Coleman Technologies Blog
Last time, we started our discussion on the best search engines by talking about the behemoth, Google. While Google is, by far, the most popular and commonly used, and arguably the most accurate search engine, it doesn’t mean it’s always the right search engine to use. Let’s talk about some other alternatives and see where they might fit in.
Even if you lived under a rock, you’ve probably done a Google search or two. There are, in fact, other search engines, each with their own pros and cons. We’re going to compare some of the most popular search engines and talk about what makes them different.
We often talk about how the Internet of Things can create security issues in businesses if not properly handled. While there are some very real threats that can be posed by the IoT in the workplace, there is no denying that it can also serve some very real utility there as well.
These Link Checking Tools Might Save Your Bacon
We often talk about scams and cyberthreats, and lately our advice for dealing with a potential phishing threat is to simply avoid it altogether.
Tips to Help You Determine How Much Bandwidth You Need
For small businesses, having a fast, reliable Internet connection is needed to run all the digital tools that your staff has come to depend on. If you don’t have the bandwidth in place, you can deal with bottlenecks that can ruin communications, stall productivity, and cause operational issues of all types. Today, we’ll take a look at how to determine the amount of bandwidth you need to support your business’ computing infrastructure.
Tip of the Week: Making Use of Chrome Actions
Introducing Chrome Actions
Chrome Actions take the familiar address bar of the Chrome Internet browser and add some extra utility to it. Rather than specifying a webpage or network location to visit in the address bar (known as the “omnibar” to very few of us), Chrome now accepts very basic commands as input, and will follow these commands when they are entered.
Let’s discuss what this signifies, and how this may shape how users authenticate themselves in the future.
Short for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, CAPTCHA has long been the standard tool used by Google to prevent automated spam from polluting the Internet by requiring (in theory) a human being to interact with content in some way before allowing access or a task to successfully be completed.
Tip of the Week: Specifying Your Google Queries
Improving Your Google Queries
If you want to tell Google to omit certain potential results from your search, you can use the hyphen/subtraction mark to define what you don’t want considered.
A Look at the Numbers
Before the pandemic hit, it was believed that roughly 5.2 percent of Americans worked out of their home. That’s about 8 million people, and that number is fairly recent, from 2017. By the end of 2019, we can estimate it was maybe between 5.5 percent to 6 percent.
We can simplify this and say one out of every 20 American workers worked from home before the pandemic.
We like to talk about the major security problems that could come from using public Wi-Fi networks. Data security can be severely compromised by using some unsecured wireless connections. Then you have the issue of unpredictable (and often unreliable) network speeds and the need to routinely give over your personal information to sign in that can be plenty annoying. In the future, these considerations should dissipate as 5G technologies and new ways of sharing information begin to take hold.
There are three technologies looking to change wireless network access forever. They are Wi-Fi 6, 5G, and Hotspot 2.0.
5G just stands for the fifth generation of wireless technology. 5G, which started rolling out in 2019, is promising gigabit speeds to every user. For reference, gigabit speeds are approaching (and sometimes surpassing) the speeds delivered by fiber optic cable. By being able to broadcast wireless signals at those speeds will allow for an unprecedented level of innovation.
In fact, the capabilities are virtually endless with this type of networking speed. At the very least, it will highlight the capabilities of emerging technologies that require fast data speeds such as augmented reality and autonomous cars/trucks as viable technology for the very first time.
Wi-Fi 6 is the newest version of Wi-Fi. It is said to provide up to 40 percent higher available network speeds as compared to current Wi-Fi. For the vast majority of people, the data caps, data speed throttling, and overage charges are unfortunate realities when purchasing wireless platforms. Wi-Fi, therefore, is needed to bridge the gap to help us all avoid the major costs associated with wireless networking delivery. Wi-Fi 6, like Wi-Fi 5 before it, will be an essential part of doing business in the future.
So unfortunately 5G won’t eliminate the need for Wi-Fi. As a result, Wi-Fi hotspots will continue to be an important part of computing on the go. Hotspot 2.0, also referred to as Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint, removes a lot of the agita from using unsecured wireless networks by improving security and taking the actual connection out of the network deliverer’s hands. Essentially, when your phone comes in contact with a Hotspot 2.0 connection it will connect your phone automatically, using encryption to keep your data and the connection more secure.
Over the next few years you will begin to see public places switching over to Hotspot 2.0. It will become the standard for wireless hotspots, limiting the need for third-party software that often confronts users of today’s hotspots or hospitality visitors.
