Slow Internet, Slower Network

With ISPs being more competitive than ever, internet speeds for consumers and small businesses are pushing 1 gigabit and faster. Did you ever think that your network might not be able to keep up with that blazing new speed? It is becoming common to find this very scenario unfolding in the workplace. We have outlined just a few things you might want to consider before making the jump to a faster tier.

  • When was the last time you purchased switches for your organization? If it was 10 or 15 years ago, then you already have a bottleneck. Up until recently, most switches were 100mbit which is only 1/10 of a gigabit. Would you pay for for a new tv package knowing you would only get a 10th of the channels? Probably not!
  • Do you know what standards your wifi network supports? Is it A,G,N, or AC? That might look like alphabet soup, but if you’re looking for the freedom of wifi without being tethered to a network jack for a 1 gigabit connection, then make sure your wireless supports AC. This standard is fairly new, so if your wifi is from 2012, consider upgrading to AC to keep up with today’s standards.
  • Unless you keep meticulous records right down to the category of network cable installed at your office (seriously, who would do that?) then you probably don’t know what kind of speed your existing network cables can handle. Cable that was installed in the early to mid 2000s would either be Category 5 or 5e. While this category of network cable is fine for 100mbit networks, there can be the potential for performance issues when trying to run gigabit devices over this type of cable.
  • Last, but not least – your computer! There are many things that can cause your computer to be the bottleneck when it comes to your internet speed. Is your operating system up to date? How about the drivers for your wireless or network card? If you’re using wifi, does it support the AC wifi standard? It’s always a good idea to check with your manufacturer to make sure you have the latest updates.

These are a few items to keep in mind as you price higher speed internet plans. If you have already made the upgrade but feel you are missing you, you probably are.