IT Support

What’s slowing your bandwidth?

Every time you send or receive data online you need bandwidth and if you are using many devices especially in an office, your bandwidth may not be able to cope, slowing down your processes and efficiency.

What is bandwidth and what’s putting pressure on it?

Bandwidth is the amount of information that can be sent or received per second. This is measured in Kbps (thousands of bits per second) or more usually Mbps (millions of bits per second). So higher bandwidth means faster speed, however, its only one factor that affects response time, bandwidth is actually about capacity rather than speed.

Eight bits of information is one byte and a byte is the amount of memory it takes to store one character such as a single letter.

The same as you can’t drive fast on a one lane road in heavy traffic you can’t navigate the information highway if there is online congestion. If you are in the office early or late you may not have any problems but as more people arrive at work and start using communicating online then your online speed will decrease.

What is using bandwidth?

There is greater demand on bandwidth every day. You may be using cloud services for greater mobility and peace of mind but sharing your data in real time requires bandwidth usage to synchronise your data. If you happen to be backing your data up at the same time as a video call with a client, your connection could suffer and you could keep dropping in and out of the conversation – not the best advertising for your company.

Using an online meeting tool whether audio or visual can also slow things down for others.

Even email needs bandwidth to send and receive data, the bigger the files the more the bandwidth activity. Uploading a few PDFs between 20-40mb in size can choke a network with limited capacity.

Your employees can also slow your bandwidth capacity with their own devices. Smartphone’s will often start backing up to the cloud when they detect your Wi-Fi network, again choking your bandwidth.

Bandwidth usage solutions

Often there is no option for increasing your bandwidth because the infrastructure where you are located will not support it and you are already getting the most capacity your provider can offer.

There are ways however to better manage bandwidth:

  • Switch to a business grade router or a Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliance. These allow you to identify and manage bandwidth better and they can also add security such as firewalls and filtering to your connection.
  • Block some devices entirely such as employees phones backing up to the cloud.
  • Schedule some activities for a more convenient time such as system backups to happen at night when fewer people are online.
  • Set up Quality of Service (QoS) to rank the activities your business values more such as video conferencing taking preference ahead of file downloads.

If you want to know more about your bandwidth and implementing solutions then give us a call on 01543 889 444.

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