Bandwidth: How Much Does Your Business Internet Need?

Accounting - Bookkeeping

Businesses need the internet to function in the modern economy. It’s utterly essential. However, they don’t always choose the right package. Many managers assume that connections similar to those they enjoy at home will suffice, but that rarely happens. Companies often have dramatically higher bandwidth requirements than residential buildings, primarily because of simultaneous use by users. 

How Fast Does Business Internet Need To Be?

The average business requires around 25 Mbps of download speed and around 3 Mbps of upload speed to function well. The bandwidth allows the firm to perform regular internet-using tasks, such as exchanging files, video conferencing, and emailing. However, companies that use cloud-based software, particularly those requiring graphical downloads and uploads, may require a faster connection with fiber optic cable

Clearly, business internet speed requirements vary dramatically. The actual amount that you require depends on the number of employees you have, the regularity with which you download large files, and how many people are likely to use your network at the same time. 

If you’re not sure what speeds you need, contact your ISP. They will have experience working with companies in your business niche and be able to give you a ballpark figure of your connection requirements, based on sector, number of users, and so on. 

Types Of Internet Connection

There are a variety of internet connection types that may be available in your area. DSL stands for “digital subscriber line” and runs through your business’s landline. Download speeds average around 6 Mbps with average upload speeds running at 1 Mbps or less. 

Fiber optic is a second option. Some cables support speeds of up to 1 Gbps, but more common are speeds in the 150 to 500 Mbps range. Upload speeds also tend to be extremely fast, in the 65 to 100 Mbps range. 

Satellite is another increasingly available option, However, it is slower than cable, running between 12 and 150 Mbps. 

How Do You Measure Internet Connection Speed?

You can measure internet connection speed in many different ways. However, providers measure bandwidth in terms of Mbps. This stands for “megabits” per second, not megabytes per second – a common mistake. 

Whether you actually get the speeds you pay for depends on your provider. 8 bits equals one byte, so if your connection is 24 Mbps, you’ll get download speeds of around 3 megabytes per second.

It’s also worth pointing out that bandwidth is calculated on the basis that you only have one device uploading or downloading at a given time. However, if you have two devices connecting to the internet, then they will share the bandwidth. 

For instance, suppose you have a 100 Mbps connection and ten computers in your office all connecting to the internet at the same time. Each computer will have a bandwidth of 10 Mbps. 

If speeds drop below around 10 Mbps, employees will start complaining of slow speeds and lack of productivity, so keeping individual terminal connections above this level is critical. To put this in perspective, the average 4G mobile connection is around 16 Mbps. 

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