at which they are able to download data. This can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to when employees need to send large files, upload sizable files, use VoIP telephony, host websites on a server at the office, access their work PCs desktops from home, backup data using online service, and so much more.
It is very important to note that a leased line is not the same thing as an internet connection. A leased line can be used to carry many different types of data traffic. For example, internet traffic, phone calls, corporate VPN traffic, and more. However, if you and your business decide to get internet access, you are not required to get enough internet to fill the leased line.
What are leased lines used for?
There are many different things that a leased line can be used for. But let us take a look at the most common uses for them. The most common use of a leased line is usually to link corporate offices to the internet. However, leased lines can also be used to connect local area networks or several corporate offices together, to link PC’s and servers in different locations, to carry voice and video calls, to share IT resources and carry data between sites, and to enable remote connections to head office PC.
Do you really need a leased line?
Before we get into the pros and cons of a leased line, you need to really think about whether this is something that you actually need. It is an investment, and you need to ensure that it is something that you and your business truly needs before looking into it further, and possibly wasting your time.
To understand whether you really do need to invest in a leased line, here are a few questions for you to answer.
Is your business internet critical? Do you need to connect geographically distant or remote offices? Would losing internet connection be damaging to your business? Is quick and reliable data exchange crucial to your business?
If you answered yes to all, or most of these questions, then it is well worth you taking a look at the different benefits and drawbacks that can come from using a leased line. Just to further ensure that a leased line really is the best thing for you and your business.
The Pros and Cons of a leased line
There are actually quite a few pros when it comes to using a leased line, but along with that there are also a few cons. First, we are going to look at the benefits that can come from using a leased line.
The main thing that you will benefit from when using a leased line, is the reliability of it. This is possibly one of, if not the most important benefit that can come from using a leased line. Simply because when you are paying for a service, you expect it to be reliable, so that you can use it in the day-to-day running of your business. So, if you are looking for a more secure and reliable service then a leased line could be the one for you. Especially if your business relies heavily on the internet daily. You will need a connection that is reliable and consistent and does not become slower at certain points of the day. A leased line can give you this. With this you also no longer have to worry about Fair Usage Policy, simply because you can use as much data as you like for the monthly price that is agreed between your business and the provider.
Another benefit that can come from using a leased line is the fact that you are almost guaranteed much better support than you are with a broadband provider. For example, if your broadband connection fails, this can take days for it to be repaired in most cases, and for a business who relies on internet connection, this can be disastrous. Whereas a leased line comes with a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This guarantees that any major connectivity issues that your business may face, will be resolved very quickly and efficiently. So, you do not have to worry about how much it is going to affect your business if the connection dips. Also, for extra security to ensure that internet connection is working as it should, the providers’ Network Operations Centre closely monitors all of their connections, at all times of the day. This is to ensure that if something does go wrong and a line goes down, then you will get help fairly quickly and your business will not be left in the dark.
Another very important benefit that can come from using a leased line, is the fact that the upload and download speeds are so much faster than regular broadband speeds. A dedicated line offers a bandwidth transmission with speeds of between 10MPS and 10GBPS upstream and downstream. This is what is known as a synchronous connection. With this you are able to control who the bandwidth is then distributed on a dedicated line; this is because you are the only locations who are using the lines. Therefore, when you are needing to send larger files, then you can give them the bandwidth that they need to be sent quickly and easily. This is something that is not available anywhere else, other than through a leased line. So, if this is something that you and your business need then it is worth looking into. With a leased line, there is also no usage cap on how much data you can transfer. Which can be very important for businesses who need to use a lot of data, because there are no extra charges, it is one set price, agreed on my both parties. Leased lines also deliver Ultra-low packet latency. This is very ideal for high end applications, such as VoIP and HD video.
Another very important benefit that comes along with using a leased line is the security. This highly significant, because when you are working online you need to know whether you are safe or not. Especially when it comes to using online services in the day-to-day running of your business. So, with the guaranteed security that comes along with leased lines, it is very important to consider using one if you want to be safe and secure when using the internet. Combining the use of an appropriate router, and firewall settings, and a dedicated internet access line, this reduces the security risks that can come from using the internet.
Despite the many benefits that can come from using a leased line, there are also a couple of drawbacks that are important to consider.
The most important drawback possibly being the cost of a leased line. They are a lot more expensive than other services such as Asymmetric Digital Subscriber (ADSL) and FTTC connections. So, if you are looking for something that is on the cheaper side, then you may want to look at your other options. There are also many different things that can impact the cost of your leased line. Such as, how much bandwidth you need, the speed of the connection that you require, the service availability in the area, and whether you need voice capability as well as data transmission. On top of all of these different costs, there is also an additional charge per line for set-up. So, if you require more than one dedicated line then this can become rather expensive. Which is definitely something that you need to keep in mind.