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Considerations for Your Business Networking Setup
One of the first things you should know is what might be a part of your network infrastructure. You’ll likely be working with at least one network switch and at least one router. A network switch allows all the technology on your network to communicate with one another through network cables, while the router provides wireless capabilities and connectivity. Your modem enables you to access the Internet.
Networking Best Practices
As your network is such an important tool to your business’ success, you need to be sure that it is sufficiently prepared for this task. To do so, it will help to keep to the following tips in mind:
- Skip the consumer level. Networking products come in a variety of “grades,” intended for consumer or business use. When equipping your business with these solutions you should only use options made for professional applications. This is because the consumer-based ones are simply not secure enough for business purposes, and likely will not be able to support your business’ needs.
- Incorporate some redundancy. In the event that your business suffers from a disaster, you will want to be sure that your network is reliable enough to make it through and bounce back. Having a data backup and disaster recovery platform will build the redundancy you need to protect your network.
- Plan for future growth. Or in other words, make sure that the network you put in place can be scaled to your business’ future expansion, and that it can incorporate the solutions you will ideally grow into.
Coleman Technologies is here to assist as needed. Our team can help optimize your business’ network to best fit its needs and your professional development. To learn more, reach out to us at (604) 513-9428.
The Wireless Connection
There is one obvious benefit: No wires! Not having to run cable is a massive benefit, but the biggest benefit of this might just be the ability to connect devices to a wireless network inside your business. By giving your team access to network resources wirelessly, you’ll see better collaboration, improved productivity, and produce better products and services.
Additionally, with a strong wireless network, you can promote some strategies that can work to improve your operational effectiveness. One of those strategies is a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy. Many of your employees bring their smartphones with them when they come to work. By enacting a BYOD strategy, your staff can take advantage of the devices they are most used to advance the goals of the company.
Even many wireless technologies aren’t actually wireless. Even the ones that are, need to be charged regularly, so while expanding your wireless network will provide the ability to compute inside the network’s perimeter, setting up a more collaborative workspace still comes with some drawbacks. Namely speed and security.
Wireless connections are more vulnerable than wired ones. It’s easier for unauthorized individuals to hijack the signal of a wireless connection and can provide a third-party that is looking to gain access, more of it to the critical information that is transmitted wirelessly.
The Wired Connection
When dealing with wired networks, IT admins have more control over what devices can connect to the network. This presents values several ways. First, there is more control over the security protocols on those devices, making contracting malware and other negative outcomes less likely.
Wired connections also enhance an organization’s ability to keep their devices free from security threats. Controls have improved to the point where it is actually more difficult for attackers to break into a wired network.
Additionally, it may go without saying, but wired networks are overall faster than wireless networks. This speed boost is magnified if there are walls, floors, ceilings, or any other potential interference to seeing optimal speeds over Wi-Fi.
The biggest setback to a wired Internet network is the act of wiring the network. Initial setup is a pain, as you need to hide cables and find ways to run cable as to not hinder the thoroughfares around your business. It is also a hindrance for maintenance if a cable fails or hardware has to be moved around due to business growth or restructuring.
Another detriment to the business is that a wired connection doesn’t allow for the type of mobility many businesses are looking for nowadays. With a wireless connection meetings are faster, more to the point, and collaborative work can be fluid.
You have a business decision to make; and, while it may not be the most crucial one you will make, it can have an effect on how your business functions. For help networking your business, call the professionals at Coleman Technologies today at (604) 513-9428.
Bandwidth is one of those terms that you think you understand until you try to explain it to someone else. Basically, bandwidth is how fast data can be transferred through a medium. In the case of the Internet, millions of bits need to be transferred from the web to network attached devices every second. The more bandwidth you have access to, the more data can be transferred.
Speed vs Throughput
Network speed--that is, how fast you are able to send and receive data--is typically a combination of available bandwidth and a measure called latency. The higher a network’s latency, the slower the network is going to be, even on high-bandwidth network connections. Latency can come from many parts of the network connection: slow hardware, inefficient data packing, wireless connections, and others.
Throughput is the measure of the amount of data that is transmitted through a connection. Also called payload rate, this is the effective ability for any data to be transmitted through a connection. So, while bandwidth is the presumed amount of data any connection can transfer, throughput is the amount of data that is actually transferred through the connection. The disparity in the two factors can come from several places, but typically the latency of the transmitting sources results in throughput being quite a bit less than the bandwidth.
