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Tips for Determining How Much Bandwidth Your Business Needs

December 16, 2019

Maybe you are starting a new company or expanding an existing company. Or maybe you have noticed that you can't do what you need to do at the speed you need to do it.

That is an indication it is time to assess your bandwidth needs. Read on to learn how to calculate how much bandwidth you need for your business.

Determining How Much Bandwidth You Need

It is pretty easy to determine how much bandwidth you need as long as you know your usage patterns and can do some simple calculations. So, break out a calculator or create a spreadsheet here are some tips for you to estimate how much bandwidth you need.

If you feel like the math is too much work, there are companies like ours that will help determine your needs. 

What is Bandwidth?

Let's start a the beginning, bandwidth is a term used to determine the speed of your internet or the amount of data that can be transferred over a specified period of time.

The more data you can transfer, the faster you can download information or stream a video conference. You can test the speed of your current internet pretty easily but using an online speed test site.

You should check your test your speed at various times of the day. The number of users on your network will affect your speed. This is one reason many companies have an employee and guest network so that productivity isn't hampered when there is a high customer load. 

Take an average of your measurements to determine how much bandwidth you are currently using.

Do Some Checking

If you already have internet coming into your business your average should match the average that is quoted on your plan. There are a couple of reasons why you may not have the speed you expect.

The type of internet service you have affects your bandwidth. Unfortunately, it is common for cable and DSL providers to oversubscribe services. The result, when there is high usage your bandwidth is reduced. If this is an issue for your company you may want to consider a private, dedicated internet line. 

The hardware and devices you use also affects bandwidth. For example, old or outdated routers may not be able to integrate with newer technology that allows for faster internet connections.

Old computers also have issues handling higher data imports. So your internet bandwidth may be fine, but the computer needs to be updated to improve speed and productivity. 

Assess both your download and upload bandwidth. Most internet providers have two speeds, one for downloading information, one for uploading information. The speeds are not the same (check your internet plan information).

If you need to upload large files, make sure you choose a plan that has adequate upload bandwidth.

Once you have assessed your current plan you can better discuss your future needs. 

What Activities Do Your Employees Perform?

You need to also understand the way your employees should and do use the internet. The Federal Communications Commission has pulled together a great list of how much bandwidth is needed for each type of business activity.

Now the Math

Identify the type of activities that are using the internet. Now assign how many people are doing that activity at the same time. Multiply these two numbers together. 

Repeat for each activity, and then sum to obtain a total. It is that simple. 

Use this formula and these tips to determine how much bandwidth you need. Don't forget to compare against the amount you are using now and include plans for near term growth needs.

Do You Need a Turnkey Approach to Your Technology?

We can help you determine how much bandwidth you need as well as help you set up your network and provide onsite support. We are here for you, and your company, day or night.

Contact us for more information on how our qualified team can help you through support, services, and comprehensive IT solutions.

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