How Much Internet Speed Bandwidth Do I Need For My Business?
How Much Internet Speed Bandwidth Do I Need For My Business?
When deciding on internet services for your business, one of the most important factors is speed from a reliable business internet provider. The most common internet service provider packages are simply one size fits all and generally priced and packaged. They assume you just need to get on the internet and nothing more – especially when you are calling the internet service providers directly yourself. Working with us, we do all of the talking and negotiating with the internet service providers for you.
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When deciding on internet services for your business, one of the most important factors is speed from a reliable business internet provider.
We say “business” internet service provider because a lot of times a simple cable provider internet connection is just that – a simple connection to the internet. This makes answering the question of how much internet speed bandwidth do I need for my business not as simple as just selecting a provider, an internet plan, and a price that fits.
How much internet speed and what type of internet connection does your business actually need?
1To better explain, let’s assess your current speed.
You are on the internet now so let’s see how things look real quick.
With the results from your Internet Speed Test
2Ping. An optimal connection is in the single digits. Ping is the speed at which you can request and receive data. The higher the number the more “lag” you will have. Lag is not your friend.
Download. This is the speed at which data can be received (download).
Upload. This is the speed at which you can send data (upload).
Jitter. An optimal connection is in the single digits. Jitter is the variation of response time (in relation to ping). Ping and Jitter basically measure of the quality of your connection and are used to diagnose performance of real-time applications like video streaming or voice over internet (VoIP).
If you are unhappy with your test results, it OK, it can be addressed. More importantly, poor test results is what we mean by common internet service provider packages being simply one size fits all and generally priced and packaged.
They got you on the internet, but nothing more than that. If your results are perfect, great job! We can still help you save money on your current spending and more. If you are interested in more testing and information, start with our assessment tool. It will give us a better understanding of your environment followed by being able to help you at no cost! Correct, there are no fees for our service (offer limited to USA customers only). Our goal is not to be an added and ongoing operational expense. Our goal is to present carrier and provider solutions that actually match your needs. We can even analyze your entire voice, data, cloud, mobile expenses and services and determine if there’s a savings as well as a better solution. It’s what we do
Next step: Consider external factors that affect your internet connection.
3Once you have determined your average speed, compare those numbers to your current internet plan and see if you are getting what you are paying for.
Even though your high speed internet package offers plenty of speed on paper, your actual day-to-day speeds could be quite different than you realize. Worst case, you might be getting less than what your business needs and far less than you are paying for.
Legitimate factors such as congestion (non business class) can cause actual speeds to fall below the advertised maximum speed. The most common culprit of line congestion is a non business class “shared connection” (ie. cable internet). Line congestion occurs when there are a lot of users on the shared network at once, it slows everyone down. And we do not mean the employees within your office. We mean your neighbor, your competitors, others that have the same cable internet service provider and connection in the same area as you (technically it’s called a “node”).
Ideally, your internet connection should be dedicated (not shared) and robust enough to handle any scenario. The only congestion should be internally from your own employees being hard at work.
Your devices could also be limiting your internet speed. For example, you could have an internet connection of 250 megabits per second (Mbps), but if your device only supports 100 Mbps, you’ll never experience the full speed available to you. This issue can present itself when using older wireless and networking equipment. Old routers and network interfaces may not support the most up to date wireless standards, and that hardware will generally need to be replaced to fix this problem. Check your devices and see if the specifications are current. At the time of writing, 802.11ac is the most common modern Wi-Fi protocol in use, with support for speeds up to 1.3 gigabits per second (Gbps).
The type of internet you choose can also play a big role in the speed you experience.
4We have already demonstrated how Cable internet can slow down when more people are online on the same node.
Hopefully, you see how the old adage “you get what you pay for” really fits here.
Fiber-optic internet provides consistently fast speeds regardless of if you are running multiple devices. The most common business solution is a T1 internet connection. While that is only 1.44Mbps, it’s a dedicated connection that gives you the full speed both ways (upload and download), lower ping and jitter rates. Then there is business class full fiber optic internet access with speeds up to 1000Mbps (1Gbps) and more! Fiber Optic Internet Access delivers the ultimate in dedicated bandwidth straight to your office. High-capacity Fiber Internet supports your business in a myriad of ways: collaborate without dropping calls or freezing video, and avoid dreaded delays in web page loading times and more. There are dedicated business internet connection solutions from the basics to the best and everything in between. It really depends on what your business does.
One size does not fit all and your internet connection is critical.
