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“Most brilliant pop star”? “My bad, pal, sorry”? Mbps doesn’t mean any of that; this initialism stands for megabits per second and refers to your internet speed and bandwidth. But why does it matter? As a small-business owner, the Mbps speed you have at home or in your office can impact your bottom line. Here’s a full guide to Mbps and why every bit matters.
When you signed a business internet contract, you may have seen your internet speed listed as Kbps, Mbps, or Gbps. Think of these speeds like watts and kilowatts—gigabits being the largest sum and kilobits the smallest. Internet speeds are most commonly defined in Mbps.
Internet speed and bandwidth are not synonymous. The easiest way to think about the two is that, Mbps, the speed of the internet you purchase is constant, while the bandwidth ranges from wider to narrower. For instance, a larger bandwidth—much like a tollbooth with ten lanes versus one—will get traffic through faster all at the same speed. You can get more information at once, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get it faster.
This feature comes in handy if you have a lot of internet traffic in your office; the more employees using your internet connection, the more bandwidth you’ll need to avoid issues.
You may have noticed Mbps represented as something like 75/35 Mbps on your bill. What does this mean? Simply, it signifies your download and upload speeds, respectively. Typically, your download speed will be faster since that’s what you use the internet for the most. If your business requires lots of uploading, discuss that with your internet provider and opt for a higher upload speed.
Now that you understand what Mbps means on a technical level, see why it matters when it comes to running your business.
If you’re using Skype to video chat with clients all over the globe, high-quality and reliable internet keeps the call from cutting out. Consistently losing your connection could cause clients to become frustrated and take their business elsewhere.
To verify that you’re getting every last bit of internet speed you’re being billed for each month, test it. If you have any issues, you can contact your provider or switch to a new one. If your internet connection is strong and fast, you shouldn’t have a problem with video chat freezing during an important client call.
You know how you run out of hot water faster when you’re taking a shower, running the washing machine, and washing dishes at the same time? The same goes for your internet. The more people who are using the internet in your office, the larger the bandwidth you’ll need to ensure everyone can accomplish tasks simultaneously. Otherwise, people will end up wasting time—and your money—twiddling their thumbs while waiting on slow downloads and uploads.
To determine the right internet speed for your needs, tally up your employees and think about their daily work. Or, check out a chart of Mbps speeds that correlate with downloading files, streaming videos, and similar internet-based tasks. Time is money, and it might be worth it to pay more for a better internet package than deal with lag because of a slow, low-bandwidth connection.
If you don’t know anything about cars, it’s easy to get taken for a ride at the dealership. The same goes for internet speed. Instead of buying the Rolls Royce of internet packages, maybe you only need a modest mid-level sedan. By determining exactly what you need and ensuring you understand Mbps, you won’t buy too little or pay too much for internet—you’ll save money in the long run since your internet won’t be too slow or too fast, it’ll be just right.
Buying internet for your business may seem daunting. But when you familiarize yourself with Mbps and why it’s vital for your business, you’ll already be a step ahead of the pack. Plus, when you understand how internet speed impacts your company’s success, you’ll know exactly how much speed you need to thrive.