This is a subjective question that will depend on many factors, from the size of your business to the type of business you own. Your Internet speed needs will depend heavily on how you conduct everyday tasks such as emailing, file exchanging, the use of cloud-based software, and videoconferencing.

That said, Internet speed requirements will vary greatly by business, with speed needs increasing with the growth of your company and adoption of more data-intensive processes. Let’s go over some factors to consider when determining your Internet speed requirements. If you’re still unsure, hiring an IT services company in Winchester VA can help you decide.

Factors When Determining Internet Speed Requirements

Here’s what to think about when coming up with a realistic number for your Internet speed requirements.

  • The type of business you operate
  • Whether or not you regularly upload and download large files
  • If your current Internet capacity is limited to communicating with customers and sending emails
  • The extent to which your business depends on fast Internet speeds
  • The number of employees who use the network at any given time

Once you know the answer to these considerations, you can better plan for optimal Internet speed coverage.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into these factors.

Number of employees

The more people who will be using the Internet in your office on a daily basis, the more speed you will need and the more bandwidth you will need. Take a headcount and add in enough padding for additional employees who you will need to hire later on. You don’t want to have to reevaluate your Internet speed in two months when you’ve added a few members to your team.

Number of devices

Now, consider how many devices are connected to the Internet at the same time. This will also impact bandwidth. Just like above, you’ll want to plan ahead. Every new employee you add on later will probably operate with more than one device, which means you’ll have to add more connected devices, such as video conferencing equipment, at some point. Budget for that need.

Age and ability of devices

The devices themselves will affect the efficient use of bandwidth. Old or slow devices aren’t always able to process all the Internet speed you’ll require, much less what you’re actually paying for. Old or slow devices essentially create a bottleneck in the system, so you may also want to take this time to consider adding new equipment. This will ensure you’re making the most efficient use of the bandwidth you’re getting.

Employee activity

Think about how your employees conduct their daily work activities in the office. Do they primarily use video conferencing to hold meetings? Do they use cloud applications? Do they download and upload large files constantly? Do they do a lot of streaming?

These activities all take much more bandwidth than simple tasks such as sending emails. To accommodate all that Zoom, Dropbox, and Spotify usage, you will need to get enough bandwidth to support it.

Sample Bandwidths

You can start by running an Internet speed test to see where your company is falling in terms of Internet speed. Then, an IT services provider can step in and take you the rest of the journey for a more specific amount. Check out these common Internet speed options. The one that aligns with your unique business needs will depend on the above factors and others:

  • 100 Mbps: This is ideal for smaller businesses with basic Internet needs. This speed will accommodate simple emails, some light cloud application activity (i.e., Google Docs), and some voice over IP (VoIP) calls. You can’t make several video calls simultaneously however.
  • 500 Mbps: This is ideal for small-to-medium offices with middle of the road Internet usage. You can send more emails with attachments and accommodate employees who may be using the phone more frequently. You can get regular access to cloud applications, as well the ability to make simultaneous video calls.
  • 1 Gbps: This is best for larger companies with many employees performing bandwidth-heavy activities, such as simultaneous video calls, the sending and receiving of large files via the cloud or email, and regular cloud computing.

Knowing what your activity levels are now will greatly determine the Internet speed you will need in the future.

Get an Assessment From Cardinal Technology Solutions

Not sure how much Internet speed you really need? Book a consultation with our team and we can take a look at your current system to identify ways in which you can increase productivity, security, uptime, and peace of mind with adequate Internet speed for your business needs. Our goal is to implement proactive solutions to ensure your business network infrastructure stays fast and secure in order to continue to drive productivity and growth. Get a free quote from Cardinal Technology Solutions on network expansion so you can grow with your business.