What is a Good Internet Speed for Business in 2021?
The need for speed is greater than ever before. Businesses are making rapid-fire shifts to keep up as their customers, employees, and business processes are strained in new ways:
- More people are working remotely — either full or part-time.
- More client meetings are happening remotely.
- More cloud software is being deployed that requires a strong connection to the internet to operate effectively.
The cloud is taking over, and more and more bandwidth is needed. The need is going to continue to increase as more business functions move to the cloud.
If your business relies on connectivity to conduct business (isn't that almost every business nowadays?!?!), you can’t afford slow service. Let's talk about what good business internet speeds should look like moving forward.
Business Internet Speeds
Due to the shakeup of workforces and office usage, business internet needs are in flux. Cloud services and video conferencing are straining many business internet services.
Companies are requiring faster connections to maintain the perception of professionalism as they engage clients around the world. Slow internet is quickly becoming a sign of a less prepared company. And cable companies are notorious for their slow upload speeds.
To avoid that moniker, here's what you need to know about internet speeds in 2021.
Speed vs. Bandwidth
Your connection to the internet and how fast you can work depends on two factors — speed and bandwidth.
In fact, the internet speed that you purchase from your provider doesn’t have anything to do with how fast your network actually works.
- Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be moved per second.
- Speed measures how fast data moves within your bandwidth.
Think of it like this.
- Data is all the cars on a road.
- Bandwidth is the road.
- Speed is how fast the cars travel on the road.
Cars can increase their speed and reach their destination faster if you have more lanes and fewer cars on the road.
Similarly, your internet will be faster if you have more bandwidth (lanes in the road) and less data (users or applications) traveling that road.
How Do You Use the Internet?
The way you and your team are using the internet will be a huge factor in calculating what your desired speed and bandwidth will need to be.
Your video needs are probably higher now than ever before.
Many employees are meeting with each other and with clients over the internet. They're attending virtual trade shows and conferences. They're watching online training and leadership announcements. The list could go on, but the important thing to note is that when all this video consumption is happening at the same time, it's taxing on your bandwidth.
More companies are also switching to cloud-based software that allows more of your files and data to be accessed or worked with off-site.
This could include software that runs entirely in the cloud, such as project management, enterprise resource planning, or customer relationship management systems. But it also includes data storage options like Dropbox, Google Drive, virtual shared drives, and many others.
You’re likely relying on the internet more than ever before — but you also have more people using it at one time as well. Remember the example we shared about cars on the road? When more people in your company are trying to access information online at the same time, your data highway gets crowded and speeds will slow down.
You can experience “data rush hours” when everyone is online at the same time as well. For example, if your product team is responsible for uploading product photos every day at 4pm, that would cause your speeds to slow down.
Do You Need a Dedicated Internet?
You can also choose between shared vs. dedicated business internet.
When you register for a shared business internet plan, your service provider estimates how many people will need access all at once. The provider signs more people up than required because it assumes they will not all require the transmission of high amounts of information at once. This is typically how cable companies sell their Internet connectivity.
Download and upload speeds have limits. If traffic is light, the download speeds will increase. If the traffic is heavy, the rates will slow down. Usually, download speeds are not determined because it depends entirely on what everyone is doing on the shared system.
Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) is a fantastic form of internet access. With this plan, your business is the only subscriber receiving a specific amount of bandwidth. The bandwidth is for your use only. Your access is not oversubscribed and doesn't have a guaranteed limit. Performance is consistent and has minimums and uptime. Download and upload speeds are usually the same.
What's the Speed You Need
Generally speaking, each user should maintain speeds around 100 Mbps for business Internet connectivity. When you factor in everything above, you may realize you need to pay for greater speeds in order for your team members to achieve this number.
Many companies will offer smaller packages, including 25, 50, and 75 Mbps, but given the need for speed in the modern business world, these may not be enough.
Get the Service that Meets Your Internet Demands
Choosing between the two types of internet depends on your needs and costs, your company's size, and your internet use. This information can help you make the best decision for your company.
If you're a smaller organization with standard internet needs and a small amount of cloud and large file transfers — you will likely need a shared plan. But if you are a larger company with more large files transferred and heavy internet needs, a dedicated service maybe be the best choice for you.
Get an expert to ascertain your usage needs, and they can tell you exactly how much speed and bandwidth you will need and what kind of connection your business can use to power your business through a new decade of information. Get a quote today.