How Much Bandwidth Does My Business Need?

Businesses run on bandwidth, and sufficient bandwidth is critical to meet the demands of your internet usage. The amount of bandwidth your business needs depends on what you plan to do with your internet connection—speed requirements are different for every business. For light use (basic e-mail and web browsing), your needs will be different than for heavy use (high bandwidth demand, large downloads, and multiple devices per user).

Bandwidth Calculation

Determining how much internet speed you need comes down to a simple calculation that considers several factors: total number of internet users at your office, their internet dependent activities, the necessary bandwidth to meet those activities, and how many staffers will be conducting those tasks or activities simultaneously.

By assessing your current bandwidth requirements, you can estimate the amount of bandwidth your business really needs. For example, if you currently have 10 light internet users, you’ll need a connection between 2 and 7 Mbps for your office. If you currently have 15 power internet users who are doing heavy video conferencing, streaming, or large downloads, you’ll need to calculate between 21 and 26 Mbps.

If you rely on cloud computing services to handle your data, considering your bandwidth requirements is even more important, especially if you’re transferring large amounts of data from one location to another. Most cloud services will be able to provide a recommended per-user bandwidth allotment for their service. Multiply those numbers by your number of users to calculate your requirements, but be sure to include overhead for other normal internet usages not directly related to that cloud provider.

While it’s generally thought that more bandwidth is better, that’s not the case for every business. Different tasks online use up different amounts of data, so the assessment comes down to the actual activities in place at your office, the amount of internet required for the tasks, and predicting how much bandwidth will handle them.

Matching your internet to your specific needs can save you money—there’s no reason to pay for more bandwidth than you actually need. The best approach is to do periodic reassessments of your internet use and upgrade your bandwidth as necessary to meet your business internet needs.

Bandwidth and Your Connection

Different connections offer different levels of reliability, and your connection also affects bandwidth and internet speed. With a dedicated T1 line, you buy exactly the bandwidth you need and add more as your business grows. T1 offers reliable, flexible, and scalable business internet with consistent speeds, though it can be slower than other connections.

DSL connections offer high-speed connectivity and faster download speeds than T1 connections, but have higher latency than T1 circuits, meaning they can experience longer delays. For any type of hardwired connections, having a wireless backup in place means you can roll over to wireless even if your hardwired connection goes down.

Every business is unique and has different internet requirements. We can help you calculate the right amount of bandwidth to cover your specific needs—contact us for a no-obligation consultation today.