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Home office Internet connection


The vast majority of work from home jobs will require you to have a reliable internet connection.

This means a fast, secure way of getting online that you know will be there when you need it - not when it feels like working! Take a look at the main possibilities outlined below and think carefully about exactly what you need from your internet connection; is speed, price or portability most important to you?



Broadband is one of the pricier options for internet access but you could well find a good deal by doing some research. If your area has access to broadband then it is certainly worth looking into the benefits you get for the extra expenditure. Firstly, it is significantly faster, to the extent that you will be able to use your internet connection for things that a dial-up simply wouldn't be able to cope with, such as large downloads and video streaming. Broadband will also allow you to negotiate being on the phone and on the internet at the same time, increasing the likelihood that important clients will be able to get in touch.

In fact, whereas dial-up will be connected and disconnected as the user requires the service, broadband tends to always be connected due to the technology. This is worth bearing in mind when you come to install the service for your work from home business because being constantly connected to the internet can have an impact on security. Always make sure you have a strong firewall in place and your antivirus software is up-to-date to prevent cybercriminals from accessing your business data.

You will also find that a number of recent technological advances that could be useful for your business will only really work over a broadband connection. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services like Skype, for example, offer a cheap and convenient way of discussing business with clients or colleagues at a distance. The programme allows you to make video or voice calls from one computer to another for no cost other than that of your ISP subscription. There are a number of similar services available, making it convenient and cheap to contact people far away or even overseas.

Cloud computing is another area of growth which could be of interest to people who work from home. If you are employed by a company already you might be aware of their cloud services, which allow users to access data and applications remotely. The service helps keep down the cost of IT maintenance and expansion for the company, while making it easier for employees to access information. But you could well find that a dial-up internet connection simply doesn't have the bandwidth required for cloud computing so you might want to gravitate towards broadband if you think cloud computing will be useful to you in the future.


Dial-up is still an option and if price is a major factor you should find some really cheap deals on this type of internet connection. Dial-up only uses the facilities of the public telephone network to connect to an internet service provider (ISP), which is a major factor in helping to keep the costs low. All you need to get online this way is a computer, a router and a modem.

However, if you are serious about making your work from home business a success, there are a number of flaws to this method that you need to be aware of. Firstly, when compared to the other services on offer today, dial-up is a very slow way of accessing the internet. Secondly, unless you have a second phone line, using dial-up is going to stop people from contacting you by phone whenever you are online.

Unfortunately, some people have little option but to use a dial-up connection due to a lack of broadband services in their area. Despite growing demand from customers, ISPs remain reluctant to develop the necessary broadband infrastructure to serve rural and sparsely populated areas, forcing customers to make do with unsatisfactory and slow connections.

However, people working from home in rural areas could have some hope on the horizon as the government has recently released a multi-million pound fund to help build up high-speed broadband infrastructure in areas where commercial groups are unwilling to invest.


Mobile broadband

Finally, it is also worth considering mobile broadband as an option if you often need to work from home and on the move. There are three main possibilities if you decide you need internet access on the go: a dongle, access through a mobile device or public Wi-Fi access.

A dongle is usually a USB device that plugs in to your laptop. In the same way as you'd pay for mobile phone usage, you can opt for pay as you go rates or a monthly contract. Which one you pick will largely depend on how often you intend to surf the internet this way and how much data you think you will need to access. A monthly contract will usually give you more for your money, but if you don't need that much in the first place, it's probably worth considering pay as you go. As a guide, 1Gb of usage should allow you to view around 10,000 web pages or download about 20 albums worth of music.

Using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet, is another option. These gadgets tend to have internet browsing capabilities built into them and you can also check your email easily while on the move. Many of them will also work as a modem to connect your laptop or computer to the internet via Bluetooth or a USB cable. Once you've organised this system, the device will function in a similar manner to a dongle. However, this might be a better idea for occasional access while on the go as the costs will soon mount up if you exceed the monthly allowance of the contract with your provider.

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