Top 10 Things That Bog Down Business Bandwidth

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Have you ever been working in your office when all of a sudden, your Internet connection slows down?  You know that you have a dedicated Internet connection, so there should be no reason for this to occur.  

But the truth is, there are many different factors that can contribute to slower than normal speeds, most of which can be resolved very easily.  Here’s a list of the  top 10 bandwidth hogs.

  1. Misuse by employees (i.e. streaming video, audio, etc.) –This might be the most common bandwidth hog.  When an employee starts using the Internet for unapproved uses, it can take a major toll on your speeds.
  2. Hosting FTP sites –FTP sites can be useful because  employees can use them to  download important company documents at their will.  But as employees download off this FTP site, it will take up a portion of bandwidth, and the more employees downloading off of it, the less bandwidth is available for company operations.
  3. PTP sharing (Skype, Limewire etc.) –PTP sharing can come in a couple of different forms.  One is live video chatting with other people through your Internet.  This can be very useful for businesses, but it is a bandwidth hog.  With other types of file sharing, such as Limewire, you can transfer video or music files to others through the Internet.  This is the same concept as live video chat and also requires a lot of bandwidth.
  4. Viruses –Not only are viruses damaging, every type of virus takes up bandwidth.  Many viruses can cause programs to run in the background, slowing down your connection.
  5. E-mail Spam –We all see those unwanted e-mails piling up in our inbox, but rarely do we think about the bandwidth they are utilizing.  If everyone in your company is receiving spam e-mails, just think of all the bandwidth being wasted on them!
  6. Malicious intrusion –This is probably the worst kind of bandwidth hog.  Not only is your bandwidth being used, but your network is being intruded upon by someone trying to cause your business harm.  An intruder will steal important information, and use your bandwidth to do so!
  7. Social Networking –Social networking is a great new way to keep in touch with current and past friends and colleagues, but it also takes up a lot of bandwidth.  When you want to share your pictures or videos with everyone you know, that will bog down your network. 
  8. Records retention and backup –A business needs to protect critical company documents, but backing up data can take up a lot of bandwidth.  It is best to do this over night while no one needs to use the network for business purposes. Also consider online backup solutions for added protection.
  9. Inefficient network design -This could be a business that has a private line solution when it could better  benefit from a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Virtual LAN Service (VLS).  Circuits could be sized too small or routing tables, which control how information is sent, are not optimized, making your network inefficient and taking up more bandwidth than needed.
  10. Regulatory compliance –HIPAA, for example, is requiring additional encryption for files transferred across the corporate Wide Area Network (WAN).  This additional encryption requires extra bandwidth.

These are just a few of the things that can slow your business’s Internet speeds.  If your business is having issues with decreased speeds,  be sure to check to see if your company is using a bandwidth hog.  The fix could be as simple as addressing the issues listed above.