5 Choosing your business internet connection should not be considered lightly.
Want some help? Take our assessment tool and we can begin to help you. Here’s an example of what we would do for you when it comes to choosing your internet connection. It’s actually quite simple, we will Do the math.
We start by identifying your current internet speeds and potential speed bumps. Next we want to learn how you actually use the internet while estimating what your business actually needs. We also want to understand the common tasks (that consume internet bandwidth) in correlation with the amount of employees performing those tasks.
Are you more of a do it yourself type person?
6Great, here is some homework that you can do to estimate the internet connection speed needs for your small business to function optimally.
List all common activities that require internet at your business. Include anything and everything that requires internet access. Consider all future tasks as well. If there’s a reasonable chance you’ll need to begin sending large files on a regular basis soon, factor that in. Do you now or will you have remote workers? While they are working remotely, they will use their own internet connections, but they will consume your upload bandwidth. Do you now or will you utilize video conferencing? Do you now or will you utilize more and more cloud based solutions? Think of all the possibilities. Be ready to add it all up and get a basic idea of how much speed your most common business tasks require.
Use this basic reference list to estimate how much bandwidth each activity requires. Here are some download bandwidth estimates for common business activities: Keep in mind that each activity has an upload bandwidth need.
Basic email, 1 Mbps
Cloud backup, 2 Mbps
Cloud-based services, 5 Mbps
Cloud computing, 2 Mbps
Data transfer, 2 Mbps
Email with attachments, 15 Mbps
File sharing, 5 Mbps
General web browsing, 0.33 Mbps
General Wi-Fi use, 1 Mbps
High-definition video (HD video), 4 Mbps
Instant messaging, 5 Mbps
Online banking and bookkeeping, 2 Mbps
Online research, 33 Mbps
Social media scheduling, 2 Mbps
Streaming a webinar, 5 Mbps (high definition video will require more)
Streaming online training courses, 5 Mbps (high definition video will require more)
Uploading photos, 5 Mbps
Uploading large files, 2 Mbps
Video conferencing, 4 Mbps
VoIP calls, 1 Mbps
VoIP video calls, 28 Mbps
Be sure to note that these are only estimates.
There are many factors (software needs, hardware needs, etc) at play in each and every scenario above.
7 Step two.
While doing the math, also consider how many people will be performing those tasks at any one given time.
Always factor additional bandwidth as a buffer. Add a bit more to be on the safe side. While you don’t want to pay for more internet bandwidth than you really need, you also don’t want to cut it so close that productivity is potential reduced.
Finally, multiply the number for each task in step #1 by the number you calculated in step #2.
This gives you your approximate total bandwidth for each activity. For example, ten employees are checking/processing email at the exact same time that a VoIP Video Conference Call is taking place. You are now consuming approximately 38Mbps download and approximately 5Mbps upload bandwidth.
A good practice for business needs is to allow for variable bandwidth needs by doubling all totals. For example, you have a VIP client that is early for a meeting with you. It turns out they need to make an urgent video conference call. If you did not factor additional bandwidth for this scenario, all that’s left to do is hope that your guest doesn’t mind that they will have to go back to the hotel to make this video conference call. Or you can ask all of your employees to quickly leave the building so that you have the bandwidth available for your VIP client.
Either way, if you can’t support this VIP client, it just doesn’t look good. The fact is that you are probably only saving about $40 per month by not planning ahead for variable bandwidth needs.
Ensure your business is ready for the busiest of times and that your infrastructure won’t fall apart when it’s needed the most.
7We can assist with getting you high speed data in all forms.
From dedicated 1.44MBps to 1GBps business class reliable internet connections with Service Level Agreements that ensure minimal downtime and more.
If your business is already up and running and you now feel that you are paying too much, chances are very high that you in fact are paying too much. Have a digital copy of your phone bill/internet bill handy? Email it to us at [email protected] and we will analyze it for you for free.
Let’s face it, finding the right internet speed can be difficult. Internet access is essential to daily life. Take a moment and ask yourself if the internet went down; how would it impact you? How much money per hour would you lose in revenue? How much money per hour in wages would be lost due to zero employee productivity? While you are shopping for an internet service provider yourself you will hear all the great claims of internet speed supremacy, consider all that just white noise. Let us help with you with the right solution based on actual experience and knowledge of all internet service providers and actual fail over plans in the event of catastrophic failure.
We know how much effort you put into your business.
7Just like how all high speed internet providers are not the same; your business is custom and unique.
Don’t settle for a one size fits all random solution to one of the most critical needs for your business.
We can assist you with selecting your business class internet, voice, data, cloud and cellular services. Click here to contact us.