Today, almost every business has gone online and in such a scenario it is important to choose services that are reliable and the most significant one includes a reliable internet provider. Finding an internet provider and subscribing to its internet plan is not as easy as it seems. There are various packages categorized according to speeds, data allowance and hence price.
The package you should choose depends on your internet usage. If you are a business owner, then you should know how much speed is required for your business. Learning about the key factors will assist you in the smooth and quick operations of your business. Here is a detailed guide to ease your decision-making process.
So, let’s get started!
What is the Speed of Your Existing Internet Connection?
The first step in determining how much internet speed you may require is evaluating how much you have at present. While looking into your current internet plan is a good way to learn about the maximum speeds you can avail, but several other components can also influence the actual speeds your devices can access.
We would recommend using an internet speed testing tool to check real-time speeds. A better approach is to retest daily and then determine your average speed. Try testing at different times, on different days, and under different situations to look at the whole picture. For instance, you can run a speed test early in the afternoon and one around midnight to evaluate the difference. Also, test on both wired and Wi-Fi connections.
A wired connection is more stable and also accurately shows the actual amount of bandwidth that your provider is delivering. This is one of the main reasons why it is critical to run a speed test even if your business uses a wireless connection. Once you have numbers from both connections, it may become easy for you to identify potential bottlenecks in your wireless connection.
Consider All External Factors Affecting Your Network
Now that you know about your average speeds, it is time to compare them with the internet package you currently have. High-speeds that your internet provider promised and mentioned on your contract often fail to match with the actual speeds you get in reality.
Several factors influence your internet speed like line congestion. It makes your internet speeds fall below the promised maximum number. But, what is line congestion? When several people use the network simultaneously, it slows down speed. In an ideal scenario, a network must be strong enough to handle all the incoming traffic, but unfortunately, no matter how robust your network maybe, you will experience lags from time to time. Fiber connections are considered the best in handling heavy traffic.
Another major factor is the type of device used. In certain cases, your device restricts internet speed. For instance, you could have an internet connection of 500 MB per second, but if your device supports only 250 Mbps, you will never be able to access full speed.
You are more likely to experience this problem if you have old wireless equipment. The router and laptops of older versions may not be compatible with the latest wireless standards, also the hardware usually has to be replaced to resolve the issue. You can extract this information from user manuals that came with your device and ensure that the specifications match up. We would suggest you go with the 802.11ac Wi-Fi protocol that could support up to 1.3 GB per second speeds.
Your internet type also plays an important role in providing you the desired speeds. With cable internet, you may experience several lags if more people come online at the same time. On the other hand, fiber-optic internet delivers fast speeds consistently irrespective of total users or devices using the internet concurrently. If you ever have to choose between cable and fiber optic, reliability and speed are always better in fiber optic internet connections.
Determine Your Online Business Usage
Wondering how to estimate the connection speed required for your online business? Here is a step-by-step guide to choosing the best speeds for your business to function optimally:
- Make a list of all online activities performed by your business. This covers every single activity that needs internet access. Also, include all the potential tasks you plan to implement in the future.
- We have included an estimated list of required bandwidth for common business activities at the end of this article. Use it to estimate speeds.
- Identify the total number of people using the internet at the same time. Just to stay on the safe side, increase the number by 2 or 3 more. We do not want you to pay additional money for the speeds you do not need, but at the same time, it is good to build in some buffer.
- Multiply the speed of each task in the 2nd step with the number you get in the 3rd step. You now have the total bandwidth for each online activity.
- Finally, sum up the total bandwidth of each activity to know your roughly estimated online business speed requirements. Check this number with your current internet speeds that you determined through speed tests. If it appears to be more than what you currently have, then this may be the reason behind your poor internet speeds. If not, then check for other issues that we discussed above like outdated devices, Wi-Fi range, etc.
Common Business Activities & the Required Speeds
We have compiled a list of some of the most common business activities and the internet speeds you may need to smoothly complete these tasks. Let’s have a look:
|Business Activity||Internet Speed Required|
|Sending and receiving text emails||1 Mbps|
|Preparing a cloud backup||2 Mbps|
|Using cloud-based services||5 Mbps|
|For cloud computing||2 Mbps|
|Transferring data||2 Mbps|
|Sending and receiving emails having attachments||15 Mbps|
|Sharing files||5 Mbps / 500 Kbps|
|Browsing the web||0.33 Mbps / 333 Kbps|
|Using Wi-Fi for general purpose||1 Mbps|
|Streaming a high-definition (HD) video||4 Mbps|
|Sending and receiving instant messages||5 Mbps / 500 Kbps|
|Bookkeeping and online banking purposes||2 Mbps|
|Conducting research online||33 Mbps / 333 Kbps|
|Scheduling things on social media||2 Mbps / 200 Kbps|
|Web Conferencing (webcasts, webinars, etc.)||5 Mbps (Depends directly on the video quality)|
|Streaming training courses online||5 Mbps (Depends directly on the video quality)|
|Uploading photos||5 Mbps|
|Uploading heavy files||2 Mbps|
|Video conferencing||4 Mbps|
|Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) audio calls||1 Mbps / 100 Kbps|
|Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) video calls||28 Mbps|
Always try be aware about your online business needs and how an internet service provider can perfectly meet your demands. Some even provide backup options for connectivity through a mobile network, in case things go wrong. If you want a provider that has your back all the time, then Mediacom internet has got you covered. With its fiber power, it is no more your average cable internet!
All in all, speed matters a lot, and paring down on costs in this specific area might give rise to obstacles in the way of your overall business revenues and productivity. Therefore, it is important to choose wisely when it comes to internet speed for your online business. Good luck!