What Do You Need Bandwidth For?
The best way to describe this is to first consider how much data your business sends and receives. How many devices are transferring data? Is it just text files? Are there graphics and videos? Do you stream media? Do you host your website? Do you use any cloud-based platforms? Do you use video conferencing or any other hosted communications platform? All of these questions (and a few not mentioned) have to be asked so that your business can operate as intended.
First, you need to calculate how many devices will connect to your network at the same time. Next, you need to consider the services that are being used. These can include:
- Data backup
- Cloud services
- File Sharing
- Online browsing
- Social Media
- Streaming audio
- Streaming video
- Interactive webinars
- Uploads (files, images, video)
- Video conferencing
- Voice over Internet Protocol
- Wi-Fi demands
After considering all the uses, you then need to take a hard look at what required bandwidth is needed for all of those tasks. Obviously, if you lean on your VoIP system, or you are constantly doing video webinars, you will need to factor those operational decisions into your bandwidth decision making.
Finally, once you’ve pinpointed all the devices and tasks, the bandwidth each task takes, and how many people on your network do those tasks, you total up the traffic estimate. Can you make a realistic estimate with this information? Depending on your business’ size and network traffic, you may not be able to get a workable figure.
Too Much or Not Enough
Paying for too little bandwidth is a major problem, but so is paying for too much. Bandwidth, while more affordable than ever before, is still pretty expensive, and if you pay for too much bandwidth, you are wasting capital that you can never get back.
That’s where the professionals come in. Coleman Technologies has knowledgeable technicians that can assess your bandwidth usage and work with your ISP to get you the right amount for your business’ usage. If you would like more information about bandwidth, its role in your business, or how to get the right amount for your needs, call us today at (604) 513-9428.
Tip of the Week: Fixing a Slow Internet Connection
You Don’t Have Enough Bandwidth
When you purchase an Internet package, you get certain speeds. Today, these speeds are faster than ever, but if your business has too much going on, it can wreak havoc with your Internet speeds. There is a situation that happens when too much data is trying to pass through a network connection. This situation is called bottlenecking and it is potentially the reason your speeds are slow. Think about it, if you try to put several gigabytes through a connection that is only rated for a few megabits per second, it’s going to take some time to get all the data through. To check this, audit how many devices are at work. Most of the time you’ll be surprised how much data you are sending and receiving. We can help you with this audit before you make the call to upgrade your Internet package.
Another potential issue is that your networking equipment may simply be old and not be able to use the dual bands that are often necessary to get the most out of your wireless network. If you have enough bandwidth, but your Internet is just slow, chances are upgrading the modem, switches, or routers would be a prudent move and will likely fix any problems you have.
Misconfigured Equipment and Environmental Factors
Once you’ve made sure that the physical components of your network are working as intended, but your Internet connection isn’t improving, you probably need to reconfigure your software on your devices or move your hardware to avoid interference. Specifically, if your wireless network signal is having problems making it through obstructions, you will want to consider using the 2.4 GHz connection rather than the 5.0 GHz channel. The max speed you’ll see will decrease, but the 2.4 GHz connection makes its way through obstructions better. Unfortunately, however, the 2.4 GHz signal can be a victim of electronic interference more than the 5.0 GHz channel.
If you need help with your business’ networking, don’t wait and lose more money. Contact the professionals at Coleman Technologies today at (604) 513-9428.
Before we get into the manipulation of the URL, let’s define its parts.
The first part of the URL is called the protocol, which tells the computing network which language is being used to communicate on said network. Most of the time, the URL will use the protocol “HTTP”. The HyperText Transfer Protocol makes it possible to exchange web pages. Other protocols that are used include File Transfer Protocol, News, and Mailto.
The second part of the URL is the ID and password, which makes it possible to access secure servers on the network. This part is typically removed because the password will be visible and transfer unencrypted over the computer network.
The third part of the URL is the server name. It allows users to access information stored on specific servers whether through a domain or the IP address associated with the server.
The fourth part of the URL is the port number. This number is associated with a service and tells the server what type of resources are being requested. The default port is port 80, which can be left off the URL as long as the information that is being requested is associated with port 80.
Finally, the fifth, and last, part of the URL is the path. The path gives direct access to the resources found tied to the IP (or domain).
Manipulating the URL
By manipulating parts of the URL, a hacker can gain access to web pages found on servers that they wouldn’t normally have access to. Most users will visit a website and then use the links provided by the website. This will get them to where they need to go without much problem, but it creates their own perimeters.
