Tips to Make Sure Your Business Internet Can Support Peak Usage

February 03, 2020
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Business is done in ebbs and flows — there are fluctuations year-to-year, month-to-month, and day-to-day. You know that you can handle it when things get busy, but can your technology? A sudden jump in traffic, if your Internet and WiFi network isn’t equipped to handle it, can make for bottlenecks, slow speeds, and slumping productivity. Outages and slowdowns can lead to lost time, lost revenue, and negative customer experience, something every business owner wants to avoid.

Demands on business Internet and WiFi networks are growing by the year. There are more and more company owned connected devices on the network, and employees and customers bring personal devices as well, all of which are jockeying for bandwidth. The proliferation of IoT devices at businesses of all sizes adds further strain, and many connected devices are running several apps simultaneously, transmitting more and more data. The move to cloud applications, particularly for collaboration, enhances productivity, but also adds more traffic to the network. More devices running more applications means more data and more data demand.

So, what can you do about it? There are a number of simple tips for smart data usage, as well as considerations for evaluating Internet service providers:

Set up separate guest networks

If you run a business with customers onsite, set up separate guest WiFi networks for employees and guests. It not only keeps your internal WiFi running at top speeds so operations won’t be affected, it’s also safer. Guest WiFi logins also open new doors for marketing through splash pages and special offers, as well as the opportunities to build out customer profiles through data.

Get upload and download speeds to suit your business

When was the last time you increased your download and upload speeds? How many devices have you added to your network since? Your Internet speeds might not match your current demand, so run speed tests at peak hours and see what kind of slowdowns you encounter. There’s a spectrum of Internet speeds available. If you just have a couple employees doing light work, you might only need 100 Mbps service. If you run a call center with 40 people on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and laptops simultaneously, you’ll want to be closer to Gig-speed Internet, which allows you to run multiple cloud-based apps and services and get faster simultaneous large file downloads.

If you have particularly data-hungry applications or data demands that go far above the demands of a typical business, consider ethernet dedicated Internet, with expandable capacity and symmetrical upload and download speeds.

Monitor and manage your data usage

When configuring private and guest WiFi networks, take advantage of bandwidth limits to reduce strain on the network and prevent bottlenecks. If you do opt to set bandwidth limits, start with guest networks, if applicable, to reserve bandwidth for private WiFi and prevent any business disruptions. You don’t want to stop customers from being able to work, stream regular online videos or music, but you wouldn’t want customers burning through data with large downloads or high-bandwidth streaming services. Check usage reports regularly to identify peak usage times and evaluate whether the Internet package you have is adequate for the demands of your business.

Make sure you have customer support, day and night

The fastest Internet speeds won’t matter if you run into a problem and don’t have the support to fix it. Do some research and read reviews to see what level of customer support your provider offers. Make sure you have the support you need, when you need it—around the clock.

Of course, you won’t know you need support if you don’t know there’s an issue. You should be able to check your connection status from anywhere. Even better, some providers are able to provide real-time updates on outages at your location via text message notifications or to troubleshoot your internet remotely through a mobile app.

Avoid providers with data caps

Watch out for any Internet plans that set limits on the amounts of data you can download or upload. Even with the fastest Internet speeds available, hitting monthly data caps leaves you unable to connect with customers, partners, and employees. The last thing you need is to have the connection drop when you’ve reached a certain threshold or to be hit with overage fees.

With the right speed, appropriately segmented networks, unlimited data, and always-on support, small business owners can push the limits of productivity without having to worry about clogging up their network and losing time due to bottlenecks. For more information on selecting the right speed and network for your business, visit Comcast Business.

There are ebbs and flows in business. Learn to handle the data peaks in stride.

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