Ups and Downs of Dedicated vs. Shared Internet

Your business address may qualify for “Shared” or “Dedicated” Internet Access services. There are key differences you should be aware of that can help when evaluating current and future Internet purchases.

Executive Summary

  • Dedicated Internet Service – All the bandwidth is dedicated to you. Latency is low – in the 3 to 30 Ms range – with little fluctuation. Services are best for Internet-based Phone services, video conferencing, and many database applications.┬áServices include T1, DS3, Ethernet, and OCx. Bandwidth ranges from 1.5 Mbps to 10 Gbps and up.
  • Shared Internet Service – Available bandwidth is shared among all customers in a specific area. Latency is high – in the 30 to 100 Ms range – with high fluctuation and more users come online and increase usage. Service is best for general Internet use and backup services but can be used for most any application but latency can cause quality issues. Services include broadband DSL, Cable, and Fiber.

Dedicated Services

A “Dedicated” service means that you are the only one using the services – all the bandwidth that the service comes with is for you to use and is available 100% of the time to only you. The time it takes for your computers to get information to and from other computers on the internet is called “Latency,” typically measured in milliseconds, is low for on Dedicated services. Latency for Dedicated services can be in the 3 to 30 millisecond range and this is preferred when you want to run applications that don’t like delays such as Internet-based phone services.┬áDedicated Internet Services include T1, DS3, Ethernet, and OCx. Shared services include DSL, Cable, and fiber services such as AT&T’s Uverse and Verizon’s Fios.