When a hacker wants to test the site for vulnerabilities, he’ll start by manually modifying the parameters to try different values. If the web designer hasn’t anticipated this behavior, a hacker could potentially obtain access to a typically-protected part of the website. This trial and error method, where a hacker tests directories and file extensions randomly to find important information can be automated, allowing hackers to get through whole websites in seconds.
With this method they can try searching for directories that make it possible to control the site, scripts that reveal information about the site, or for hidden files.
Directory traversal attacks, also known as path traversal attacks, are also popular. This is where the hacker will modify the tree structure path in a URL to force a server to access unauthorized parts of the website. On vulnerable servers, hackers will be able to move through directories simply.
What You Can Do?
Securing your server against URL attacks is important. You need to ensure that all of your software is updated with the latest threat definitions, and keeping a detailed configuration will keep users in their lanes, even those who know all the tricks.
The IT experts at Coleman Technologies can help you keep your business’ IT infrastructure from working against you. Call us today at (604) 513-9428 for more information about how to maintain your organization’s network security.
DoD Advanced Research
During the Cold War there was a constant need for coded systems to transmit data quickly. In the mid-1960s, the U.S. Department of Defense created what they called the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), which worked on integrating new technologies that would help the United States achieve its foreign policy goals. One of the scientists that was commissioned was Joseph Lickliter, who had the idea of connecting computers at important research centers. It was a way for engineers and intellectuals to collaborate on DoD-funded projects. The network, called ARPANET, was launched in 1969.
At first, growth was slow. Small packets were sent over telephone lines, but along the way there were many innovations that set the tone for the shared computing constructs that we regularly use today. One such innovation was packet-switching. Packet-switching allows a computer to connect to several other computers at once by sending individual packets of information. In this way, computers were able to constantly send and receive information. With this method each computer on ARPANET would have (what amounts to) an address book that is constantly updated.
As the network grew, however, this packet switching model, which was beneficial, was just too slow to facilitate an accurate account of addresses on the system. So in 1973, the engineers at ARPA decided that Stanford University (a founding member) would keep a master address book that was kept up to date by network administrators. This decongested the network significantly.
By 1977, ARPANET had over 100 computers connected to it; and, with the age of personal computing starting to rear its head, changes started to come fast. It was about this time that other computing networks began to pop up. As they first started to connect with each other there was no interoperability between them, but this problem was remedied early in the 1980s with the standardization of what is called Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). This was the first time the world Internet was used.
ARPA engineers realized pretty quickly that the connecting networks that were now using the same protocol set (TCP/IP) were too numerous and were going to be unmanageable. This is when the modern Domain Name System (DNS) was introduced. They separated all addresses by domains. The first level, or top-level, domains would dictate the type of organization that a packet was being sent to. Examples include .com and .edu. Today, there are over 1,000 top-level domains out there.
A second-level domain provided the host where data packets would be delivered. Examples that you see today are amazon.com or cornell.edu. This system provided specific data packet routing, setting the stage for the modern-day Internet.
By the late 1980s the DoD decided that ARPANET was a success and shut it down. It was handed off to a private company called NSFNET in 1990. In 1992, the modern Internet Service Provider (ISP) was created as the U.S. Congress passed a law allowing commercial traffic on the newly formed Internet.
Nowadays, the United Nations has proclaimed that Internet service is now a fundamental human right. This marvel of human ingenuity would not have been possible without ARPA and ARPANET. If you would like to see more articles about technology’s history, subscribe to the Coleman Technologies blog today.
Initially, the advocacy of Internet Rights was just that: the right to have access to the Internet. While this isn’t a problem for as many people as it once was, some places still don’t have fair, affordable access to high-speed Internet service. Some nations, despite providing access, have Internet laws that subdue use due to an overlaying censorship. This issue, and the monetization of collected consumer data, are two of the hot-button issues today for Internet Rights advocates.
The Internet is a relatively new technology, especially in the manner it is being used by people today. As a result, there are different views on how these technologies are disseminated, who profits from them, and how non-controlling entities have their rights repressed. As a result, you’ll find from the early days of Internet rights advocacy, the largest voices were from organizations that found the equitable portion of the Internet either unnecessary or repressive to the rights of consumers.
