In many parts of the world, the Internet is quick enough to allow businesses to operate solely in the cloud with relatively few problems. There are however issues with many Internet connections, and at times the service can slow to a crawl, leaving many managers wondering what is going on and how to fix it.
Have you noticed that from time to time the Internet is a lot slower than it should be? If so, this could be because something is hogging all the bandwidth, which is the rate at which data is transferred in and out of one connection. Here are six of the most common bandwidth hogs.
- YouTube. If you allow employees to watch YouTube or connect to other streaming services, and they are using them frequently, you’ll notice a significant decrease in overall Internet speed.
- FTP sites. Some companies run FTP sites that host essential files that employees can access. When many employees are downloading/uploading files to the FTP site, there’s less bandwidth available for other operations, so the Internet will be slower.
- P2P. P2P covers a large number of aspects, including video conferencing and sharing of files via programs such as Bittorrent. All P2P services use an incredible amount of bandwidth when in operation, slowing the Internet to a point where speeds from 10 years ago were faster.
- Online backup. Backing up essential files will capitalize bandwidth, leaving very little for other operations. It’s a good idea to schedule backups after office hours, to minimize interruptions.
- Encryption. In certain industries, regulatory bodies require a certain level of encryption, or that companies take certain steps to secure data. Any extra encryption or security features will slow sites down; however, this problem usually cannot be avoided.
- Spam/Virus/Malware. Many scams aim to steal information, and the main way this is done is by sending the information over an Internet connection. That is, your Internet connection. If your systems have viruses or other security threats, you can guarantee that your Internet speed will be affected.
If you notice your Internet is slowing down at certain times, it’s a good idea to check and see if any of these six bandwidth hogs are in action. You can:
- conduct a virus scan to look for malware;
- ensure your computers aren’t backing up, and if they are, schedule the backup for later;
- turn off or block any and all sharing services, and schedule video conferencing for times when bandwidth isn’t needed by other functions; and,
- limit the bandwidth assigned to YouTube and other streaming services.
Before you tinker with any network connections it’s best to contact an expert. We can help you determine the optimal solution, potentially even speeding up your connection and your business success.