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Articles in technology for E Street customers...

Big Pipe!

Is bigger always better when it comes to networks?

One myth that we address constantly as IT professionals is this: “Isn’t more capacity going to make my network work faster?” Not necessarily. In many cases, going bigger—buying more bandwidth just because you can—may just take a bigger chunk out of your budget when you don’t really need it.

It’s easy to be confused though and one size certainly does not fit all. As technological advances have allowed for increasing networking speeds at decreasing prices, both consumers and small businesses are bombarded with “faster is better” marketing messages.  Local service providers are pushing up to pricey 250+Mbps circuits, with Google’s new fiber product promising a hefty 1 "Gigabit" (1Gbps) connection speed.

Data Center CablesHowever it’s hard to know what you’re really paying for unless you consult with a tech services professional. For example, E Street regularly advises customers not to be enticed by marketing hype and not to buy bandwidth they will never use. For a frame of reference, streaming a HD movie you may only need 5-10 Mbps of throughput. We see that 40MB is typically plenty fast to run a business and in the business space, this speed circuit can save a small business hundreds of dollars per month. The point is few companies have figured out how to take advantage of such colossal capacity for purely business needs, and currently most may not need such a gigantic pipeline to effectively do business.

What is helpful for small-business customers is finding a network “sweet spot”—a bandwidth size that will make professional tasks as streamlined as possible, without requiring payment for unusable volume. For some companies that may mean upgrading to a higher-capacity system; for others it may be a matter of using an existing pipeline more effectively.  E Street also offers IT prioritization strategies and hardware that can maximize bandwidth and identify all use of your bandwidth to monitor where this important resource is consumed. 

Wondering if you have enough bandwidth for your growing business? Check in to see what’s happening at the day-to-day productivity level. For example, as a digital voice provider, we often get calls from businesses whose VoIP phones are cutting out or starting to drop in audio quality. That can be a sign of poor bandwidth. On the Internet, you might notice Websites are loading more slowly in certain browsers or video is buffering. There could be a slow down when sending or receiving email. Maybe your network experiences sporadic outages—times where you think it’s down, but then it’s back up—and you just ignore the problem.

If you’re starting to see any of these signs or you’d just like a bandwidth capacity and efficiency check, click or give E Street tech services a call (303-584-0640 or 877-EStreet). We would be happy to advise you about your smartest next step—and it might not involve buying more megabytes


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