Whether you are running a small business or a large corporation, ensuring that your internet speed meets expectations is vital. An unstable or slow internet connection can quickly ruin productivity and make it much harder for employees to keep up with customers. Even worse, the compounding problem could lead to irreparable damage to both reputation and credibility.
As a business owner, it is essential to know what internet speed your service provider is giving you and a baseline of industry standards. However, it often is not that simple, and other factors, including connection types and associated equipment that is being used, could result in a slower internet connection speed. But what is a good internet speed for a business, and why should you care as a business owner?
Determining Your Unique Needs
Internet speed often hinges on two distinct factors: upload speed and download speed. While download speed relates to the rate data is transferred from the Internet to a computer, upload speed relates to the data transmitted from a computer to the Internet. While both are important, download speed will be the most important for a business.
A Closer Look at Internet Speed Requirements
On average, a residential internet user with devices used for research, browsing, or email will only need around 5 Mbps to function appropriately. However, when this is scaled to meet the needs of a business that has approximately 15 employees, a minimum speed of 150 Mbps will be needed to allow for data backups, cloud solutions, or video conferencing.
Since the math can get a little tricky, here is a cheat sheet to simplify your research:
Does a Router Impact Internet Speed?
While your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may guarantee a certain speed, this number may not translate correctly to your devices if you do not use the appropriate router or connection types. A business’s network can only achieve the internet connection speed that the slowest piece of technology in the chain can achieve – often, this will hinge on the router in use. Fortunately, router technologies have improved over the years and have kept up with ISP changes.
Many router manufacturers will list letters on their outer shell as defined by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards. This can span a specified range, encompassing A, B, G, N, AC, and AX. Of these letter options, only N through AX can meet speeds above 600 Mbps – with AX reaching between 10-12 Gbps. If you are unsure what router type you may need, working with an IT infrastructure specialist may be best.