Anytime you’re dealing with a business’ computers, one question that always seems to come up has to deal with bandwith amounts. If you’re looking at using VoiP, you’ll have to ask yourself, “Do I have enough bandwith?” The amount of bandwith that you have available to use is essential to using VoiP, as it is fundamental to the technology and is also a major factor in determining the quality of the call.
What Exactly is Bandwith?
Before you find out whether you have enough bandwith, you should understand what bandwith is. It’s defined as a range of frequencies through which data is transmitted. The larger the bandwith, the more data can be broadcasted, and the faster the speed at which that can occur. There are two types of bandwith: upload and download. The upload is how much you send to the Internet, while download is how much you can receive from the Internet.
Typically, most Internet users associate bandwith with speed, which is measured in kilobytes per second (kbps) or megabytes per second (mbps). One mbps is equal to one thousand kbps.
What is the Normal Bandwith Requirement for VoiP?
If you’re looking for high-quality Voice Over IP, then it’s recommended you have a bandwith amount of at least 90 kbps. If you can, try to avoid dial-up connections at all cost. While a bandwith of 56 kbps will work, the quality will probably be low. Your traditional kbps numbers are 90, 60, and 30, with each delivering a different quality of voice. Your needs will be determined by the quality needed for your use and how many employees will be using the internet at any one time.
To test how much bandwith you actually have available to you, you can use online speed tests. Another option you have that may be better specifically for VoiP is a VoiP bandwith calculator.
The other factor to consider is cost. Bandwith is normally the most expensive requirement when it comes to using the Internet as a communication tool. Broadband, which is becoming more common, is getting cheaper and cheaper and is starting to offer speeds that are sufficient for Voice Over IP.