How does a leased line work

Commercial Internet: Leased line or normal connection?

Internet connections are not only standard for private individuals. Companies also depend on a fast internet connection. In the terms of use, almost all providers exclude the commercial use of a private Internet tariff. Therefore, companies, even the smallest ones, are faced with the question of how to implement their Internet access.

There are essentially two variants: a business DSL / cable Internet and a leased line. Both solutions have advantages and disadvantages. The decision for a variant is only a small factor in an overall concept that companies should work out.

What is a commercial DSL connection?

The term DSL connection is somewhat imprecise, because cable providers, satellite network operators and cell phone companies also offer Internet tariffs for companies. Strictly speaking, it is not always a "real" DSL connection. The essential feature of such a connection is that the subscriber automatically dials into a network when it is used and the connection is briefly cut once a day.

Basically, a commercial Internet connection works like a private one. However, the tariffs include other details on bandwidth, billing modalities, security, services, etc. In addition, additional services such as cloud storage, virtual telephone systems, etc. can be booked on the basis of a DSL connection.

One technical detail is usually different. The technology is often based on SDSL (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line). This transmission standard allows symmetrical data streams. That means: upstream and downstream are uniform and variable. So there is no fixed upper limit for one of the directions, but the entire bandwidth is used flexibly in both directions.

Which bandwidth is possible at all depends on the available lines. A copper cable can currently ideally be accelerated to approx. 100 Mbit / s. That can be tight for small and medium-sized companies. With a fiber optic cable, significantly larger bandwidths are possible. However, not every street has a fiber optic cable.

What is a leased line?

A leased line is a permanent, fixed and open connection between the subscriber and the Internet. A leased line is usually rented and allows higher bandwidths. An advantage that is particularly important for larger companies.

tip: You can recognize a real leased line by the fact that the connection is not cut after 24 hours! As a rule, this also includes a fixed IP up to entire IP networks.

In contrast to a normal DSL connection, a leased line is usually synonymous with your own cable. This may have to be moved to the building in order to ensure the efficient connection. For this reason, additional costs may arise for the provision of a leased line.

The performance of a leased line depends on the available cable. A fiber optic connection near the distribution box is ideal. This means that 10 GBit / s and more can be achieved. SDSL is also used technically so that upstream and downstream are variable.
The choice or availability of the cable has a significant influence on the possible
Bandwidth. Because copper and fiber optic cables differ in important ways.

  • Copper cables used to be typical. However, as a leased line, these often only achieve a speed of up to 2Mbit / s without additional technical acceleration. They have now been largely replaced by fiber optic cables.
  • Fiber optic cables are significantly more powerful, but are mainly used with limited performance. You can achieve a bandwidth of 100 Mbit / s to 100 Gbit / s. Dark fiber is a specialty of the fiber optic cables. A cable network operator lays the fiber optic cables, but the customer is responsible for the transmission and the technology.

What should companies pay attention to?

More important than the question of the type of connection, however, are the tariff characteristics. Companies should therefore opt for a tailor-made solution that meets their needs and also ensure that their commercial Internet connection can grow with the success at least up to a certain point.

That means: A leased line should not only meet the current requirements, but also be sufficient in the future to transport the required amount of data. Particularly when transferring project data in trade and industry, rapidly growing amounts of data are to be expected. In addition to the bandwidth, the technology also plays a role in the consideration. Only modern fiber optic cables are currently future-proof.

In particular, commercial customers should consider the following points when choosing a suitable Internet tariff and when deciding on the ideal leased line:

What bandwidth is available and what bandwidth is required?

Medium and large companies underestimate their need for fast management. Especially with regular transmission of large amounts of data and with an increasing number of employees, the Internet line should go beyond a normal DSL connection. It may be useful to get advice from an expert.

The first arguments in favor of a leased line are often the data volumes for e-mail and the Internet, which are growing rapidly with the number of employees. However, other data sources are much more relevant when deciding on a future-proof connection. For example, depending on the industry and company, the following aspects are relevant:

  • Bookkeeping and pay slips
  • Order and delivery details
  • Graphics, print, 3D and production templates
  • Access to cloud-based applications
  • Securing data over the Internet
  • IP telephone system
  • VPN connections for customers and employees

A requirement for a required capacity can be derived from this and many other data to be transmitted. It is advisable not only to consider the current quantity, but also to allow clear room for improvement. Alternatively, a leased line that can be expanded in a modular manner is useful, which can grow with increasing requirements without having to lay a new cable.

Are there additional costs for the provision?

The question of additional costs is closely related to the bandwidth. If a leased line has to be laid as a physical cable, considerable costs can quickly arise. It is ideal if a fiber optic cable already leads to the offices or at least to the building. If the provider has to move this over several kilometers, alternatives may be cheaper, at least in the short term.

How quickly does the provider react?

What use is the fastest internet line if it fails for days? Fast troubleshooting is very important, especially for companies that regularly have to send data over their Internet line. When choosing tariffs, you should therefore ensure 24-hour availability and a fast guaranteed response time within a few hours. This is all the more true if the telephone system is also running over the internet line / connection.

Can the company provide all the services it needs via the Internet connection?

Should your own server (mails, data, website, intranet) be connected via the line? Can cloud storage be used? Is there a virtual telephone system that also has to work via the internet line? Is a fixed IP number desired or even required - for a server, for example? Organizations should make sure that their internet connection requirements are met. Because it's not just about access to the WWW, but also about the minimum technical requirements for your own telecommunications infrastructure or the in-house operation of a server.

With modern fiber optic cables or dedicated lines with fiber optic cables, in principle all services that require access from or to the outside can be achieved. This also includes the home office and the globally functioning telephone system as well as the growing number of web or cloud-based programs or your own online shop and database.

Are there any cheap combination offers?

If you need a dedicated line or a high-performance DSL connection, you usually also use it to handle your phone calls. Combined offers of an internet flat rate and a telephone allnet flat rate are therefore desirable. However, many commercial tariffs include per-minute prices and billing based on data packages. At this point, companies should calculate carefully whether a slightly more expensive basic fee for a double flat rate is not cheaper than billing based on service. Important: If additional services such as telephone systems, servers, cloud storage, etc. are added, these should also be taken into account when considering the price-performance ratio. Special case of dark fiber: Due to the considerable data streams on company connections, some providers only provide a cable without additional technology. The company then has to procure, maintain and pay for the data transmission equipment itself.

Companies can choose from a wide range of tariff offers. Some of them offer flexible tariffs that can grow with the customer, others have "off the shelf" products. Both variants can be useful. However, the question of a classic DSL connection or a leased line is of secondary importance. The other points mentioned are more crucial for the company's success.

Checklist: leased line yes or no?

Companies need more than a fast DSL line. Last but not least, the asymmetrical bandwidth that is widespread for private customers is an obstacle. While private customers download more data than upload it, companies need a bandwidth that is roughly the same in both directions, i.e. a symmetrical bandwidth. Therefore, leased lines are the only right choice from a certain company size.

Companies can determine their leased line needs with a checklist.

  1. Do employees from different locations access central data?
  2. Does the company transfer a lot of data, so is a large upload bandwidth required?
  3. Is a fixed IP address required?
  4. Are DynDNS solutions no longer sufficient?
  5. Are there a lot of applications in the cloud?
  6. Is a lot of data stored in the cloud?
  7. Are VPN connections to the company often required?
  8. Is the telephone system decentralized and allows several locations to use the same area code?

There are many other reasons and arguments in favor of a leased line and against a normal DSL connection for companies. But the more yes-answers there are to this checklist, the more likely a leased line is the right choice.