How to Not Exceed Your Bandwidth Allowance

April 9th, 2015

computer ethernet cables plugged in to the switchboard

Bandwidth is an important concept in business; without sufficient bandwidth, a business may come to a very slow halt as data transfer is slow. Since the introduction of bandwidth limits, exceeding a nominated broadband cap can have flow on effects throughout standard business operations as bandwidth is limited. Furthermore, the additional costs involved with using data in excess of the broadband cap allowance can be an unwelcome surprise.

To keep your business operating smoothly, with sufficient bandwidth and no nasty financial surprises, there are a few strategies that can be implemented to help with broadband management.

Establish a secure connection

Ensuring that your internet connection is secure is the first step in managing your broadband cap. This will prevent unauthorised users from joining your network and using your connection to download. Apart from being an obvious security risk, this will result in excess usage and your cap will no doubt be reached quickly.

Implement usage restrictions

Implementing restrictions on which sites your staff can access and what activities they can do on their computers can have a significant impact on data usage. This is because social media sites and multimedia rich sites use large amounts of data, as users tend to look at pictures and watch videos. By blocking certain sites and restricting activities, such as video streaming, you’ll be better able to manage your broadband cap.

Be conscious of automatic updates

Systems and applications need regular updating, but the handy automatic update function can actually be a drain on your data plan. This is because updates are simply downloaded when available on any or all machines, and this has obvious consequences on the broadband cap as well as the network’s performance due to valuable bandwidth being taken up for these downloads during office hours. While these updates can be critical at times, it’s important that you’re aware of when they are downloaded so you can better manage your data allocations.

Schedule downloads

If large downloads are required, planning them to happen during quiet periods when there is excess quota available can help manage usage, and scheduling them overnight can help ensure that valuable bandwidth is not taken up during office hours.

Keeping antivirus software up to date

Malware is a serious problem, and computers or networks that are infected with these applications can see dramatic impacts on their bandwidth and download quotas. If a malicious software application goes undetected, it can constantly be communicating with its servers, posing a serious security threat, and using up your broadband cap while doing so.

Monitor usage

Being aware of your download quota and monitoring how close you are to reaching it is crucial when trying to stay within your limits. Keeping a close tab on overall usage will help you plan accordingly, scheduling any downloads when there is extra capacity during that billing period.

Furthermore, installing a third party monitoring app can help determine who is using the most data and on what. This can help identify the heavy users that are draining your bandwidth, so that you can investigate the activities behind their use and rectify accordingly.

Although broadband caps are a great inconvenience, being diligent when monitoring and rectifying your usage will ensure that you don’t exceed your monthly allowance. This will mean no unexpected business expenses, and your network connection running at optimal speed all the time.

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