Another drawback that can come with using a leased line is the fact that the wait times are quite long. This is simply because of the fact that installing a leased line can take months. As it is a very complex instalment process, especially compared to a installing a standard ADSL connection. Simply because an ADSL or FTTC connection can be installed using a pre-existing circuit, such as a phone line. Whereas a leased line requires a completely new circuit, to connect your offices to the leased line provider’s network.
Leased line providers in the UK
There are actually quite a few different leased line providers within the UK. This will benefit you and your business when it comes to deciding which provider to use, because there is a wider range for you to choose from. Meaning that you can then compare and contrast all of the different things that they offer, to find out exactly which one works best for you and your business. So, let us take a look at the many different providers and what they have to offer.
BT is probably one of the most popular providers, throughout the whole of the UK for all different reasons. When it comes to a leased line, they have a lot to offer. With BT you can choose your own line speeds, and their speeds go up to 10Gbps. This allows you to send and receive files that are on the larger side. They also offer packages that are specifically tailored to you and your business. Which is important because you know that it is something that will work for you, as it has been made to work alongside your business. They also offer very fast fix times, with customer service that is available 24/7. This is particularly important for businesses because if something goes wrong it needs to be fixed quickly, to ensure that the business can run as usual. The fact that customer service is available at all hours of the day is also something that is important, because not all businesses function at the same time, for example, some only work throughout the night and if something goes wrong, they need to be able to contact someone to get it fixed. So, overall, BT have a lot of different features on offer, and most of them are highly beneficial to businesses.
Another provider within the UK is TalkTalk. Like BT, they have so many different features on offer to businesses. TalkTalk offer ethernet leased lines options, with speeds of up to 1Gbps, which is slower than BT, so that is something that you may want to consider, if you are looking for something on the faster side. However, they also have very reliable internet, that is something that is very important because if you cannot rely on it to work when it is needed, then it is not something that you will choose to use for your business. TalkTalk also offer things such as cloud-ready internet access, ethernet access direct and ethernet over fibre. Similar to BT, they also have a customer support team that is based in the UK and is available at all times of the day and night.
Virgin media is another popular leased line provider within the UK. They also have many different features that are on offer to businesses. With a dedicated fibre ethernet connection, and speeds of up to 5Gbps. Like BT, Virgin media also offer flexible packages that can be specifically tailored to you and your business, to ensure that you are getting the best service that you can possibly get. As well as one that really works for your business. They also offer a resilient and very secure service, and have fast response times, however, this can change depending on the type of package that you have. So that is something that you need to keep in mind when looking at Virgin Media, is the fact that these features can drastically change depending entirely on the type of package that you chose to go with. Along with Virgin media, you also get a dedicated account manager, which can be quite beneficial to you and your business. Similar to other providers they also have customer service that is available 24/7, which is an important feature.
Vodafone is another popular leased line provider within the UK. They offer ethernet services with speeds of up to 10Gbps, which is on the faster side. So that is definitely something that you want to keep in mind when you are comparing the different providers. They also have many other features on offer such as the fact that they enable voice, video and data services on a single connection, which can be very important to certain businesses who rely on things like this. They also offer ethernet VPN, ethernet wireless and dedicated ethernet. As well as great response times and 24/7 customer support. It is also important to keep in mind that they also cater to smaller businesses, by offering scalable solutions to fully cater to you and your business.
However, if you do not have the time to do all of this research, or you simply do not want to then you can use a comparison site. These sites will do most of the work for you so that you do not have to do so much research. However, it is still a good idea (if you have the time and/or energy to do so), because this will allow you to understand it all a little better. Simply because you will know exactly what certain things mean and how they can benefit your business specifically.
But, businesses comparison sites can make it so much quicker and simpler for you to compare and contrast the different prices and benefits, all without having to know everything that there is to know about the providers. As they take all of the latest prices and put them into one place so that you can easily see them beside one another. Therefore, you do not have to do this step by yourself, as the best price will be presented to you in a very clear and simple way.
Not only do they make the choice a lot easier for you. Comparison websites also have very simple processes to get a hold of the information; and one of the best websites to use, to help compare business suppliers and their pros, cons, and their costs, is compareyourbusinesscosts.co.uk.
From here it is a very simple process.
You just have to fill out an online form. With your current information such as your postcode and your bandwidth. Once that is complete, you will then receive an email that includes the different quotes that you will allow you to clearly see which is the best and cheapest for you; but also, which company is the best one for you to choose from.