What Speed Do I Need For My Business Internet Connection?

speed needed for business internet connection cable wifi

Whether you’re switching internet providers or setting up a new connection for your business, you want to make sure you’ll have your needs met. But what are your needs? 

You know your business better than anyone, so that is for you to decide. However, a little help understanding internet speed and assessing your needs cannot help. We’ll provide it in the following lines. 

Understanding Internet Speed 

Also called “bandwidth”, the term “internet speed” refers to the amount of data that can be downloaded or uploaded in a second through a network. The measurement unit is Mbps (megabits per second). More Mbps equal a faster internet connection. 

However, when it comes to business internet connections, it is safe to assume that there will be more than one user. This means that the resources will be divided between the users accessing the connection at the same time. 

Multiple users, large file uploads and downloads, and video conferences at the same time can really slow things down. Thus, when choosing your internet connection speed, you should take into account the number of simultaneous users and potential tasks. 

Another important aspect to consider is the type of connection. In the past, businesses had a choice between broadband and dial-up. With time, broadband won the war, as it provides high-speed internet available at all times, as opposed to the slower upon-demand connection available with dial-up services. 

Broadband connections usually provide download speeds starting at 25Mbps and upload speeds of minimum 3 Mbps. However, standards change as technology advances and user requirements change. 

There are several types of broadband connections, depending on the transmission form: 

• DSL (digital subscriber line) 
• Fiber 
• Cable modem 
• Satellite Wireless 

It will be up to you to choose between these connection types, taking into account your own needs, the offers available in your area, and, of course, the corresponding costs. 

How To Assess The Needs Of Your Business When It Comes To Internet Speed 

If you are serious about being successful in your line of business, you need at least average resources. According to Statista, the average internet speed per U.S. user was 18.75 Mbps in 2017. 

Keep in mind that the average speed increases from one year to another. Therefore, you can estimate a current average at around 20 Mbps. Also, remember that the speed of your business connection or network will be divided to the number of users. From this point of view, you want your business connection to allow at least 20 Mbps per user. 

The specific of your business should matter as well. It is one thing to use the internet only to send emails and exchange progress reports, and a completely different thing to do business online, hold conferences, or operate live chat and call centers. 

Here is a brief overview of various internet speeds offered by internet service providers as part of their business plans and of the activities these speeds allow for, according to Business.org

• 5 Mbps: suitable for one or two users who only need to browse the web, do research, and send and receive email 

• 25 Mbps: suitable for up to five users needing occasional file downloads, basic Wi-Fi, and business communication options 

• 75 Mbps: suitable for up to 10 users and covering streaming, file sharing, and POS transactions 

• 150 Mbps: suitable for up to 15 users and allowing for cloud computing, files backups, and video conferences 

• 250 Mbps: suitable for up to 20 users and providing resources for hosting, streaming, and video conferences 

• 500 Mbps: suitable for up to 30 users and sufficient for hosting, cloud computing, and heavy online backup 

• 1 Gbps: suitable for more than 30 employees and enough for hosting, cloud computing, online backups, and basically anything a business may need 

Thus, if you operate a small business with only a couple of employees, a 75Mbps plan could be enough for you. If you run a call center with tens of employees online and on the phone at all times, you’ll need a 1 Gbps plan. However, you may want to add a cushion to your internet speed to make room for business growth. 

Making The Right Choice For Your Business 

As a general rule, it is better to get a slightly higher speed than you think you need. Technology evolves, and, with it, your needs may change. Also, internet service providers do not always live up to their end of the deal. Thus, although your plan claims to offer a certain speed, chances are you will actually get less. 

Do you have an internet connection at home? Then you are probably considering a business plan from the same provider. Well, before you pay for any services, the least you can do is check if they deliver on their promises. You can do that with an internet speed test

Even if the speed test shows that your connection is within parameters, you should study your options and choose your service provider carefully. The needs of your business are different, and your home internet provider may not be able to meet them. 

You want to work with a reputed service provider, who will offer you not only a fair price, but also the technical support you need. They should have excellent coverage in your area, as well as a reliable infrastructure and customer service. 

The last thing you need is to lose business due to a connection failure or a slow connection. Therefore, take the time to assess your internet speed needs and find the service provider that can meet them. It should not be that hard, considering that most businesses nowadays rely on the internet to keep in touch with their clients and business partners. 

Emily Jacobs is Happiness Ambassador for SpeedCheck.org She loves to write latest technology trends and love to share her knowledge through her articles.

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