Can you imagine operating your business without an internet connection? Even in our always-on world there are still times when your connection goes down, so what can you do to stay onto stay when your internet connection fails?
It may seem unbelievable now, given our reliance on the internet to perform essential functions from communication to accounting, but there was once a time when access to the internet was a rare and unusual thing. To provide some context, roughly ten million people had internet access in 1993 worldwide, compared to 4.15 billion as of December 2017.
But what if the unfathomable happens and your connection goes down? You may consider this to be an unlikely eventuality in today’s technology-driven world, but a recent study by business ISP, Beaming, showed that internet outages cost UK businesses a staggering 82 million working hours in 2017. That’s an awful lot of wasted time and, more importantly, potential lost revenue.
Internet downtime doesn’t have to be crippling, but staying productive offline does require some planning. For example, almost half of the businesses surveyed for the study said they focused on tasks that did not require access to the internet. This could be as simple as catching up on some paperwork, or arranging a snap strategy or brainstorming meeting to come up with new ideas, or work on creative solutions to existing challenges. Without the constant distraction of mobile phones and email, you may even find these hours are spent more productively than if the internet was working.
You could also ensure that you have your most essential files constantly backed up offline, either locally on your laptop or desktop or on a server. This is even possible for small businesses that may not have a dedicated storage server for backup. For example, the ASUS BRT-AC828 business Wi-Fi router supports an internal M.2 SSD for local, networked file storage, providing a simple, yet effective method of ensuring employees can still enjoy fast access to essential data.
Switch to a failover connection
Another option is to ensure that your business is prepared for the possibility of an outage by adding a failover internet connection. This means that in the event that your primary connection drops, you can remain online, albeit with potentially reduced capacity. This was the solution favoured by 22% of the businesses surveyed in the study by Beaming, though this still means more than 75% of organisations could still benefit from this solution.
The cost of subscribing to two ISP services potentially puts this solution out of reach for small business owners, but this doesn’t need to be the case. Many modern routers support failover backup connections using USB 4G / LTE modems. These may not offer the capacity of your primary business line, but if you simply cannot operate without the internet, it’s a good temporary solution. The aforementioned ASUS BRT-AC828, for example, supports this important feature, which allows you to connect an LTE modem to one of the two high-speed USB 3.0 ports and configure it as the secondary WAN in Failover Mode, providing a simple and cost-effective way to guarantee uptime.
There’s no escaping the fact that the internet is fundamental to modern business, which means that it’s even more important to ensure that you can still operate effectively in the event of an outage. Ensuring you still have access to important files is one method of staying productive, but a better solution may be to adopt a failover connection. Or, you could simply enjoy the freedom that ‘going dark’ provides, and use the time creatively. The choice is yours!