Tech Term: Bandwidth Defined

The Internet has become an irreplaceable part of many business’ operations, which brings the thought into question of how much you rely on it for your daily duties. Technology has changed the way that the Internet works for the better, but there is one part of its operations that still lies at the heart of it: bandwidth.

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Tip of the Week: What to Do When the Internet Goes Out

Losing Internet can be a large problem in the business world, as we all become more and more reliant on it. Downtime of this kind can be immensely frustrating. However, not all hope is lost, as there are ways to troubleshoot the cause of an Internet outage.

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Free Up Bandwidth with Internet Monitoring

Internet bandwidth is a precious resource, and the amount your office can use is limited to whatever internet service package your company is signed up for. If your office is running short on bandwidth, then you will need to upgrade to a bigger package, which will be expensive. Before you spend money on upgrading, you should consider internet monitoring.

The problem may not be that your internet package is too small, but rather, certain employees may be abusing their internet privileges by hogging the bandwidth for personal reasons. If you allow your employees unlimited internet access, and you are experiencing a slow network that is negatively affecting critical network activities, then you will want to create internet usage guidelines to ensure the network needs of your company go unhindered.

The first step you will want to take is to learn what internet applications people use that take up the most bandwidth, and create guidelines accordingly. Popular internet activities like streaming media can eat up large amounts of bandwidth, and when several employees are accessing these online applications at the same time, your network will be crippled. You may not have to ban the internet entirely; you can learn what the peak usage times are for your company, and simply ask employees not to visit these websites during these peak times. Your bandwidth problem will be solved–if employees are compliant.

You will be able to tell if these new rules are effective or not based on the performance of your network. If you are still having network issues due to a lack of bandwidth, like with a VoIP phone system that lags, then this is a confirmation that someone is watching cat videos on YouTube when they are not supposed to. How do you handle such clear insubordination? You could turn into the creepy manager who sneaks up on employees in an effort to catch them in the act, or you could comb through the browsing history on every workstation after everybody goes home for the day. But let’s face it, you really don’t want to be that kind of a manager, and you know morale would take a hit if workers came to believe that you were trying to set traps for them.

A more reasonable action that you can take is to utilize internet monitoring tools. Michell Consulting Group can hook you up with a unified threat management (UTM) solution that will give you detailed reports on who is visiting what websites at what times, along with a clear understanding of the bandwidth needs of your network. With UTM, you can also filter out certain websites that will drag down your network, and only place internet restrictions on specific users. A UTM solution will also allow you to take corrective measures with employees who are abusing their internet privileges without you having to resort to being a creeper.

Some employees may have concerns about their privacy, but if you clearly communicate the many benefits of internet monitoring, then your staff will understand where you are coming from and view internet monitoring as an asset to the company.

  • Saving money on internet cost.
  • Protecting company computers from viruses.
  • Protecting employees from phishing scams.
  • Retaining employee internet use as a privilege.
  • Making the company more productive.
  • Safeguarding the company from the liability of illegal downloading.

If you would like to know more about how internet monitoring with a UTM solution can protect your company from threats and save you money, then call Michell Consulting Group at 305-592-5433.


Take Back your Bandwidth

More companies are blocking video streaming sites such as YouTube and Netflix to improve productivity at work.

USA Today mentions that Proctor & Gamble “Has shut down access to Pandora and Netflix for its 129,000 employees” Leaving sites such as Youtube and Facebook available since they are required for business. As more and more people have tablets and other mobile devices , the use of recreational internet usage stands to rise. Web apps and streaming services eat up a lot of bandwidth, sending large audio and video files, most of which are completely unrelated to work, and worst of all greatly stagger productivity.

Not all web content is bad for business, however. Social media has profoundly potent marketing benefits for businesses and completely blocking sites like Twitter and Facebook can put a hamper on inbound marketing tactics for your sales and marketing people. Having precise control to offer certain users specific access will help you take advantages of the benefits and plug up the time leaks.

So what can your business do about it? Implementing a content filter/firewall solution on your network can give you precise control over who can view what content on the web. This will let you block sites like Facebook and YouTube for your general staff but leave them open for your marketing department to allow them to take advantage of social media marketing. Depending on your business, you may want to allow certain services but specifically block others. Having a flexible solution means you can be ready to leverage the power of certain sites when they are useful for growing your business and block the ones that hinder productivity.

Looking to take back your company bandwidth and improve productivity? Contact us at 305-592-5433 and ask us about our content filtering solutions.