In the digital world, an adequate internet connection is a necessary business resource. More and more businesses these days maintain an online presence. Global e-commerce sales amounted to almost $2.3 trillion in 2017. By 2021, experts estimate this figure may go up to $4.88 trillion! You can see why adequately fast internet is important for modern business.

The speed you require depends on the specifics of your business. Each business has its own needs, including the internet, which are different from other businesses. That’s not to mention the fact that the departments within your business will also have different business internet needs.

Factors that Determine What Internet Speed You Need

If you run a call center with Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP, you will need more speed for each agent. If you have an in-house legal department, your needs will be different. Your employees will need sufficient speeds to carry out smooth video and voice conferencing as well as sharing legal documents. This won’t be as demanding as the speeds you need to ensure your call center operates smoothly.

When looking for sufficiently fast business internet, it could help to consider the following points:

  1. Bigger Isn’t Always Better
  2. Assessing Your Business Needs
  3. Estimates of Speeds Specific Tasks Consume

Let’s examine each point in detail below.

1. Bigger Isn’t Always Better

You might be tempted to go for the fastest business internet service you can find. However, it could help you if you take a pause and read this first. Let’s look at something we like to call the “hose analogy”.

Let’s say it’s a warm, sunny day and you decide to wash your car. You need water to wash your car, obviously. You can get water from the garden hose on your front lawn. You can also get water from the fire-hose attached to a hydrant outside your house. Which would you choose? The garden-hose obviously. Why? Because the fire-hose would be overkill just to wash your car. It will eventually get the job done after wasting a lot of water and possibly damaging your car.

Now replace the water with data. If your business needs are similar to washing a car, you have no need to use a fire-hose to do it. You’d just be wasting resources. But if you use a garden hose, you can get the job done quite easily. An internet connection with less bandwidth may be the perfect fit if your business needs are not too demanding.

On the other hand, you would need the fire-house if your house caught fire. You wouldn’t try to put it out with the garden-hose, would you? It may slow down the fire, but it won’t extinguish it. Similarly, if your business needs are demanding, a connection with more bandwidth may work best. To reiterate, your business needs to govern the speed of the business internet you require.

2. Assessing Your Business Needs

So before you choose your business internet speed, you need to assess your business needs. How do you do this? For starters, you need to look at what activities take place in your office. Next, you need to separate the activities that depend on the internet. Then, you take a look at the number of users who conduct these activities.

And finally, you need to use this information to estimate how much bandwidth you need for each activity and user. Sounds easier said than done, right? It can be if you don’t have the right information. Which is exactly what follows in the next section.

3. Estimates of Speeds For Specific Tasks

It can be difficult for non-technical business personnel to estimate how much bandwidth or speed they consume. Wouldn’t it be a huge help if you could get a cheat sheet on which activities consume the business internet? You’re in luck because that’s exactly what we discuss below:

  • VoIP or FoIP intensive businesses consume up to 0.10 Mbps per user.
  • Web browsing consumes up to 2.00 Mbps per user.
  • Instant messaging and email activities use up 0.08 Mbps per user.
  • HD video conferencing can consume up to 0.50 Mbps per user.
  • Data sharing activities can use up almost 4.00 Mbps per user.
  • Cloud computing uses up to 0.13 Mbps per user.
  • Large file transfers can consume in excess of 50.00 Mbps per user
  • Intensive audio or video streaming eats up 5.00 Mbps per user
  • E-commerce and Web Hosting are heavily internet-dependent and can require 500.00 Mbps speeds.

Word of Advice

Correctly estimating your business’ internet needs can be extremely beneficial. It can help save on valuable monetary resources. It can also help you reallocate saved funds to other more pressing business functions. With the growth of IoT networks and devices, your business needs may change even more.

Whether you choose a 100 Mbps broadband or a 1 Gbps fiber-optic connection, be sure to accurately assess your current bandwidth needs. Also, allow for a small cushion of bandwidth for future growth or emergencies. Most importantly, periodically reassess your business internet needs. And if the requirement changes, you must change your internet services accordingly.

To that end, if you know any better service do share with us in the comments section below. You never know who else may be in need…