How Much Internet Speed Do You Need for Your Business?

what internet speed do i need

The Internet pervades every aspect of how we conduct business in the 21st Century. eCommerce opens our businesses to a global clientele. Digital marketing spreads the word and shares the love.

88% of small businesses in America currently have websites. 65% of those businesses feel that their website makes their company appear more trustworthy. Considering that eCommerce is a $4.878 billion industry worldwide, we can’t overlook the importance of the Internet in a small business’ success.

Whether you’re looking to build your reputation or develop your eCommerce sales funnel, you’ll need an Internet connection for your small business. But how much bandwidth is necessary to help your business succeed?

If you’ve been wondering “What Internet speed do I need?” we’re here to answer your questions. Read on!

What Internet Speed Do I Need for My Small Business to Succeed?

As with most technology, faster often means better.

There’s a little bit more to it than that, however. Internet speed has multiple metrics that will influence the idea of what a good Internet speed is.

What Bandwidth Do I Need?

Internet speed is predominantly measured in two ways. Download speed is how fast you’re able to pull things off the Internet. Upload speed is how quickly you’re able to transfer documents.

Both speeds are measured in bytes-per-second. Certain ISP providers might advertise a speed of “up to 5/1 Mbps.” The first number is the download speed. The second is the upload.

Since the advent of DSL and high-speed Internet, some Internet connections for business can get up to 1 Gig-per-second! That means you’d be able to download a 2-hour movie in about 1 second.

Not every business is going to need that kind of bandwidth, however. Unless you’re regularly working with massive files, like HD photos or raw video files, you’d likely be better served by finding a more modest Internet plan.

Another thing to keep in mind when determining what Internet speed is right for your small business is how many employees you have. If you have more than 10 people working for you, you may want to invest in a more robust Internet connection. Having a lot of people uploading, emailing, and collaborating digitally can slow your connection to a crawl.

You should also ask yourself “How much bandwidth do I need?” according to what you’ll predominantly use your Internet connection for. Things like video streaming or online gaming are notoriously demanding on Internet connectivity.

If you’re wondering “How many Mbps do I need?” for different activities, here’s a rough guide to Internet speeds for different online activities.

Your Guide to Internet Bandwidth (By Intended Use)

Faster is often better with ISPs. But you don’t want to pay for more than you’re going to use.

If you’re just going to be browsing the Internet, sending emails, or using social media, an average upload speed of 1 Mbps should be fine.

If you’ll be using the Internet for more high-end consumer ends, like streaming video or playing online video games, 1-3 Mbps will ensure you enjoy smooth, unbroken streaming.

If your small business will be using streaming for more sensitive tasks, like video conferencing, a 3-4 Mbps Internet connection will make sure you don’t drop any calls with important clients.

If you’re planning on streaming or transferring high-end video and graphics, a 5-8 Mbps Internet connection will make that process much less painful.

If you regularly transfer large files, like video editors or photographers, you may want to go all the way up to a 50 Mbps connection.

Do keep in mind ISPs advertise up to a certain amount. That doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to access those speeds. You might want to overshoot to ensure your Internet connection is dependable.

If you’re looking for Internet providers in your area, you can look up Internet providers by zip code.

Different Types of Internet Connections

The speed of your Internet connection will largely depend on the configuration of your network. There are numerous types of high-speed Internet connections available for small-business owners.

ADSL broadband is high-speed Internet that uses regular phone lines. This is what most commercial Internet plans offer. ADSL offers up to 25/5 Mbps.

ADSL broadband tends to be on the exchange with numerous other Internet customers, however. Service can be severely diminished during peak hours.

Fiber broadband is the next upgrade. Instead of running through the phone lines, fiber broadband runs off of a fiber optic cable to a dedicated transfer box. This eliminates choppy, sporadic service during peak hours.

Fiber broadband runs up to 80/20 Mbps.

Ethernet is similar to fiber broadband but is even more reliable. Rather than relying on a single fiber optic cable, Ethernet uses a pair of braided fiber optic cables. If one cable goes down, you’ll have a backup.

It is extremely difficult to disrupt an Ethernet connection. With a speed of 45/45 Mbps, an Ethernet connection should be enough for even the most robust Internet-savvy small business.

Taking the time to find the right Internet connection will make your digital business run more smoothly. You’ll be able to focus on building your business instead of constantly troubleshooting. It will also save you endless hours of frustration and headaches waiting for large files to download.

Want to Learn More Ways to Grow Your Small Business?

Now that you’ve answered “What Internet speed do I need?” you can focus on building your brand or business.

There are hundreds of ways you can go about doing that. Spend some time with our SEO tools to learn how to get your site ranking on the search engines.

Then use our free SEO site audit tool to see how your domain measures up.