You’ve probably experienced it: slow internet that takes an age to load a webpage. Staff complaining that they can’t download large files. It’s a common story in workplaces up and down the country.
But there is a way to make things better. In this article, we’ll look at how a dedicated leased line can provide better bandwidth and more reliable speeds, and why this is important for your business.
What is bandwidth and why is it an important consideration for businesses?
Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be transferred via an internet connection over a certain amount of time. It is commonly measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB) per second. 1GB is equal to 1000MB. Connections with a larger bandwidth can therefore transfer data much faster than lower bandwidth connections.
This is an important thing for business owners and stakeholders to consider, as heavy data transfer (upload and download) and the movement of large files can use up a connection's bandwidth. If the bandwidth isn’t large enough, this can cause slower performance in other areas of the network (and therefore the business).
What’s the difference between bandwidth and speed?
Although they’re closely related, bandwidth and speed are two different things. While speed measures how quickly data is transferred, bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can theoretically be transferred over the connection, and therefore has an impact on the speed. A larger bandwidth connection would take less time to transfer the data, meaning a higher speed.
A common analogy is to think of water in a pipe. The bandwidth would refer to the width of the pipe, which would directly impact the speed at which the water would flow through it.
A leased line connection is delivered over something called a bearer — this is the actual line that delivers the connection to your premises. At the agreement and installation process, you’ll decide on a maximum bandwidth that can be delivered — for example, 1GB. You’ll also choose a speed, which is what you’ll actually receive — say 100MB. The key here is that this is symmetrical (applies to both uploads and downloads) and uncontended, meaning you receive all of the available bandwidth all the time rather than sharing with surrounding premises as with a standard broadband connection.
Having a larger bandwidth than the speed you pay for means that you can more easily scale up if you need to.
How to understand your required bandwidth and speed
The bandwidth and speed you need will depend on your business’ circumstances. Companies that transfer lots of data, operate in multiple locations or have a large number of employees will require a higher bandwidth line to enable higher speeds.
Your IT support provider can help you understand requirements and guide you towards a solution that is right for your business.
If you’re currently on a standard broadband connection, you can use a speed test tool to understand the upload and download speeds you’re actually receiving, compared to what you’re paying for.
It’s really easy to do. Just head to Speedtest.net, and press ‘Go’. The test will then run, and provide you with the results of your current speeds:
Remember, the big difference between regular broadband and a dedicated leased line is that the leased line speed is guaranteed, so you’ll receive what you’re paying for, rather than speeds ‘up to’ those stated in your contract.
Is bandwidth guaranteed on a leased line?
One of the key benefits of a dedicated leased line is that the bandwidth is guaranteed. That refers to both uploads and downloads, where the speeds are symmetrical (i.e. uploading data does not impact the speed at which you can download data, and vice versa).
This means that you are guaranteed to receive the same fast download and upload speeds that you pay for.
Although not quite the same thing, bandwidth and speed are very closely related. A dedicated leased line is a great way to provide fast, reliable internet with uncontended bandwidth for your business.
If you're looking for high-speed business internet, our affordable and reliable leased lines are the perfect solution. Get in touch today on 03300 886 116 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements. We’ll be happy to advise on the best solution and help you to decide on a package that will provide the speed and reliability you need.
Need a little more information to help you understand what’s best for your business? Download our free checklist: