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Bandwidth Needs for Small Business

Bandwidth Needs

Making sure your small business has the proper bandwidth on your Internet connection is extremely important. You'll want to make sure you find the best balance between cost and speed.

What is bandwidth?

In general terms, bandwidth is the maximum rate in which you can download data to your computer from your Internet connection.

The best analogy to help understand bandwidth is a highway. If you have a 2 lane highway, and traffic flows normally on that 2 lane highway, everything seems fine. However, during rush hour, there are more cars on that highway causing traffic jams which therefore slows down the speed of all the cars. However, if you add more lanes to that highway, the highway will be able to accommodate more cars and traffic will flow much faster.

Bandwidth is like the size of the highway. The larger the bandwidth, the more data you can pull down to your device.

Bandwidth is measured in megabits per second. This is different than megabytes. Megabytes usually describes the measure of file size. One byte equals 8 bits, so 1 megabyte equals 8 megabits.

To keep it simple, if you have a one megabit per second Internet connection, a one MB file will take 8 seconds to download.

Factors to consider when calculating small business bandwidth needs

The chart below will give you some examples of what to predict in terms of network traffic. If you do a little bit of planning, you can make sure that some of the applications you use don't bog down your Internet connection to where others won't be able to efficiently work. For example, VoIP is an application that will use quite a bit of bandwidth. It's important to remember that as you increase the number of simultaneous Internet tasks, the speed of each one of those tasks will decrease. This is due to the Internet service having a maximum speed. You can either increase your Internet speed or plan around doing some of those tasks at the same time. For example, we recommend you schedule your small business data backup to only occur after business hours.

This chart will help you calculate (generally) the bandwidth needed in your small business. Although it's not all-inclusive, it should get you pretty close.

Here’s how to you calculate it:

  1. Calculate how many employees will be using the internet at the same time
  2. Look at what they will be doing
  3. Multiply the bandwidth needed per task
  4. Total up the bandwidth you need for all tasks happening at the same time

Bandwidth Chart

If you have any questions on your internet usage in your small business or plan to expand, reach out to us and we will be glad to go over any questions or concerns you have.

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