Most business leaders and owners are quite aware of how much their companies rely on the use of computers and the internet on a daily basis. However, simply having access to the internet doesn't mean you're benefitting as much as you could from its efficiencies. The importance of internet speed should not be overlooked when evaluating your company's technology functions.
So, you might be wondering, “How important is my internet speed to my business?”
The short answer?
In an effort to keep this from being the least informative blog post in the history of the interwebs, I suppose I will attempt to answer the above question in greater detail.
Download Speed vs. Upload Speed
For the sake of clarity, let's first define the terms, "Download Speed" and "Upload Speed." Download Speed is the rate of data transfer from the internet to a specific user's computer. Upload Speed refers to the speed at which data is sent from a user's computer out to a website on the internet.
Most people consider an internet connection to be either fast or slow based on the Download Speed that they get from their Internet Service Provider (ISP). For most people, this is the most relevant information for their day-to-day needs. But, for those of us who aren’t able to spend their day streaming Netflix or playing fantasy football at work, there is more to be considered.
In the business world, Upload Speed has become increasingly important to communicating with clients and keeping the lights on and the rent paid. Your Upload Speed, or the speed at which your important data can reach its destination, can often be critical to business operations. As many businesses are using VoIP phones to communicate these days, slow Upload Speed can mean that only a few calls can be happening simultaneously before call quality suffers. This is bad.
VoIP Systems and Internet Speed
VoIP phones are awesome. I have to say that… I sell them. But they really ARE! They allow you to use the internet to connect with people across great distances and at a fraction of the cost of traditional land lines. See… Awesome. (You can read more about the benefits of upgrading your business phone system in our related blog post.)
But, if you are looking to leverage the flexibility and rich feature set of a cloud-based VoIP phone system to run your business more efficiently, you have to be prepared to create an optimal environment for such a tool to function in.
Here are some easy things to remember to ensure you have enough bandwidth for the number of VoIP handsets you intend to use for your business:
- If you have an upload speed of 5Mb (35Mb Download/5Mb Upload speed is typically considered pretty high speed) you could, in theory, have 50 calls going on at once.
- This number goes down if you are using bandwidth by downloading data.
- It is imperitive to know how many simultaneous calls you could potentially have going on at a given time.
The Big Picture
Fast Download Speed is great, but remember that if you are using VoIP technology for your business, you have to pay attention to the big picture. This means having a fast internet speed, but also factoring in the demands placed on your systems. You must consider the importance of internet speed and recognize that your business productivity depends on your technology working at peak performance.
Now, speaking of productivity, stop reading blogs on company time and get back to work!
Image credit: high speed