How Much Bandwidth Does My Business Need?

Shopping for business internet isn’t just about finding the best service provider in your area. You also need to have a good idea of what speed of internet your business needs before you buy. To some IT people or business owners, this may seem like a simple thing. But it turns out that it’s not always easy to calculate. A quick search of the internet turns up lots of different results—and outdated information can skew speed estimates.

To make things simple, we’ve done a lot of the research for you and gathered data from a variety of reputable sources. We’ve also tried to hone the conversation down to address common ways businesses use internet. For example, to handle bursts in unexpected traffic, you may want to look at your company’s average speed and then double it when it comes time to buy. That 50% extra speed is a good buffer to prevent slowdowns.

For added insight, it’s good to test your current internet speed. This will let you know if there are slowdowns during the day or week holding up your business. You should also test your upload and download speeds to assess the quality of your connection to the Internet. It’s a good rule to test your speeds at different times of the day and on different days of the week to track differences and trends. Check out the Frontier Internet Speed Test to get started.

4 Factors to Consider When Calculating Bandwidth Needs

You can print this worksheet and use it to predict what’s ahead in terms of network traffic. With a bit of thoughtful planning, you can make sure that bandwidth hogs like VoIP video calls won’t slow down your internet to the point that you can’t get other work done. It’s also important to keep in mind that as you increase the number of simultaneous internet tasks, the speed of each one can decrease. This is because your internet service has a maximum speed—as you approach that max, your tasks will bog down. You can increase your internet speed, or plan around doing things at the same time. For example, you can schedule data intensive backups to occur after business hours.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Determine how many people will use your internet at the same time.
  2. Factor in what they will be doing.
  3. Calculate the bandwidth needed per task.
  4. Total up the bandwidth you need for all tasks happening at the same time.
  How Many People      Traffic Estimate   Bandwidth Needed
Example: Email                   5              1.15 MB              5.75 Mbps
Backup                2 Mbps
Cloud services              1.5 Mbps
Email no attachment               1 Mbps
Email with attachment            1.15 Mbps
File sharing              0.5 Mbps
Messaging              0.5 Mbps
Online banking              0.2 Mbps
Online research            0.33 Mbps
Social media              0.2 Mbps
Streaming webinar              1.5 Mbps
Training webinar              1.5 Mbps
Uploading photos              1.5 Mbps
Uploading large files               2 Mbps
Video conferencing               4 Mbps
VoIP calls           0.01 Mbps
VoIP video calls           1.28 Mbps
Web browsing          0.33 Mbps
Wi-Fi              1 Mbps
    Total Bandwidth

Frontier Business Internet is available in many areas with speed options that fit your business needs. Visit Frontier Business Internet to check what’s available in your area.


Frontier Communications offers voice, broadband, satellite video, wireless Internet data access, data security solutions, bundled offerings, specialized bundles for small businesses and home offices, and advanced business communications for medium and large businesses in 29 states with approximately 28,000 employees based entirely in the United States.

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