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How Much Internet Speed Do I Need for My Business?

business internet speed

The Coronavirus pandemic has got many small business owners including employees to rely on home Internet. While some of us have been able to adjust with our home WiFi and Internet plans but many others need something bigger and better to continue working.

Are you thinking of investing in a business Internet plan but can’t figure out what speed you need? Read on to figure out the best speed to telecommute.

What’s the Average Business Speed?

The Internet needs for each business vary. In 2017, it was reported that the average Internet speed was 18.75 Mbps. A lot has changed since then and the average speed as of 2020 most certainly has increased.

Here’re the bandwidth estimates for common business tasks:

Business Tasks Estimated Bandwidth Required
Sending Basic Emails 1 Mbps
Sending Emails with Attachment 15 Mbps
Cloud-Based Services 5 Mbps
Transfer Data 2 Mbps
Instant Messaging 5 Mbps
Online Research 33 Mbps
File Sharing 5 Mbps
Bookkeeping 2 Mbps
Streaming a Webinar 5 Mbps
Streaming an Online Training Course 5 Mbps
Video Conferencing 4 Mbps
Uploading Large Files 2 Mbps
VoIP Calls 1 Mbps
VoIP Video Calls 28 Mbps

How Much Speed Does a Business Need?

So what is a good Internet speed? Let’s make things easier for you. For a small business owner, choosing the right speed matters. Employee productivity and smooth operations depend on it. To make sure you choose the right business Internet speed, follow these tips:

Access Your Current Speed

The first step is to figure out how much speed you currently have. Don’t just check your plan’s detail because it only tells maximum speed. It doesn’t tell what speed you are actually getting.

To figure that out, use Internet speed test tools. They tell you about your current download and upload speed in real-time. It’s recommended to run the speed test at different times of the day to determine how much the speed varies. This will help you pick the right speed plan and identify the peak traffic hours also.

Know the Difference between Download and Upload Speed

It’s significant to know the difference between the two. For home Internet plans, upload speed doesn’t matter much. However, in business, upload speed is as important as download speed.

Download speed is the rate at which data is transferred from the Internet to your PC. Most Internet activities require download speed. On the contrary, upload speed is the rate at which data is transferred from your PC to the Internet. This speed matters in business because sending files and emails is involved.

Understand the Types of Internet Connections

When shopping for reliable internet providers, you will come across three common types of connections:

DSL Plan

It’s one of the fastest and most convenient options. There’re good chances you are using DSL connection at home. It delivers speed over telephone lines but don’t worry, it doesn’t interfere with your phone conversation. Damage in the line or power outages can make you lose your connection though.

Fiber Optic Plan

Fiber optic is one of the most recommended types of the Internet for businesses. It promises whopping speed and low latency. It’s perfect for sending large business files and hosting video conferences.

Fiber optic cables use light to transfer data. Don’t worry, these cables are not like the DSL telephone lines. They are much more reliable and less susceptible to damage. Since it’s faster and more reliable, fiber optic connection costs more than DSL.

Satellite Internet

This type of connection transmits and receives data via small Satellite dishes located 22,000 miles above the earth. If your business is located in a remote area where DSL fiber-optic plans are not available, satellite might be your only option.

Satellite connection isn’t as fast as DSL and fiber optic but if you are getting one from a reliable ISP, you will get enough speed.

Other Factors Affecting Your Connection

It’s best to have a ballpark estimate of your average speed needs. This will help you decide how much internet speed do I need for business. To make your decision easier, here are some other external factors that affect speed:

Type of Device Used

The devices being used can limit Internet speed. For instance, if your device supports 100 Mbps only but your plan is beyond this speed, you will never experience full speed in action. It’s not just old PCs even old routers and modems can affect the speed you receive.

Size and Shape of Your Office

If you will be using Wi-Fi, the shape and size of the office will reduce signal strength. This may not be related to the speed but the type of connection you are planning to use.

Do the Math

Now that you know what is Internet speed and its basics, your current speed needs, and potential bottlenecks, it is time to do the math. Do remember that common tasks take less bandwidth than expected but when a number of people using are performing the same task, more bandwidth is required.

To make the final call, prepare the following:

What are Your Common Business Online Activities?

This includes all regular tasks your employees perform such as life sharing, online research, video conferring, hosting webinars, and more.

Create an Estimate of Each Activity

Write down the estimated bandwidth need for each activity and sum it up. This should give you a fair idea of how much speed your business needs.

How Many People Perform One Task at a Time?

Remember bandwidth requirement increases when a bunch of people is using the Internet to perform the same task at a time. Take that into account when figuring out your speed requirements. You wouldn’t want to kill productivity by settling for a lower speed plan.

Compare the Figure With Your Current Speed

Once you have the estimated figure ready, compare it to the current speed. If it’s lower than what you have signed up for, you definitely need to beef up your bandwidth. If it’s not, chances are there are issues with your network. You could be using outdated equipment too. However, if none of that seems to be the problem, it’s a sign you should switch providers.

Internet Speed Recommendations for Small Businesses

To help you decide, here are speed recommendations based on the business Internet needs of most small businesses:

Number of Employees Speed Recommendations Best For
1 to 5 employees 25 to 50 Mbps Web browsing, checking emails, sharing large files, video conferencing
5 to 12 employees 75 to 100 Mbps Remote collaboration, sharing large files, creating data backup, eCommerce site
12 to 15 employees 100 to 150 Mbps Video conferencing, streaming, download and uploading files to a cloud server
15 to 20 employees 150 to 500 Mbps Daily backup of data to the cloud server, web hosting, multiple eCommerce sites


These steps will give you a fair estimate of how fast your INTERNET should be to meet your current business needs. After determining speed, it’s recommended to do a thorough search to find reliable wireless Internet providers selling business Internet plans. Give a call at 1-855-850-5977 to find an Internet plan within your region.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much Internet speed do I need for business?

Anywhere between 25 and 500 Mbps download speed should be enough for your business needs. Remember, speed requirements are likely to vary from one business to another.

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