Does your office internet connection crawl along at a snail’s pace?
Did you know that a sluggish internet connection is one of the top complaints of office workers? (The biggest is the office temperature!)
The good news is that there are many things you can do to improve this. Being aware of what is most likely to slow your internet down can help you streamline your usage and get the most out of your package. So here’s a list of the biggest culprits when it comes to eating up your bandwidth and slowing your system down.
Although some companies impose limitations on the size of messages and attachments, many do not. Emailing massive 5GB attachments may be convenient for employees, but it’s also a sure fire way to slow down your system.
Spam is another big culprit of high-bandwidth consumption. For every megabyte of mail traffic, there will be more than twice as much spam, which really impacts the quality of your connection – reducing its ability to support thousands of users down to just a few hundred.
Moving to Cloud Services
The expansion of Cloud services is changing the way bandwidth is used. The movement of email hosting to the cloud, for example through Office 375 and Google Apps, will also impact your internet speeds.
Although using Cloud services can free up space on an employee’s hard drives, the more it is used, the more bandwidth is consumed. And as the use of Cloud technology grows, the demands on bandwidth will grow too, which could lead to a bottleneck if there isn’t enough bandwidth to support the amount of people using the Cloud. While Cloud computing improves the interconnectedness of the system, it does slow down how quickly employees can access their data.
Streaming media is widespread and uses an incredible amount of bandwidth. If staff are watching videos on YouTube or streaming Netflix on their break, they’ll need a huge amount of bandwidth to get a quality HD picture. Netflix HD streams, for instance, require 7-10 Mbps. Streaming videos consumes far more bandwidth than many other web-based services.
Flexible working means people are video conferencing more than ever. Employees can work from home, or in remote locations, and need to connect with people nationally and even internationally. Video conferencing means people can have their meetings whenever and wherever, but it does mean more bandwidth being used. Video conferences can require anywhere from 128 Kbps for a low-quality desktop endpoint, up to 20 Mbps for an immersive three-screen telepresence suite. You can see how this could eat through the bandwidth you have.
The days of one laptop per person are long gone. Now many staff will have multiple devices, and may connect their phones and tablets to the network for their own personal use.
Employees often spend a significant amount of time checking their social media channels. They may also be using VoIP, or making calls over the internet. Whilst these calls are often free, they do use up bandwidth.
Review Your Connection
First, assess your bandwidth usage to find out how much your business needs so you don’t end up overspending.
Look at the number of employees using it in the office and estimate the amount of time they spend online.
Think about sending out an employee survey asking them how much time they think they spend online and what they’re doing, in order to raise awareness.
Remember that the amount of bandwidth you need will depend on the number of users AND the number of devices
For the Cloud – You’ll need to match your network capacity with your bandwidth needs. You can do this by knowing how much your bandwidth is used in the office once you’ve migrated all of your system to the Cloud.
Consider flexible working – By having more employees work from home or remotely, there will be fewer employees using the bandwidth, which will make the connection faster.
Get wise to your internet vampires and keep your staff, as well as your customers happy