Allconnect Homepage

Residential vs. Business Internet | 2023 Guide for Small Business

Posted on


Choosing the right internet plan for your home can be tricky, and there are a lot of things to consider: How many Mbps do you need? How many devices are you connecting? Is cost your biggest factor? Add in a home office or a small business you run from home, and it gets even more confusing.

If you’re a small business owner or need to work from home out of an office, here’s what you need to know about internet for your home office or small business.

Business vs. residential internet overview

If you have a home office or business you run from your home, you can choose between a residential and business internet connection. 

business internet plans

Business internet is a specific internet connection dedicated to conducting business. It typically comes with faster download and upload speeds, more features, a robust customer service department and guaranteed service. That said, it is more expensive than residential internet. 

residential internet plans

Residential internet service is the type of internet most people use at their homes. It usually has lower speeds than business internet, depending on which type you get, but also offers many affordable internet options

Learn more about home internet Learn more about business internet

Pros and cons of business internet

  • Faster starting speeds – Speeds range from 25 Mbps to 10 Gbps, whereas residential options typically range from 1 Mbps to 1 – 5 Gbps.

  • Symmetrical connection – More options for matching upload and download speeds provide a better connection for video conferencing, sharing documents, etc.

  • Static IP address – Business internet typically offers the option to have a static IP address (vs. a dynamic one that changes periodically) providing a more secure, reliable connection

  • Service level agreements (SLAs) – SLAs are a service contract between you and your internet provider outlining performance standards, as well as how you’ll be compensated if the service level is not met

  • Higher starting costs – Depending on your needs, business internet could cost anywhere from $60/mo. for 25 Mbps to $500/mo. or more for multiple gigs of internet

Pros and cons of residential internet

  • Lower prices – Residential internet providers offer a variety of low cost plan options.

  • Promotional deals and bundling options – Residential providers often have promotional deals and you can also save money by bundling your services.

  • Affordable plans – Many residential providers offer low-cost plans as low as $19.99/mo. 


  • Self-installation – You can usually self-install your own internet and avoid professional installation fees


  • No service level agreement – There are no SLAs with residential internet, so you may not get the exact speeds you’re paying for

Key differences between business and residential internet

Speed and pricing

Business internet offers speeds ranging from as low as 10 Mbps to as high as 10 Gbps. Business internet is also known for its fast upload speeds that are often symmetrical with download speeds. Residential internet providers offer multi-gig speeds, which is more than enough for even a large household, but still not as fast as some business internet plans and many plans still don’t have symmetrical download and upload speeds.

However, residential internet offers more affordable plan options than business internet. You can get a 5G plan for as low as $25/mo. with Verizon 5G Home Internet or a regular home internet plan for as low as $19.99/mo. with Mediacom.


Business internet costs more because of its speeds and features. Some of these features include static IP addresses, backup networks and service level agreements.

The static IP addresses allow you to host a company server and email addresses with an IP that never changes. Business internet also offers backup networks, like 4G LTE for example, just in case an outage occurs. 

Service level agreements are also a game changer with business internet because you can get reimbursed if your provider falls short. Residential internet services do not have this safety net, and often many customers do not actually get the speeds they’re paying for

Can I use residential internet for my business?

If you are operating a business, it’s best to use business internet instead of residential to avoid any internet speed issues. If you are operating a small business out of your home that does not require a robust network, then a fast residential internet plan could work. 

business int pros and cons

Residential internet service for small businesses

Like we mentioned above, if you have a small business and don’t require the internet speed and features that business internet offers, then a residential internet plan can work just fine. There are many options to choose from, and you can still achieve blazing fast multi-gig speeds without paying for the added business internet features. 

Can I get business internet for my home?

Yes, business internet has become more common in home offices since more people have begun working from home. If you want the high speed and unique features, then business internet is a great choice. 

Business internet for home offices 

There are plenty of business internet options for home offices. You don’t necessarily have to get the superfast business plans that are often advertised. Providers like AT&T, Verizon and Frontier offer business internet plans ranging from 50 – 5,000 Mbps. 

Do you need a residential or business internet connection?

Whether or not you need a residential or business internet connection depends on the needs of your home office or small business. 

If you’re conducting the majority of your business from home, you may want to consider a business internet connection. However, if a lot of what you’re doing at home is clerical work or a few video conference calls, a high-speed residential connection may be enough.

Decide how much you really need

Before you consider making the switch, you need to decide how much internet speed you need for your home office or small business. Run a speed test to determine what you’re currently getting and make a list of all of your online activities.

Download Speeds

888 Mbps

Upload Speeds

88 Mbps

Allconnect icon

Pro Tip: For best results, use an Ethernet cord to connect your router or modem directly to your device before you run the test.

If the majority of what you’re doing involves checking email, browsing the web, maintaining a website and conducting some video conferences, a high-speed residential internet connection may be enough. 

Where available, a fiber-optic internet connection may be your best bet. Fiber-optic internet typically comes with higher starting speeds of 100 Mbps up to 1,000 Mbps, is less likely to be disrupted during peak times and comes with symmetrical (or close to symmetrical) upload and download speeds.

If you want to see what high-speed internet options are available in your area, click “Shop internet plans” below. Follow our Resource Center for tips and tricks to maximize your speed and get the most of your connection.

Residential vs. business internet FAQs

What is business internet?

Business internet is a type of internet service that offers high speeds and unique features for business-specific needs. If you own a small business or operate one out of your home, business internet is likely a better option than residential internet.

Camryn Smith

Written by:

Camryn Smith

Associate Writer

Camryn Smith is an Associate Writer with She specializes in writing about the broadband industry and helping consumers navigate complex internet service purchasing decisions…. Read more

Robin Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

Read bio


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *