How Much Bandwith Do I Need?

Bandwith is a key currency for modern homes, businesses and public areas. More of life is centered around the connection to the internet and the speed and quality at which people can operate it. However, the need for bandwith varies widely. Gamers and streaming video watchers need more bandwith, while individuals that like using text sites more need less bandwith. Companies with large media consumption need a completely different level of bandwith. So all things considered, many different people are wondering how much bandwith do they need?

Individual users must consider how many devices they are using and what kind of internet surfing they are doing. If it is basic web tasks with little streaming of music or videos, they simply use 2 mbps for each device. Basic web tasks include reading news, writing emails, visiting social media sites and updating online calendars.

Most people go beyond simple basic tasks in their web surfing. For example, when they visit social media sites, they like to upload music, video and pictures to share with friends. Any kind of media sharing will require additional bandwith. For each users that plans on this type of activity, add an additional 10 mbps.

Music streaming is a common use for the internet including services like Spotify, Pandora and internet radio services. Add another 2 mbps per device for this activity. Streaming video is additionally a huge part of the internet. Services like Twitch, Netflix, Hulu and YouTube consume a massive amount of internet traffic. Add an additional 10 mbps for each device that uses these services. Although they do not consume the most bandwith each instance, video streaming services consistently take more bandwith than any other competing internet services. For that reason, they are the bandwith of internet service providers. They believe that the cost of serving these firms’ bandwith needs is greater than consumers pay for them.

On the other hand, cloud storage is one of the most bandwith heavy activities, although it does not occur consistently. Generally, users upload or download files from the cloud in specific instances. They don’t perform this activity for hours and hours on end every day like video services. Still, these users consume 50 mbps of bandwith per device. Businesses must be aware of this high bandwith cost because they are more likely to regularly use cloud services to mange operations. Companies upload and download financial documents, media, IP, legal documents and other data. They must be aware of the high bandwith cost.

Similarly, file downloading is one of the largest uses of bandwith on an instance by instance basis. Companies download files from emails, internal messaging systems, Skype and regular websites. These users use about 50 mbps for their activity per device.

Lastly, gaming is a very high use of data and bandwith. This activity is similar to video streaming in that it occurs constantly over time and is a very heavy use of bandwith. These users consume 25 mbps per user per device. Although downloading consumes more bandiwth per instance, gaming consumes much more over time.

Adding up all of the uses of bandwith, you can determine how much bandwith you need. Business with iPads, laptops, mobile phones and other internet connected devices in one office must account for the tremendous use of bandwith. In our modern age, this bandwith is the lifeblood of the firm and helps ensure high productivity. For that reason, companies are hiring experts to make sure that their bandwith needs are never interrupted.

BWS Technologies helps small, medium and large business with their IT needs. We help companies manage their bandwith, servers, internal systems and computers among other tasks. For more information, please contact us.

  • 05/04/2016
  • IT