When it comes to choosing equipment like computers or a router for your small business, consumer-grade and business-grade technology can look the same on the outside.
You may wonder, “Why pay more for the name ‘business’ when the other one is cheaper?”
But this isn’t a case of paying for a name, it’s a case of getting what you pay for. And if you try to run your business with consumer-grade IT equipment, you could find yourself spending more than you bargained for.
There are big differences between business and consumer equipment that don’t always show on the outside when you’re comparing new computers or routers.
The differences include factors of quality, security, and performance, just to name a few. Choosing the wrong technology could mean a data breach or a lack of productivity because those computers designed for consumers just can’t keep up with your business needs.
A laptop made for consumer use can need replacement after just 2 years, where a business-grade laptop will typically last at least 5 years.
It’s naturally tempting, especially if you’re trying to keep expenses down, to grab a cheap PC off the shelf at Best Buy or a home router at Walmart.
But are you really saving money? Not really.
Not knowing the difference between consumer-grade vs business-grade technology causes many businesses to end up buying that equipment all over again, in just a few short years.
Here’s Why Your Business Needs BUSINESS Technology
Going cheap on the technology that your business relies on to run and be prosperous can end up coming back to haunt you in a number of ways.
Often, it’s just a lack of understanding about the differences between a consumer-grade device and a business-grade device that cause business owners to make a mistake with their IT purchases.
Here are the key reasons you need to stick to IT equipment that is made specifically for business use.
It Cost More Because It Lasts Longer
Consumer-grade technology is typically made with cheaper parts to keep prices as low as possible. Those cheaper parts lead to a computer wearing out faster. This is especially the case if it’s being used for business use.
Business-grade devices are designed to be used all day long to power all types of business applications. Therefore, the components they have “under the hood” are higher quality than consumer parts.
If you buy a consumer PC that saves you a couple of hundred dollars over a business version, when you replace it a few short years later, you’ll be paying much more than if you had chosen the longer-lasting business PC to begin with.
Business-Grade Technology Is More Secure
Cybersecurity is at the top of any company’s list of high priorities. Just one data breach or ransomware attack can cripple a small business for months and cause some to close completely.
Ransomware attacks increased 41% in 2019.
Why buy a business-grade router instead of a consumer one? Because they’re much more secure, which means your network will be as well. Consider business class network equipment (switches, firewalls and wireless access points) which provide regularly released firmware updates for features and security and allow for easy remote management. Consumer grade equipment are security targets. Consider the recent news of the FBI warning and advising the entire country to reboot your home firewall due to security breaches of consumer grade equipment.
The encryption standards used in business-grade technology is at a level to facilitate data privacy compliance with standards like PCI and HIPAA. Consumer-routers aren’t designed to secure that type of business data, because they’re made to be used in homes.
Your Team Will Be More Productive
How much productivity time will your team lose with inadequate equipment? That cheaper PC with a slower processor and less memory, could end up costing you much more than you thought in efficiency losses.
Consumer-grade devices are built for home users, not to run business applications and do heavy multi-tasking, which can drastically slow you and your team down.
Business-grade computers come in multiple configurations, but are all designed with business use in mind, at the heart of which is productivity.
You’ll Have More Upgrade Capability
One thing that keeps the price of consumer PCs low is when parts are locked in and can’t be upgraded
For example, some of the lowest priced consumer PCs offer just 4GB of memory, but it’s often non-upgradable. This means you’re stuck with a slower performing device that has to be replaced to be made faster because you can’t add more memory or other components.
Business devices are designed to be expanded, which increases their usable lifespan. They’ll generally have additional slots for memory, the ability to upgrade a video card or to a solid-state drive for better performance.
This allows the computer to grow as technology evolves, and still be productive through upgrades, increasing your overall return on investment.
You Have a Better Warranty
A very telling sign of the difference between consumer-grade equipment vs business-grade is the length of the manufacturer’s warranty.
Consumer-grade PC’s typically come with a 1-year warranty (because of those lower quality parts), where business PC’s typically come with at least a 3-year warranty.
You have 3x more protection from additional costs should any repairs need to be done. Plus, consumer PC’s aren’t made for business use, so just using it for that purpose could void its short warranty altogether.
Get Help Setting Up the Best Equipment for Your Needs
You can get the business-grade equipment you need without spending a fortune. C Solutions works with multiple central Florida businesses on technology setup and efficiency.
Schedule a free technology today! Call 407-536-8381 or reach us online.