Effective internet is not just more bandwidth

While everything gradually has moved from the server room to the Cloud, the demands for a stable and good bandwidth has become a must. Streaming and Internet-of-things is no longer something that lies out in the future, it is already a big part of our everyday lives, and with that the need for a more efficient internet increases.

Just a few years ago an internet connection of 100 Mbit/s was state ofthe art, and you were secured way into the future. Today we are bombarded with one bargain after another, and for very little money we can get twice as much, or have Giga Speed on our internet connection.

Does it get better with a 1 Gbit/s eller 10 Gbit/s connection?
But with Giga speed we can surely expect that it is fast for everybody?- No, it doesn’t work that simple. Whenyou upgrade your bandwidth, it will not necessarily result in excess bandwidth.

We believe that when we get more bandwidth, than our internetconnection also gains speed, but this is not how the users will experience it. Because the internet works like this; the one user who obtains 90% of all flows also gets 90% of the bandwidth! That means that when you e.g. are streaming visuals or sound, the player that you use, will typically examine the available bandwidth during the first few seconds. Then the player decides whether the bandwidth can handle 800 x 600, HD, UHD or 4K quality. With an increased bandwidth the better quality will be chosen which means that is a much greater amount of data that must be obtained to show the same movie – and voilà, the battle of capacity continues.

With a SmartShare StraightShaper connected to the network this problem will not occur because the technology makes sure that the bandwidth is equally distributed among the active users on the connection, so nobody takes bandwidth from somebody else.

But does the internet connection then get better when you upgrade to 1 Gbit/s or 10 Gbit/s?

Many would probably say yes, because so many invest in it, so it can’t be all wrong…

But what does it take, when we increase our bandwidth?
When we increase bandwith, we don’t necessarily experience a better connection. This can be caused by several issues, but typically you will find the bottleneck in the parts of the network which has not been upgraded to handle the increased bandwidth. So before we start upgrading our bandwidth we need to have control over a few things and ask ourselves some questions to be ready and wellprepared for the new and faster connection. Otherwise it can end up being an expensive experience with unforseen costs to be able to gain the benefit from the increased bandwidth.

1. What are the users’ needs on the internet?
What do we expect the users to gain from the increased capacity on the internet? And how much bandwidth does each user need to solve the assignment the capacity is being used for? These are a few of the important questions, that are rarely discussed. There are usually many devices on the network and if the network can’t handle more bandwidth, the users will not get the benefit of the increased speed.

2. Are my existing routers and my switches prepared for the new speed?
When bandwidth is increased we must make sure that the router has enough capacity to handle the increased speed. Be aware, that many companies inform about their throughput with an absolute minimum of activated features, but when VLAN, DMZ and VPN are activated it can reduce the capacity considerably, and therefore it is a good idea to consult the experts.

3. Is the existing cabling good enough for the increased amount of traffic?
Cables are not just cables, connectors are not just connectors, and it has been seen before that all of the cabling is not of the same quality. Typically it is in those areas where there has been a prior reducement of costs, that shows to be a new bottleneck. So check the cables!

4. Can the Wifi accesspoints handle the increased traffic?
Hurray…giga speed…But how much traffic can the accesspoints really handle? It is no good having a WiFi, that suddenly can not feed the full bandwidth to the internet, so again, consult an expert on the matter.

If you already have a SmartShare StraightShaper connected to your network and you are increasing from fra 100 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s, remember to have your SmartShare upgraded, so you can continuously guarantee users a stable and fast internet connection.