Business Internet Speed:
How Much Do I Need?

In business, the Internet is an essential tool.

Business Internet speed requirements are different for every business. Paying for more than your business needs is like washing your car with a fire-hose.  In contrast, skimping on speed to save money is worse.  If you’re smart you don’t use a garden hose to fight a fire.

When we wash our cars, we could use a fire-hose, but that would be overkill. Most of us use a garden hose, which generally does the trick.  Conversely, a garden hose might slow down a fire, but it wouldn’t be the best choice to actually put it out.

Your business Internet speed requirements are no different.  Think of your Internet speed like a water hose transporting data instead. The bigger the hose, the faster the data travels through it – sending and receiving more data per second.

Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better – Sometimes It Is

The fire-hose won’t get your car cleaner. On the other hand, It may hurt the paint, and you’ll have really sore muscles from wrestling with the thing.  If your business Internet speed demand can be met with ‘garden hose’ Internet speeds, why bother with the ‘fire-hose’?  Alternately,  if your business Internet requirements are extensive, the ‘fire-hose’ might be in order.  To make that decision, you need to know what those requirements are.

Assessing Your Required Business Internet Speed is Not Difficult

What internet dependent activities are happening at your office?

Activity / Task Mbps per User
Voice or Fax over Internet Protocol (VoIP or FoIP) .10
Email and Instant Messaging .08
Web Browsing 2.00
Data Sharing 4.00
Video Conferencing .50
Large File Transfer 50.00
Web Hosting  and eCommerce 500.00
Streaming Audio and Video 5.00
Cloud Computing .13

Each of these tasks or activities uses a particular amount of bandwidth or data speed to operate efficiently.  By assessing which of them are common at your business, AND how many staffers are conducting them simultaneously, you can estimate the appropriate bandwidth for your business Internet needs.

For example, if you operate a call center and have 25 people on the phone simultaneously who are processing orders via the cloud at the same time, your requirements would be far more than a 5 person legal office.  The call center might need about 40 Mbps, while the law office might need about 20 Mbps to accommodate simultaneous video conferencing along with phone and cloud computing.

Sizing your Internet properly to your specific needs can save you money or allow you to reallocate funds in other beneficial ways.  As the Internet of Things expands and your business grows, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind about sizing your Internet:

  1. Do an accurate assessment of your current bandwidth requirements
  2. Add a small cushion to the number you come up with and purchase bandwidth including the cushion
  3. Do periodic, scheduled reassessments of your Internet requirements and upgrade your bandwidth as necessary

Looking for help with this process?  Download this free business Internet calculator to help crunch the numbers.

Business Internet Speed Calculator Download