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Is Your Network Running at its Limits?

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Is Your Network Running at its Limits?

Make no mistake, your business’s computer network is an important asset. Without it, your business would come to a screeching halt. Though your network may be up and running, is it pushing its limits? It’s not uncommon for a computer network to become stretched too thin. If so, your business may still be running, but probably not nearly as efficiently as it could be.

With a network stretched too thin, not only can you expect network traffic jams, the entire network could fail, resulting in downtime and recovery costs. Let’s take a look at network congestion and how to alleviate it.

What is Network Congestion?

Like a freeway, networks carry “traffic.” For example, any time you launch your word processor and open a file stored on your server, you’re sending traffic back and forth along the network. Downloading videos from the Internet, chatting on Skype, or making VoIP phone calls also send traffic across the network.

Generally speaking, your network is built to handle a certain amount of traffic. Once that volume is exceeded, or if the network is restricted in any way, the extra traffic will strain the network and cause network congestion or a bottleneck. There’s only so much “traffic” your network can handle.

Meanwhile, with each new computer you add to the network, you’re introducing an additional source of network traffic. When the network becomes congested, it can’t keep up with the processing requirements of all those network requests. As a result, the network slows down, just like a congested freeway will slow down when there are simply too many cars on the road.

Depending on the source of the bottleneck, the network may recover once the demand for network resources goes down. For example, if the bottleneck was caused when 10 employees joined a video conference, the network will likely speed up once the video conference is over.

Common Network Congestion Causes

Just like a freeway can slow for various reasons (too much traffic, an accident, construction, detours, etc….), computer network congestion has multiple potential causes such as:

– Too many users accessing the network all at once

– Data-heavy usage such as downloading large files, watching streaming videos, videoconferencing, or VoIP phone calls

– Network hardware failures

– Distributed Denial of Service attacks

– Computer viruses, spyware, worms, and other network threats
Alleviating Network Congestion

The best way to prevent network congestion and downtime associated with it is to expand your network as you add computers, users, and devices to it. For example, if you’re considering switching from a traditional PBX to a VoIP phone system, your computer network will need to be upgraded to handle all of that extra traffic.

You’ll also want to implement a reliable computer security system into your network to detect and prevent Distributed Denial of Service attacks and other network intrusions.

Quikteks can help in both regards. Request a free network consultation to discuss your needs. As part of our free IT assessment, we’ll examine your network for signs of network congestion and vulnerability to threats. After examining your network, we can recommend network upgrades or optimization strategies to ensure that your network has the capacity it needs to support the demands your users and devices place on it both now and in the future. We’ll also suggest security measures to protect your network from hackers and malware. To schedule a network consultation, give us a call at (973) 882-4644.