Notice that the access to the Internet was not even on the roadmap. The nature of the early commercial Internet was such that it could be successfully described as libertarian. Through the end of the 1990s, as the first round of dot com investments started to tank, it became obvious that the technology would end up bigger than anyone had anticipated and needed regulation.
In the U.S. many fights have been undertaken in the subsequent 20 years. Many of which were pushed by Internet rights advocates. One of the most famous is:
Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union (1997)
In an attempt to clean up what some people considered indecent content on the Internet (pornography and the like); and more accurately, to keep kids away from this content, Congress passed the Communications Decency Act. The ALCU, which is a well-known civil rights advocate group, filed suit. The provision was eliminated by two federal judges before being heard in front of the Supreme Court, which upheld the lower courts’ rulings. This was a major blow against censorship; paving the way for free expression on the Internet.
While the ALCU isn’t exactly an Internet Rights Advocate, the landmark case ushered in a new world of free speech on the Internet; and, it sets the tone for Internet rights advocates to this day.
Today there are many organizations looking to protect people on the Internet. Sometimes their views overlap, sometimes they don’t. One of these groups, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), is a major player in the fight to keep speech (and content) free from censorship on the Internet, the fight against the surveillance state, and most notably, the ongoing fight for individual privacy.
Businesses of all kinds, as well as government agencies have grown to take significant liberties with people’s personal information. Organizations like the ALCU and the EEF work tirelessly to get the topic of personal data privacy in front of decision makers.
Have you ever wondered how you just had a conversation with your friend via some type of app about fingerless gloves and now your sidebar on every website is now filled with fingerless glove ads? Most users don’t fully understand that organizations that you interact with online keep a profile on you. All of your actions, any personal or financial information that you share, and more is stored in a file that is often packaged and sold off by those organizations to advertising firms.
These advocates, among the other issues they stand up for, are trying to push the issue of personal data privacy. The main point of contention is that companies profit off of the information people provide, and since this information is very clearly personal in nature, it is their belief that individuals are being taken advantage of. This debate has been ratcheted up significantly with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that intends to protect individual information.
While it might be a matter of time before the U.S. gets a data privacy law in the same vein as the GDPR, Internet rights advocates will continue to act in the public’s favor on this issue, and many others.
Net Neutrality & Access to All
One of the biggest fights that Internet rights advocates are undertaking is against the companies that deliver the Internet itself: The Internet service providers (ISP). For those of you who don’t know, over the past several years the U.S. Government created mandates that forced ISPs to provide access to applications and content without favoring any, even if they are the ones that use the most bandwidth.
The theory is that the typical Internet user only does so much on the web. They typically access the same sites and use their Internet connection for the same things. This creates a situation where ISPs, using market adjustments would want to get more money per byte than if users used a variety of sites to do the same. With federal control, they were forced into charging a flat rate.
The net neutrality laws that were instituted in 2015 were repealed in 2017, as controlling bureaucrats argued that there were enough people without fair access to the Internet and the only way to persuade the ISPs to commit to investing in infrastructure that would curb this problem is by repealing the net neutrality laws. Needless to say, this caused quite a stir.
Internet rights advocates were quick to point out investment in Infrastructure is in these ISP’s best interest and giving them the ability to slow down Internet speeds as they see fit is not good for consumers. Unfortunately for most Americans, these ISPs are the companies you have to get your Internet service from if you want speeds that allow you to use it the way you want. Advocates are still trying to do what they can to educate people about the benefits of net neutrality and have set up websites with information and for people to give their support. Organizations like the aforementioned ACLU and EFF, the American Library Association, and Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press Action currently sponsor www.battleforthenet.com, a one-stop site for all things net neutrality.
Advocacy can go a long way toward giving a voice to people who may not think they have one. What Internet-related topics do you find to be problematic? Leave your thoughts in the comments and subscribe to our blog.
Birth of the Internet
The first Internet was born on college campuses. It was built by intellectuals, for academics, without the massive list of considerations that now accompany software development. It spread quickly, of course, and somewhere, pretty early on, it was decided that by being able to support commerce, the Internet could become one of the west’s greatest inventions.
This came to fruition in 1984 when the first catalogue was launched on the Internet. This was followed by the first e-store (at books.com) in 1992, and the first software to be sold online (Ipswitch IMail Server) in 1994. Amazon and eBay launched the following year and the Internet has never been the same.
By then, the academic uses for the Internet had multiplied, as well. By the time Amazon launched, many colleges and universities were offering students access to the Internet as an important part of their continuing education. Boy, was it ever.
