Tips to Help You Determine How Much Bandwidth You Need

10 24 22

How Much Internet Speed is Essential for the Seamless Functioning of Your Business?

For small businesses, having a fast, reliable Internet connection is needed to run all the digital tools that your staff has come to depend on. If you don’t have the bandwidth in place, you can deal with bottlenecks that can ruin communications, stall productivity, and cause operational issues of all types. Today, we’ll take a look at how to determine the amount of bandwidth you need to support your business’ computing infrastructure.

What Exactly Is Bandwidth?

Bandwidth = internet connection speed
Bandwidth = internet connection speed

There is a misconception that bandwidth is the speed of the Internet that you obtain through your chosen service provider. It does play a role, but it is not synonymous with connection speed. Bandwidth is actually the measurement of the amount of data that can be sent over your Internet connection and across your network in general in a designated time frame; typically measured in megabits per second (Mbps). The more bandwidth you have, the more data can be transmitted at one time. With a lot of businesses now leaning quite heavily on digital tools, knowing how much bandwidth your company needs is extremely important.

What You Need to Know to Get the Bandwidth Your Company Needs?

The first thing that you need to get the bandwidth your company needs is to find a reliable ISP (Internet Service Provider). Not all ISPs are created equal and for business purposes having an ISP that can easily scale your bandwidth to your needs is an important factor. You also don’t want to overpay, and waste your operational capital.

What are upload and download speeds?

The bandwidth required by your enterprise largely depends on the upload speed as well as the download speed you need in a bid to carry out your day-to-day operations seamlessly.

Upload Speeds

As suggested by the name, upload speed indicates the time it takes for data such as a file or a video to be sent from a device on your network to another device at some other location, or to a cloud storage system. 5 Mbps is considered to be the average recommended upload speed for the completion of generic business tasks such as voice/video calls. Depending on the heaviness of everyday tasks, higher speeds might be required.

Download Speeds

Download speed refers to the time taken for your computer or other device to receive data. Right from accessing a website, to watching a video, and even uploading files – requires fast download speeds. If you are wondering what download speed do I need for my business, then in the present day scenario of high reliability on internet-connected devices, we recommend choosing an internet service provider that offers speeds of 25 Mbps or higher.

Of course, these are just recommendations based on average usage. Depending on the your specific business needs, the bandwidth and the subsequent internet speed that you need may differ.

Let’s look at the variables you have to consider when choosing the right amount of bandwidth for your business:

The Number of Connected Devices

How many devices are connected simultaneaously
How many devices are connected simultaneaously

This is pretty simple. The more devices that need to be connected to the Internet, the more bandwidth you are going to need; especially if these devices are consistently being used to access Internet-fueled applications. You also need to take into account all the mobile devices that are connected to the network. In many cases they will outnumber workstations and other hardware.

The Type of Applications Used

Your business has a unique profile that is made up of all the tools you use and the processes that govern their use. For basic use, such as online browsing, email, and social media, a company would only need about one Mbps per user. Most businesses nowadays use their Internet connection for much more than this. Activities like VoIP calling, video conferencing, video streaming, and cloud computing can multiply this by up to five times. Hence, how much speed you will need, both in terms of download speeds and upload speed will largely depend on the applications that your employees regularly use. For instance, a business that uses video conferencing often or needs to stream video will need relatively less download speeds than a business wherein the employees need to participate in online gaming.

Type of Internet Connections

In the present day scenario, whether the need for internet bandwidth is ever increasing and streaming video services, hosting multiple users across multiple devices, ultra high definition videos have all become commonplace even in office spaces fiber optic lines are fast becoming the most reliable way to enjoy the best internet speed in the available bandwidth. While fiber optic connections are still not commonly found across the US and may even prove to be slightly heavy on the pocket, when it comes to faster speeds, these connections prove to be ideal.

In most urban and rural areas, however, satellite internet is still the norm. Given that satellite internet users often report slower speeds and finicky connections, satellite internet connections may just offer the bare minimum download speed, which may not be sufficient for your business operations to run smoothly.

Age and ability of devices

While this may sound insignificant, the age, version and type of devices used by your employees, can actually undermine the internet speeds offered by your chosen connection. If the devices are too old or slow, they may not enjoy the seamless internet connectivity that your chosen bandwidth offers. Moreover, old devices with outdated software will also adversely impact how much data is used for the same functions, as compared to newer devices which are designed for more efficient use of data. This is especially true when devices connected to the internet are required to use a streaming service or multiple streaming apps.

Hence, it is crucial that your employees use newer devices, with updated versions.

This is why it is important to get a good read on all the potential uses your business has to build a connection that works to support your business’ computing requirements.

Why Point North Networks?

At Point North Networks, we know how important the Internet is for your business. Our consultants can help you estimate the level of bandwidth you need, and can actively help you acquire that bandwidth so that you can operate as efficiently as possible. Give us a call today at 651-234-0895 to talk to one of our IT professionals to set up an assessment of your Internet connection and applications to give your business the best chance of success.

Frequently Asked Questions About Internet Speed Required by Businesses

How to determine the upload speeds that I need for my enterprise?

For generic business tasks such as sending emails, sharing small files and making calls over the internet, upload speeds of 5 Mbps prove to be ideal. However, if you have upwards of 15 employees who regularly need to undertake heavier tasks such as server hosting, seamless streaming and conferencing then the upload speed you need will go up to 20 Mbps.

How much Mbps does a small business need?

While emails and web browsing can be easily accomplished with a bandwidth ranging from 5Mbps to 10 Mbps. However, if the number of employees is higher, or if applications like video streaming and conferencing are regularly used, you may need a connection speed of at least 25 Mbps. But wait, there is a catch. The internet speed listed by your provider is what you get through a wired connection. Since most devices connected to the internet use a Wi-Fi connection, the actual speed your employees will get will only be 50-60% of the advertised speed. Hence, it is recommended to opt for double the speed you need.

What is the 20 Mbps Rule?

When deciding the minimum speed that your business requires, a good rule of thumb is to factor in 20 Mbps for every device that will be using the internet simultaneously. This will ensure that all users enjoy optimal download and upload speeds, even when using heavier applications such as online games, Youtube TV, etc.