How We Saved $4,000 Down and $140 a Month on Internet

One thing we learned quickly when we started adding up the costs of a warehouse was that everything is more expensive when you’re a business. It’s as if every service provider hears “business” and immediately jacks up the price 50%.

As of Monday we had everything squared away except our internet access, which has always been a bitch every time I’ve ever moved. That’s why we got out in front of it and about two weeks ago George put a call in to Time Warner Cable to inquire about getting Road Runner in our warehouse. They told him they needed to send out a technician to see if the building was already wired, and that they would get back to us in a few days. Well, after harassing them several times they finally called George on Monday afternoon:

They wanted $4,000 to run cat5 cable into our warehouse! To be fair, they either wanted $4k OR a contract of any combination of phone, internet, and TV exceeding $300/month for the next five years. Never mind we don’t want phone or TV from them. Oh, and I failed to mention that the same Road Runner that we all have in our houses and pay $50/month for costs ~$200/month for “business class” at comparable upload/download speeds.

Suffice to say, our answer was a resounding NO. Unfortunately we looked at other local internet providers and they were all in the $200-$300/month range, which is still freaking ridiculous for a biz of our size.

So we started to get creative. I’ve always been fascinated with mobile broadband cards so we started looking into the alternative of purchasing an unlimited data transfer card for each of us for $60/month. Then we got the idea: what if we could buy one card and somehow get it to work with our router? I took a quick look on, and in 3G areas like our warehouse the connection speeds were comparable to Road Runner.

Then Mike found this Linksys Router that actually has a PCMCIA slot in it and is designed to work with Sprint Mobile Broadband Cards!

Sprint Mobile Broadband Router


Sprint Mobile Broadband Router


Sprint Mobile Broadband Router

Freaking awesome right! We’re all pretty in tune with the tech world and none of us knew anything like this existed (at least legally anyway).

George and I went to the Sprint Store in the mall on Monday night and got a 3G mobile broadband card for free with a rebate. Then we took our unopened router to Best Buy and returned it for this one, which was actually cheaper than the original router we purchased. Let’s sum up: we’re getting similar service for $0 down and $60/month when Time Warner wanted $4,000 down and $200/month. Ha – take that bitches.

10 comments on How We Saved $4,000 Down and $140 a Month on Internet

  1. jennsquared says:

    That is pretty sweet! I started to look into internet for business as well and Comcast is charging about the same price. This is totally a smart way to do it and I can’t wait to check it out myself.

    BTW, how do you do your credit card transactions?

  2. Peter Davis says:

    That’s actually a cool idea Adam. And, you could theoretically take that with you wherever you have Sprint coverage. Like, if you wanted to take a winter retreat to Killington to go skiing and rented a condo for the team, you could bring along the card and modem and all have net access after you’re done skiing for the day. Not to mention how much easier this makes your next move, if you ever need to that is.

  3. Adam McFarland says:

    Peter – that’s kind of what we were thinking. I’m guessing at some point (if this works out) we’ll each have our own card/router combo that we can use for both home and work.

  4. Peter Davis says:

    Sweet way to make your home internet connection a deductible business expense too. 😉

  5. Adam McFarland says:

    Yes sir 🙂

  6. […] What does this solution mean? It means we save a butte load of money. Our monthly cost has gone down to $60 a month and we got the router for free after rebate. Read more about this from Adam’s Blog. […]

  7. Ne says:

    I have a wireless router/modem. Pretty much does what your setup does out of the box. I did it to avoid gerring a home phone ($30+ p/m) which I haven’t really used for 5 yrs.
    I’ve alway been fascinated by the business/corporate price jackup too. Whether it’s lunch or a flight. I think its based on the concept that the price dosnot come out of the buyer’s pocket. They don’t care about cost any more then you care about the colour of your router. They care about covering their ass. ‘Business class’ is the ‘we cover your ass for you option.’

  8. […] cost a ton (like either $4,000 down plus $140/mo, or $300/mo with a 5 year commitment).  So our somewhat risky solution was to get a Sprint Mobile Broadband card and use it in conjunction with the Linksys WRT54G3G […]

  9. Greig Harper says:

    Add a cheap UPS for ~$150 for the router and you’ve got a system which will survive most short power outages. Enterprise grade for next to nothing.

  10. Adam McFarland says:

    Definitely Greig, great pt – we do have a UPS surge protector in place for all of the electronics in the computer area.

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