Today, you’ll be hard pressed to find a classroom (outside of the poorest school districts in the country) where every classroom isn’t Internet-ready.
College Internet Needs and Cybersecurity
This stands true in university and college circles, as well. Campuses today are almost completely connected. You’ll be hard pressed to find a place on a modern campus that, as long as you have security credentials to do so, you can’t gain access to an Internet connection. In a lot of ways, it is the demand for access that makes network security a major pain point for the modern college. Firstly, having to protect computing networks from a continuously variable amount of mobile devices is difficult. Secondly, the same attacks that plague businesses, are also hindering IT administrator efforts at colleges.
Colleges themselves aren’t doing anyone any favors. According to a 2018 report, none of the top 10 computer science degrees in the United States require a cybersecurity course to graduate. Of the top 50 computer science programs listed by Business Insider only three require some type of cybersecurity course. Moreover, only one school out of 122 reviewed by Business Insider requires the completion of three or more cybersecurity courses, the University of Alabama. Regardless of the metric, it’s clear that learning cybersecurity is not a priority for any school.
Are There Cybersecurity Problems Specific to Colleges?
The short answer is no. That’s why it's so important to get people thinking about cybersecurity any way they can. No industry can afford to have the skills gap between people that hack and the people looking to stop them grow any wider. This is why, no matter what you do (or plan on doing) for a living it’s important to understand what your responsibilities are and how to get them into a place that can help your organization ward off these threats from outside (and sometimes inside) your network.
Many colleges have turned to companies like Cyber Degrees to help them not only educate the people utilizing the college’s networks to why cybersecurity awareness is important, but also help people understand that with the rise of cybercrime and hacking-induced malware, that cybersecurity has become a major growth industry with many facets. In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found there were more than 200,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. With curriculums not prioritizing cybersecurity, and with threats growing rapidly, imagine how many are unfilled today. As demand rises for competent individuals to fill a multitude of jobs in the computer-security industry, colleges need to do a better job prioritizing cybersecurity training.
For the business looking into protecting itself, look no further than the cybersecurity professionals at Coleman Technologies. Our knowledgeable technicians work with today’s business technology day-in and day-out and know all the industry’s best practices on how to keep you and your staff working productively, while limiting your exposure to risk. Call us today at (604) 513-9428 to learn more.
What is Bandwidth?
In its most basic form, bandwidth is how quickly you can download content from the Internet. Bandwidth is measured in megabits per second, or Mbps. The more bandwidth you have, the faster downloads will run. Some high-speed connections can be measured in Gigabits per second.
How Exactly Does Bandwidth Translate to Download Speed?
If you’re trying to calculate your projected download speed, keep in mind that there are eight bits for every byte. This means that if you’re trying to download eight megabytes of data on a one Mbps connection, it will take about one minute. A 512 megabyte file, on the other hand, would take just over a hour to download on the same connection.
Estimating Your Business’ Needs
In order to reach an appropriate estimate for your business’ bandwidth, you’ll need to use a little math. Take the estimated traffic that you expect each of your processes to take up, as well as the number of users that are engaged in this process. You’ll want to assume that this is during peak operations; otherwise you might not have enough during an important operational period. You can generally rely on the following speeds for bandwidth estimation:
- 100Kbps and below: Low-end, single-line VoIP phones and e-fax machines. Some more basic computers have processes that use less than 100Kbps, but in the business world, you probably aren’t using them.
- 100-500Kbps: More computers and laptops fall into this range, as they are more likely to be the ones streaming, downloading, emailing, and browsing than other less intensive devices.
- 500Kbps-2.0Mbps: Cloud solutions and standard definition video conferencing take up about this much bandwidth. This is the general range for Enterprise Resource Planning solutions, Customer Relationship Management platforms, and Point of Sale devices.
- 2.0Mbps and more: High-definition conferencing solutions, remote access, heavy cloud access, and other resource-intensive tasks fall under this category.
If you keep peak activities at the top of your mind, use them to add up what your staff will need to stay on task and ahead of schedule. For example, let’s say you have ten users, including yourself. You might be using 450Kbps for correspondence, while six of your employees are using a CRM solution at 2.0Mbps each. The last three are using high-definition video conferencing software for 2.5Mbps each. Add all this up and you can expect to use about 20Mbps at heaviest use, but you want to go a little beyond this to 25Mbps, just to be safe.
What are other tips that you might want us to share? Leave us a comment and let us know.