Leased Line vs Broadband: What's the Difference? | Neos Networks

Leased line vs broadband: what's the difference?

Neos Networks

When it comes to choosing the right connectivity option for your business, the choices can seem endless. Broadband companies and leased line providers will both claim to provide businesses with high-speed internet connections, but when it comes to leased line vs broadband, which is better suited for your business?

If speed is your first concern, leased lines are faster. But other considerations - like the applications you use and the size of your network should also help inform your decision.

In this blog we’ll:

  • Explain what a leased line is and how it works
  • Compare leased lines vs broadband
  • Outline the steps to follow in order to set up your connection
  • Consider when to choose one instead of the other

What is a leased line and how does it work?

A leased line is a dedicated internet connection, that will ensure the speed and reliability of your connection will not be affected by other local users. This enables your operations to keep going, no matter what. Contrastingly, broadband connections are shared via the public internet - resulting in reduced throughput at busier times.

One of the great things about leased lines is that upload and download speeds are the same. This differs with broadband, where connections are typically variable, with fast download speeds offered alongside much slower upload speeds.

What are the differences between leased line vs broadband?

Leased line vs broadband: which should you choose? The following comparisons will help you make an informed decision.


If your leased line package promises 30Mbps, that’s what you’ll get without exception. Broadband speeds, contrastingly, don’t always deliver to the capacity signed for and instead typically provide lower speeds than first advertised. This is because they don’t typically provide full throughput.

Why the disparity in speed between broadband vs leased lines? The latter has dedicated bandwidth plus symmetrical upload and download speeds. Meanwhile, broadband subscribers share their lines with other users. Sharing a line - otherwise known as contention - reduces connection speeds at busy times, even if you have Fibre to The Cabinet (FTTC) or an Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ASDL).


Do you get frustrated when an action takes too long to respond? Perhaps you’re downloading a time-critical document or need to access a video conferencing meeting. The delay you see is caused by high latency which is commonplace with broadband.

This might help you resolve the leased line vs broadband argument. A leased line is dedicated to your business, which means its latency will be lower. Unlike broadband, your provider will guarantee the latency connection that links your premises’ equipment and Internet Service Provider’s (ISP’s) data centre.


The needs of your business may alter over time. To begin with, you may need less bandwidth because your premises are small and you employ fewer people. But as you scale, you’ll need the ability to purchase more bandwidth as and when required.

Likewise, there may be times when you need to scale your services down. For example, to reduce expenditure, condense operations or if you have a seasonal business that sees peaks and troughs throughout the year.

Continuing the broadband vs leased line comparison, the latter gives you more control – a benefit you’ll appreciate as your business needs change.


Sometimes a connection can destabilise during an audio or video call. This can be frustrating, especially if you’re on a call to an important client.

This delay is sometimes referred to as jitter and adversely affects broadband users who suffer from connection drop-outs when using video-conferencing software.

With leased lines, communications work in real-time, resulting in more seamless communication, presenting your business in a stronger light.


Is a leased line better than broadband for your business?

Here are some further points to help inform your decision and what you should consider when choosing between broadband and a leased line:

1. Connection speed

Do your employees use video conferencing or need to send large files? If so, broadband upload speed is likely to be inadequate.

You can also buy packages from providers that prioritise business users during peak periods - avoiding issues commonly associated with contention, which can affect your productivity and profits.

2. Business needs

If you run a small business - with under ten employees using the internet to run queries and download files - broadband could be sufficient. If seamless access to cloud-based systems, video-conferencing software, and other online services is required, a leased line is best.

3. Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Leased line connectivity providers frequently offer ‘Service Availability Guarantees’ or ‘Uptime Guarantees’ that promise service issues will be addressed within a specified timeframe.

Although some broadband providers offer similar guarantees, the majority don’t. And those that do, tend to have longer fix times. This could lead to prolonged downtime – an issue for businesses that need continuous service to remain profitable.

How to set up a leased line connection for your business

So, you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of leased lines vs broadband. If the former option is more appealing, you’ll be keen to know how to set up a connection for your business.

Once an order has been placed, the project will enter the planning and survey stage. This will involve your provider planning routes for fibre - or looking for evidence of it at your premises.

If no connection is present, then a new circuit will need to be provisioned. This might involve digging up local infrastructure in order to route fibre to your business premises.

In the event that a connection exists, your provider will simply install an antenna on the roof of your building - a process that can be completed quickly and with minimal disruption and once connected, away you go.

Taking the next step…

The starting point is to determine whether your broadband is causing issues. If it isn’t, ask yourself are you planning to: (i) acquire additional premises?; (ii) increase your workforce?; (iii) switch to cloud-based systems? If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, switching to a leased line ahead of time before you encounter issues could be the right move for your business.

Broadband does come armed with a range of its own benefits. You can have static IP addresses for remote internet connections or to run CCTV - and even add email, cloud services, and recovery plans to your subscription when required.

However, if your business…

  • Is dependent on the internet because operations would cease completely without a continuous connection
  • Employs more than ten workers, including on-site and homeworking employees
  • Uses cloud-based applications and transfers large files frequently

…then a leased line is highly recommended.


Seeking a leased line solution?

When businesses need more than broadband, a leased line should form the next stage in your investigation. Contact one of our experts to find out why.



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