Have you noticed how sometimes your office internet speed slows down considerably? Dallas is blessed with above-average internet speeds, so you can’t blame the city. The more likely cause is too many employees are logged on at the same time and loading problematic content, like apps or HD videos.
Think of your internet connection as a highway, and its bandwidth is the number of lanes. The wider the highway, the quicker traffic moves. But the highway can get congested. Perhaps there are too many vehicles, or maybe there are heavy-duty vehicles moving too slowly, causing a pile-up behind them.
In internet terms, too much congestion, or stress, in your network will make it harder to create, collaborate, and finalize work. You need to manage your bandwidth to maximize your office internet.
System overload: when and why
Here are some common symptoms of an overloaded network:
- Uploading and downloading takes longer than usual
- Web pages don’t fully load
- Web pages need to be refreshed often
- Internet-based phones drop calls or have unclear audio
These symptoms can be the result of dozens of issues. Certain software and cloud services use large amounts of bandwidth during updates and system backups, or when they’re sending and receiving large files.
But the most common causes involve employees’ use of the internet. These slowdowns can range from work-unrelated web browsing to unexpected spikes in employee needs.
All these causes should be considered when coming up with a system to manage your office bandwidth.
Improving security with bandwidth management
Beyond improving your internet speed and optimizing its efficiency, bandwidth management also helps prevent threats intruding your network, including:
- Spyware - software that allows strangers to obtain your company’s information covertly
- Phishing - emails from supposed reputable companies that trick recipients into revealing sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, and the like
- Malware - malicious software that damages or disables your computer
- Ransomware - a type of malware that locks you out of your computer until a sum of money is paid
Now that you know why bandwidth management is important, the next question is: How do you take advantage of it? Here are some things an IT provider can do for you with a bandwidth management solution:
Control via software:
- Block access to content-streaming websites. While an occasional video doesn’t consume much bandwidth, allowing all your employees access to streaming sites during office hours does have a cumulative effect.
- Throttle cloud backup applications. When using the cloud to back up your files, an unthrottled backup application will use up as much of your bandwidth as it can.
- Centralize application updates. Most applications are now updated via the internet. If a handful of employees update an application at the same time, your bandwidth will suffer. An IT provider like Qoverage can install a solution that downloads one application update, then forwards it to other computers without using internet connection.
Control your employees’ activities:
- Look for problem users. You'd be surprised how many times we've been called to solve a bandwidth problem only to find that employees have found ways to install peer-to-peer file-sharing software or access blocked streaming services. This can be easily solved with proactive IT support.
- Optimize your VoIP connections. Voice over Internet Protocol is, in its simplest form, a phone system that uses the internet instead of wired circuits. Clear and reliable phone calls are a priority for most businesses, which is why you should have a dedicated "lane" for any VoIP connection.
Protect your system:
Filter out bandwidth hogs in the cloud. You can keep problematic files and connections from ever making it to your network with email protection solutions and cloud firewalls.
Sound complicated? It’s only because there are many things to consider before choosing the right solutions. Bandwidth management requires a bespoke set of solutions for every company’s unique needs. At Qoverage, we have the experience and the right tools for the job. Let us know what your Dallas-area business needs, and we’ll design a customized solution for you. Contact our experts today.