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Understanding Bandwidth

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Understanding Bandwidth

When did you last examine the bandwidth provided with your business Internet package? The right amount of bandwidth is essential to productivity. This week, we’ll offer tips on how the proper bandwidth helps you get much more out of your IT solutions.

What is Bandwidth?

Basically, bandwidth is how fast you can download content from the Internet, measured in megabits per second, or Mbps. The higher the bandwidth, the faster the download.

Imagine you’re trying to move water from one bucket to another. You can use a fire hose or a straw. Which connection will move the water more quickly? Just like the fire hose can move more water than a straw, a larger bandwidth can move more megabits. Some high-speed connections are even measured in Gigabits per second.

How Do I Know What My Business Needs?

To estimate your business’ required bandwidth, a little more math is in order. While other factors, like connection reliability, should also be considered, your approximate bandwidth needs are relatively simple to calculate.

First, add up the estimated traffic that each of your processes uses, multiplied by the total users that are likely to be engaged in that process. Assume that this is during peak operations, so you don’t underestimate the max bandwidth you will need. The bandwidth required by different processes will vary, but here are some pretty close figures:

  • 100Kbps and Under – Low-end, single-line VoIP phones and e-fax machines. Some basic-use computers and laptops may utilize under 100 Kbps, but not usually in business.
  • 100Kbps to 500Kbps – It ‘s more common for computers and laptops to fall within this range, as they are more often used for streaming, downloading, emailing, and more rigorous browsing.
  • 500Kbps to 2.0Mbps – If your business utilizes cloud solutions and standard definition video conferencing, you’re probably using this much bandwidth. Enterprise Resource Planning solutions, Customer Resource Management platforms, and Point of Sale devices will bring your bandwidth to this range.
  • 2.0Mbps and Up – This bandwidth is usual for a high-definition conferencing solution, heavy remote access, and heavy cloud access.

Let’s walk through an example. Let’s say you have a total of 10 users in your business, including yourself. Let’s also say that you’re always emailing with your business contacts so using 450Kbps. Six of your employees are engaged with a CRM solution, each using 2.0Mbps, and the last three are involved in a high-def video conference, each leveraging 2.5Mbps.

Totaling these use cases up, your business can expect to use almost 20Mbps at peak – or, assuming, to be safe, that everyone was attending the video conference, 25Mbps.

Was that helpful? What other tips would you like us to share? Let us know in the comments section, and make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss it!

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Since 2002 Quikteks has provided cutting edge, reliable business technology solutions to small and medium sized businesses in the Tri-State area. Our support solutions include technical help desk support, computer support and advising in order to deliver enterprise level IT solutions to the small and medium-sized business sectors at affordable rates.

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