If you’re like many business owners, you’ve probably asked the question, How fast does the internet speed need to be for my business?

No matter what size your business is, it’s highly likely that you’re dependent on solid access to the internet. The modern office has quite a few necessities tied to the internet and that list will only get longer. IP phones, instant messaging, video conferencing and cloud storage are just a few of the many modern office necessities that rely on the internet. So how fast does the internet speed need to be to handle the current and growing list of devices on your network? Unfortunately, there’s not a one size fits all answer to this question but by breaking down some key aspects, we can get a much better idea of what type of connection and internet speed would be best for you.

Let’s first talk about what is on your network. The modern office has quite a bit of devices and applications that are dependent on a good internet connection. Computers, tablets, smartphones, IP phones, printers, servers, and security systems are all found in the typical modern office in addition to a variety of other devices that remain online. You multiply these numbers by the number of users using these devices, both employees and customers and you begin to see not only how much is on your network, but how important your network is to the efficiency of your business.

Depending on the specific needs of your business, there are multiple options when it comes to your connection to the internet. In this article, we’ll touch on the two main options for connection which will be relevant to the speed of the internet in your office.

Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) – A DIA connection means your business is directly connected to the internet and is not sharing that connection with any other businesses. This connection will be the most expensive but with that, it will be the most dependable in terms of speed consistency, network uptime, latency and more. Typically, a DIA will consist of a direct fiber-optic connection and because it’s not a shared connection, your speeds are guaranteed in both download and upload. So if you choose the 100mbps connection speed your provider offers, you’re guaranteed to receive that speed. Ballpark pricing for a 100mbps DIA connection will be in the $800-$1000 per month range but can vary from provider to provider.

Shared Internet Access – The alternative to having a direct connection or DIA is to have a shared connection to the internet. Most commonly this is offered through a cable modem (co-axial) or a fiber-optic network. Though you can still purchase high-speed packages, such as a 100mbps option, because the connection is shared you are not guaranteed to access that speed all of the time. This means that during peak hours of use, you could experience slower downloads, interrupted video conferencing but depending on your specific business, you may find that its performance is adequate. Ballpark pricing for a shared fiber connection is about half of the DIA connection we referenced above and ballpark pricing for a shared cable connection is even less than the fiber.

Once you’ve decided on how your business will access it, you’ll need to decide on the speed of your internet. Ultimately this depends on a few different aspects. How large is your company? Specifically, how many employees will be utilizing your network. A small office with just 2-3 employees will use quite a bit less bandwidth than a larger office with 50-100 employees so the internet speed that might work for the small office will likely be far too limiting for the larger. Additionally, you need to consider how many devices and types of applications are connected to the internet and how your businesses utilize the connection to remain efficient and effective. Consider whether the applications used are primarily cloud based which will require far more band-with than premised based applications. A business that is mainly surfing the web and using basic email and instant messaging services will require and be dependent upon their network speed than a call center or tech support office that is both constantly downloading and uploading information throughout the workday.

As an example, we’ve provided a chart below illustrating an approximate guide for internet speed based on employee count and activity. Note: This chart is designed for shared cable internet users. Organizations that are planning to use a DIA fiber connection should contact Vicom to get information specific to their individual needs.  This should only be used as an example, to get a detailed idea of the internet speed and connection that’s right for your business, fill out the form at the bottom of this article and we can have a specialist contact you for a free consultation.

 

 

Internet SpeedNumber of UsersNetwork Ability
25mbpsLess than 5Home office, basic web use, basic online communication, basic Wifi for employees
50mbpsUp to 50Basic Wifi for employees & clients, advanced file-sharing, VoIP phones, cloud applications
100mbpsUp to 100Advanced cloud computing, cloud back-up, Video Teleconferencing
300mbpsUp to 250Video Streaming, Server Hosting
500mbpsUp to 400Large Data Back-ups, Multiple Server Hosting
1GbpsUp to 750Enterprise office or Call Center with consistent speed and constant network up-time.

 

 

This article is one of many that we will be releasing concerning network technology in the workplace. We hope you find it useful and we look forward to providing you more information in the future.

If you have any questions or are interested in obtaining a customized solution for you and your orginization, please fill out this form below and we’ll contact you as soon as we can.

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