Imagine, if you will, that your Internet connection is a busy motorway, with numerous other users zipping “to and fro”. At rush hour it’ll take you a lot longer to complete your journey than at quieter times. This varying service level can have significant business impacts, leading to lower levels of computational and communication efficiency.
But there’s more. What happens when there’s an accident, or the local council wants to carry out maintenance? Suddenly the problem gets worse. Traffic might even stop entirely under such a scenario.
In today’s agile business environment even being cut off for short periods of time can have a significant impact on bottom-line results.
Fortunately, companies no longer need to survive the vagaries of such a service, which is where a leased line can come in.
In brief, a leased line is defined as a dedicated telecommunication line between two or more locations. Sometimes known as a private circuit, renting a leased line is rather like having your own private road. No longer must you compromise on service as you have full and complete control of both the speed limit and traffic levels. As a result, your company can continue to operate effectively at all times, irrespective of your ever-changing business needs.
Here are some of the most mission-critical benefits of investing in a leased line for your business…
Most standard Internet connections are designed to download data much faster than it can be uploaded. In a domestic environment this makes perfect sense – most consumers access websites and social media far more than they upload data. However, in a business environment such an asymmetric connection can hamper results.
Examples can include the use of VoIP telephony services, regular data backups, or the push-pull nature of financial trading terminals.
For many data-heavy businesses a symmetric transmission system can be more effective, something which typically comes as standard with leased lines.
Learn more about the problems of asymmetry here.
Each packet-carrying communication line has a maximum bandwidth limit. With most shared connections (such as ADSL) this is split among a multitude of users. As a result, many companies suffer from an overall lack of speed.
Going back to our analogy of the road, our leased line is rather more reminiscent of a private road. We have it to ourselves – with no interruptions and no other traffic – so we’re able to travel along it at much greater speed due to the lack of impediment.
Leased lines are typically available in a range of different bandwidths, and you are able to choose the most suitable solution for your needs. In some cases, such as leased lines from Luminet, it is even possible to increase the bandwidth in time, providing a flexible system which can grow with your business needs.
For the uninitiated, latency can be a challenging concept. If you’ve been comparing business broadband solutions, then you’ve no doubt found that the majority of lines are sold on the basis of bandwidth – but this is hardly the whole story.
Latency are arguably best explained with another analogy. Imagine a water pipe, where the water is the data that you’re trying to move. A wider pipe means you can fit more water down it. This is equivalent to your bandwidth.
Latency is a measure of how quickly this water (data) actually flows along the pipe.
In other words, low latency means faster transmission. So while high bandwidth is beneficial for transmitting large files (such as video conferencing), it is latency which can be a major driver in how quickly data actually arrives. For situations such as VoIP telephone systems, or financial trading, a low latency line is critical to maintain service standards.
Fortunately, in general leased lines tend to offer far lower levels of latency than standard business broadband.
Continuous Connection Speed
As a final benefit, consider that the total available bandwidth of a network is shared among all the users. This means that maximum bandwidth levels can change over time with demand.
This can result in data being transmitted more slowly at some times than others, leading to “lag”.
Such an inconvenience is however largely dispensed with when using a leased line, where all the bandwidth is dedicated to your establishment alone.
As you can see, while there are of course cost implications to consider, leased lines can offer significant benefits to those companies and institutions who need to be certain of the highest quality connection possible.