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What broadband speed does my business need?

When it comes to arranging business broadband, the numerous options and technical terms can quickly leave many of us feeling confused. We know how important a strong, fast, and reliable internet connection is for businesses, so we have compiled this useful guide to broadband speeds.

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What exactly is broadband speed?

Broadband speed, also known as bandwidth, is a measure of how quickly data can be downloaded or uploaded within a single second. The speed is measured in terms of megabits per second (Mbps), with faster internet benefitting from a greater megabit per second figure. Once the speed reaches 1,000Mbps, the measurement would switch to 1Gbps.

The actual term ‘broadband’ is a shortened version of the term ‘broad bandwidth’, which has replaced older dial-up internet services. There are many factors which contribute to broadband speed, such as the number of users connected to the network and the type of task they are completing. If multiple users are completing data heavy tasks, such as uploading large files or using video conferencing, the speed will slow down. This temporary interruption to speed is known as lag, which users can reduce by avoiding intense use during peak times.

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What is the difference between upload and download speed?

Download speed is the term used to describe how quickly data is sent from the internet to your computer, with almost every form of internet activity requiring the ability to download data. In contrast, the upload speed refers to the time it takes to transfer data from your computer to the internet, with faster upload speeds essential if you need to upload large files or use services such as VoIP.

Both the download and upload speed will have an impact on your business, so you should consider both figures carefully. In general, standard broadband will offer lower upload speeds than download speeds, however dedicated leased lines offer equal upload and download speeds.

What internet speed does my business require?

The goal of every business is to install a broadband connection which allows the business to run as efficiently as possible, so choosing the right internet speed is essential. The speed of your broadband connection will have an impact on everything from customer communications to employee productivity, with issues relating to speed quickly becoming apparent.

In general, the larger the number of users, the faster speed your business will require. For example, an office of two people will be able to manage on a lower speed than an office of twenty people, which is why larger businesses often install the fastest internet connections. This means that a small business with a single employee only using the internet occasionally will probably find that a plan with just 75Mbps is adequate. However, for larger businesses with multiple employees using the internet and phone simultaneously a connection of at least 1Gbps would be required.

Internet service providers understand that every business is different, so it is likely that you will find a speed tier which closely aligns your businesses specific requirements. The following are examples of download speeds and the type of activities which would be supported.

  • 5Mbps – This would support one or two users which are simply browsing online and sending occasional emails.
  • 25Mbps – Ideal for less than five users which require basic internet services such as file downloads and business communications.
  • 75Mbps – For between five and ten users, this download speed would be capable of supporting frequent file sending, video streaming and regular POS transactions.
  • 150Mbps – This would be ideal for between ten and fifteen users which need regular access to cloud services, file uploads and video conferencing.
  • 250Mbps – For larger businesses of more than 15 people which regularly stream videos and host conference calls and servers.
  • 500Mbps – Ideal for businesses with more than 20 people constantly accessing cloud-based servicers, large file backups and with multiple servers hosted.
  • 1Gbps + – This is the fastest connection type and will provide large businesses with quick and reliable internet access and no interruptions.

If you already have a broadband connection and have found that you need a faster connection, you should run an internet speed test. This will help you determine the current upload and download speeds which your business is receiving, so that you can find and arrange a faster connection. The ideal speed for your business may have changed from when you first arranged your contract, especially if your business has expanded or you are using new technology.

Here at BusinessComparison, we are committed to helping businesses find the best deals for their exact broadband requirements. Our team will get to know your current and future business needs and the type of service you require, so that we can match you to the ideal business broadband providers.

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