Figuring Out What You Need
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How to Choose the Right Business Internet Service
Choosing the best internet service for your small or medium-sized business basically comes down to one measurement – speed.
When Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use the term “speed” they are really referring to bandwidth, which governs the amount of data your internet connection can transfer between two computers in one second. For example, 50 Mbps is 50 megabits per second.
If your internet connection is 50 Mbps, you have the capacity to achieve that level of performance. However, your actual internet speed can be limited by other variables, such as your server, computer network or Wi-Fi connection.
The other factors that can affect your speed are the number of employees using the internet at the same time – and the amount of data they are sending or receiving. If the amount of data being transferred exceeds your bandwidth at any given time, it will require more time to transfer. This will decrease your actual speed.
What Speed Do You Need?
So, what speed (or bandwidth) does your business need? It basically depends on how many people you have and how they are using the internet.
15 Mbps to 30 Mbps: If your business consists of one or two employees that use typical internet functions throughout the day, then you can get by with an economical internet connection, around 15 Mbps. This level of performance will allow for web browsing, video streaming and some light-duty cloud-based applications.
30 Mbps to 100 Mbps: If your business includes 3 to 10 users and devices, you’re going to need more speed. Depending on how internet-intensive your staff and services are, you will want from 30 Mbps to 100 Mbps. This higher capacity will enable more extensive internet usage, larger file sharing, smoother streaming and greater online interaction. With these faster speeds, your company can comfortably handle more functions, such as robust cloud applications, multiple Wi-Fi devices, credit card processing and frequent online backups.
100 Mbps or More: If you have more than 10 users and devices, you should probably support at least 100 Mbps. But no matter how many employees you have, if the internet is critical to your business success, you’ll want as much speed as you can get. If your business involves the heavy use of cloud-based applications, video or music streaming, video conferencing, online collaboration, internet-based telephone services, large graphic files, or frequent online backup, you should probably consider 100 Mbps or more. Similarly, if your business supports e-commerce, multiple locations, or a mobile workforce, you will probably want the highest speed connection you can afford. The highest bandwidths can improve speed, productivity and reliability, and provide your company with a real competitive edge.
Factor in The Future
Another important consideration is the future. If your business is growing, you will need more internet bandwidth to maintain your current speeds. Also, as we move into the future, more and more business functions are moving to the internet. For example, the rapidly expanding “Internet of Things” already provides an enormous volume of valuable information and automates processes that lead to better management, smarter marketing, more efficient production, faster fulfillment and improved customer service. To take full advantage of these innovations, you will need greater speed.