Modern businesses rely on the internet more than ever before. Zoom meetings, social media, website presence, email, online stores, checking reviews – no matter what size business you run, you need a reliable and fast internet connection. Is your connection fast enough to keep up?
When choosing the best internet for business, there are a few factors to keep in mind. The demand for speed of business internet depends largely on the number of devices being used and the tasks that need to be performed online, and service interruptions can be devastating, making it important to understand the differences between satellite, DSL, and fixed wireless internet (learn more here). You’ll also want to keep security needs (including virtual private networks or VPNs) in mind as they usually require higher bandwidth to function optimally.
You will want to start by understanding the terms used to talk about internet speed. Internet data speed is commonly referred to as Mbps (megabits per second – not to be confused with MBps, which refers to megabytes per second). The average speed for a phone is about 27 Mbps, with higher speeds available on residential broadband.
For business and commercial internet, it is easiest to consider speed in terms of upload and download speeds. You can use the FCC Broadband Speed Guide to better understand your needs. Downloads generally require 25 Mbps. What this means is that if your business creates demo videos and sends them to clients or you stream training content, you need at least 25 Mbps to support your business.
If your business internet will be focused on uploads including large files or media-based files that you will be sent to clients, you may wish to seek higher speeds. The time a client spends waiting for a file to upload can be a major factor in your success, and you may want to seek a more intensive broadband speed (100 Mbps or even higher). Businesses that actively upload and download files on a regular basis (possibly in addition to other resource-intensive tasks) will want to consider all their needs and choose accordingly.
You also need to understand what an internet service provider means when they refer to download/upload speed. When your ISP tells you they offer speeds up to 5/1 Mbps, the first number represents the download speed and the second number refers to upload speed. This means that 5/1 Mbps translates to a top download speed of 5 Mbps and a top upload speed of 1 Mbps. The most common offerings are 5/1, 10/1, 30/5, and 50/10.
How much speed does your business require?
For small businesses that need to download files quickly, write emails, and communicate with customers, you will require less speed than a larger business with several employees who will be using the internet simultaneously for multiple tasks. A good guide to understanding how much speed your business needs is to consider how you will be using your business internet:
• One to two users or devices with a download speed of 5 Mbps performing online browsing, email, and research.
• Three to five devices or users with a download speed of 25 Mbps performing large-file downloads, business communications, and basic Wi-Fi use.
• With five to 10 devices in use and 75 Mbps, businesses can stream video, perform numerous POS transactions, and frequent file sharing without delays or interruption.
• Ten to 15 devices in use with 150 Mbps allows for video conferencing, frequent cloud computing, and data backups.
• Fifteen to 20 devices will need 250 Mbps to accomplish seamless streaming, conferencing, and server hosting.
• Twenty to 30 devices in use require at least 500 Mbps to maintain multiple server hosting, avoid heavy online backups and perform constant cloud-based computing.
• Operating a business with 30 or more devices in use simultaneously such as a call center will benefit from 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps) to accommodate extreme speed operations with almost zero interruptions.
Whether you run a small business from home or a large company with a dedicated building and several employees, Sure Site can help you find the right speed for your business. Let us help you to determine how much speed you need and the best way for you to obtain it. Call us today to get started!