There are 5 important things to consider when looking at an internet or wide area network connection: Latency, Reliability, Bandwidth, Geography and Monitoring.
#1 – Reliability
if your car runs 100mph for 1 second, is that really a fast car? consistency in speed and having a reliable connection is very important. rarely do you use all the bandwidth on your internet connection, day to day activities usually need small amounts of bandwidth at low latency delivered reliably.
#2 – Latency
speed of communications – how fast your packets travel. DSL is about 40 to 80 milliseconds. T1 is less than 10 milliseconds.
#3 – Bandwidth
the number that is always marketed to users. 3 MEGAbits per second , 10 MEGAbits per second… this number relates to how many people you can fit in your car. while bigger is usually better and more is usually wanted, because you rarely NEED all the space, bandwidth is 3rd most important factor.
#4 – Geography
something that can not be changed (unless you move closer to your internet target), but is very important. most internet services do not care how “far” you are from them because if it takes too long or data gets lost on its way to your computer (websites for example), the information is just sent again.
#5 – Monitoring
knowing is half the battle. knowing how much you need and actually use creates a baseline so we as the managed service provider can monitor high level utilization to make sure your not infected with viruses or someone isn’t abusing your bandwidth.