How much bandwidth does your business really need?

If your answer to that question is, “As much as I can possibly get,” you’re playing right into the hands of (most) major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – and, in the process, very likely overpaying.

When it comes to bandwidth, think quality over quantity.

Bandwidth is often mistaken for speed, but it isn’t. Like we talk about here, if you imagine that your Internet service is like a major highway, bandwidth isn’t the speed limit; it’s the number of lanes available.

If your ISP keeps selling more and more bandwidth per connection, but still has the same number of MB available overall, the more users who are on that digital highway at a given time (say, rush hour), the more congested that bandwidth will be. We call this an oversubscribed network—and it’s a common phenomenon that you want to avoid.

Your ISP may have promised a six-lane highway, but that’s not helpful to you if everyone in the city is leaving at once. At that point, it doesn’t matter what the speed limit is. No one is going anywhere fast.

Okay, so what do I need?

The average residential user who’s trying to check e-mail and stream Netflix generally requires between 10Mb and 50Mb download speed, and just 3Mb to 5Mb upload. Businesses typically don’t require all that much more – say, 15Mb to 50Mb download. Increase the figure for upload if you’re working a lot with giant data files like videos.

As for that blazing fast speed your ISP promised you? You may well have no use for speed; effective internet service all comes down to the quality of your bandwidth.

We purposely keep our networks uncluttered – so you don’t compete with a lot of other subscribers for the same bandwidth. Want to learn more? Click here to check for service and pricing in your area.