As a business owner who uses the internet to sell products or services, it’s important to be aware of the impact that internet speed has on your business.
In this post, we will go over the essential notions you need to know about internet connection and speed. You will also understand why internet speed is important to run your business efficiently and how to choose between the most suitable internet connection option.
The Essentials of Internet Speed
The term internet speed is used to describe how fast data is transferred from the internet to your computer, smartphone or tablet.
Internet speed is made of two key elements: download speed and upload speed. The former indicates how fast you can receive data from the internet, while the latter denotes how fast you can send data to the internet.
There are three main units of measurement for internet speed:
Kilobits per second (Kbps): one kilobit is made of 1,000 bits, the smallest unit of data.
The term Kbps indicates how many kilobits are transferred per second. This type of internet speed used to be popular on dial-up internet services. An internet connection relying on 56 or 128 Kbps is generally considered too slow by today’s standards.
Megabits per second (Mbps): 1,000 kilobits make one megabit. Megabits are often used to measure files like high-resolution images and mp3 files. Most internet connections nowadays run on an average speed ranging anywhere from 1 Mbps to 30 Mbps.
Gigabits per second (Gbps): One gigabit consists of 1,000 megabits. With an internet speed of just 1 Gbps, you can download an entire movie in mere seconds. This level of internet speed is often used by large companies.
The 4 Main Internet Connection Options to Consider
Access to the internet has evolved a lot in the last two decades. For most businesses, there are four major options when it comes to choosing an internet connection:
DSL / ADSL: The Digital Subscriber Line, or DSL, uses the telephone line to receive and send data. The Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) differs in that the download speed is higher than the upload speed. Using the DSL / ADSL requires a specific modem and relies on the telephone line
Cable: cable internet access relies on the same kind of copper coaxial cable used for cable television. It connects a home or office to a neighborhood node supplied by internet service providers. Cable internet is usually faster than DSL or ADSL. But if the cable is damaged, the internet connection is lost until it’s fixed.
Wireless: this method foregoes cable and telephone, using instead radio frequency bands. That way, you can access the internet anywhere within the wireless network area with no need for cables.
Fiber Optics: this last option relies on light traveling through glass fiber tubes to transfer data. It allows the fastest internet speeds by far. Fiber optics are also more reliable and secure than other options – they are often used in big industries like health, telecommunications or automotive. Keep in mind, though, that they’re more expensive than the alternatives and might not be available in some rural areas.
The Effects of Slow Internet Connection on Your Business
Internet users are less and less patient. If it takes more than 3 seconds for a web page to load (which largely depends on your internet uploading speed), most website visitors will go back to the Google search results or simply close the tab. In other words, a slow internet connection means you are losing customers who came to your website.
Slow page loading also negatively affects your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This means that if your website is slow to load, it’s less likely to rank high in search engine results. Having a website that loads fast improves its online visibility and more internet users will be able to find it.
A slow internet connection will also result in sharing files among coworkers taking more time, driving down productivity. You will also lose customers if your website is down or customer service interactions take too long.
How Much Internet Speed Do You Need for Your Business?
A high-speed internet connection will help you run your business better and faster, but you need to choose the most efficient option for your needs. For instance, it doesn’t make much sense to pick fiber optics for a small team that mostly browses the web. Here are the main factors to consider when choosing your internet connection speed:
How many employees do you have? Your internet connection speed will be split among the people who are using it, so the more employees you have, the faster your internet connection should be.
How do they use the internet? Is the bulk of their internet usage focused on browsing sites and sending emails? Or do they have to regularly download and upload large files? For example, if your business often relies on live streaming for things like social media marketing, webinars, or interviews, then you need a large internet bandwidth to support the heavy use of video streaming. In case you’re wondering, internet bandwidth is the conduit that allows a certain amount of data to be transferred at a given time. The larger a bandwidth is, the more data you can send and receive without slowing down the internet speed.
How many people visit your website, and what do they do on it? The bigger your website traffic is, the faster your internet speed needs to be, or else the visitors will experience slow load times and won’t be able to download or upload content. Users of cloud-based solutions who are experiencing lags will quickly switch to a competitor’s solution.
When looking for an Internet Service Provider, use these criteria to compare offers and make the right choice:
- The advertised internet speed
- The price and bundling options
- The quality of customer service
- The reliability of internet connection in and out of urban areas
Internet speed affects your bottom line. It’s important to assess your current internet speed and whether it fits your needs and your growth potential. If you want to test your internet speed, simply go to SpeedCheck and click on the blue button displayed for a quick test.