Determining Bandwidth Needs in your Business Network

With todays’ broad interconnectivity, dependence on the internet is becoming a must for business operations. Think about daily business activities like file sharing, backup services and even accessing cloud storage for business that require internet connectivity.

Succeeding in efficient handling of all these activities requires a fast and reliable network. However, multiple factors, including the bandwidth, will affect the reliability of your network connection and how your business applications operate in the cloud. So, you need to figure out the exact bandwidth needs if you want to increase your network’s efficiency.

How to do it

Bandwidth refers to the data transfer speed over a wireless connection in bits per second. Examining the following factors will help you establish how much of this speed your business needs.

Your Employee Population

As a business, the number of employees matters when it comes to budgeting for office bandwidth needs. Usually, if your employee population is more than 100 staff, your bandwidth needs will be much higher than if you had 50 employees. Other than your employees, you’ll also want to factor in clients who may log onto your network.

The Amount of Online Activity Going On

If most of your business activities are during the day, you won’t have to worry about peak Internet usage. This is because the hours of peak internet usage range from 8 pm to midnight when most people are back at home.

However, if your business runs rigorous online activities even during the day, you’ll need to consider having a more robust bandwidth. It’s also crucial to note that online activities like web browsing won’t take up much bandwidth. Instead, complex activities such as voice-over ip phone systems, cloud-based services, and backup services have significant bandwidth needs.

The Number of Connected Devices

Counting the employees alone doesn’t determine your bandwidth needs in your business. You may need to go a notch higher and establish how many employees connect to the network in specific periods. For instance, if you have more than ten employees and clients connected at once, you’ll want more bandwidth.

Typically, an average employee in your business could be using at least two devices. That is their desktop computer and a laptop. Some may even have their phones connected to the network. So, your business bandwidth needs have to take into account all these employees and their connected devices.

You can refer to this bandwidth category to determine which one works best for your business.

  • 100 Kbps- This one works best if your internet activity isn’t too much. It will suit simple office needs like emailing and web surfing.
  • 100-500 Kbps- As your business needs grow, your online activities also expand to include streaming and downloading, hence more bandwidth.
  • 500Kbps – 2.0Mbps- This bandwidth range is preferable if you start incorporating strong software programs such as Customer Resource Management in your operations.

Bottom Line

Determining your business bandwidth needs will help you plan and avoid inconveniences that come with weak internet speeds. As a cushion to your business, consider a flexible plan that can be scaled up when your business needs grow.

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