May 21, 2024

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Develop Technology For The Connected World

20 Ways To Maximize The Quality And Speed Of In-Office Internet

6 min read

Most businesses today use technology tools for most or all of their processes—which means most businesses simply can’t function without fast, reliable internet. While choosing the right internet service provider is an essential piece of the puzzle, there are also steps companies can take in-house to ensure their team members have uninterrupted access to the connection they need to do their work.

Fortunately, there are several strategies—both tech-focused and surprisingly simple—that can help companies ensure dependable in-office internet service and optimal upload and download speeds. Below, 20 members of Forbes Technology Council discuss ways businesses can maximize the quality of their internet service.

1. Keep An Eye Out For Shadow IT

A hidden drag on internet speed in the office is “shadow IT”—unauthorized devices or apps that are used by employees without IT’s knowledge. Employees often add these tools for convenience, but they can strain bandwidth and pose security risks. Regular IT audits to manage shadow IT boost both speed and security. – Rob Tillman, Copy Chief©

2. Ensure Wired Connections For Critical Devices

Prioritize a wired Ethernet connection for critical devices. Although Wi-Fi is convenient and flexible, wired connections typically offer faster and more stable speeds. Wired Ethernet connections can minimize interference and improve internet performance for critical operations by connecting high-bandwidth devices such as servers, workstations and video conferencing systems. – Heather Renze, theDifference Consulting


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3. Regularly Update And Optimize Equipment

One tip to maximize the quality and speed of in-office internet service is to regularly update and optimize your network equipment. Ensure your hardware is up to date and compatible with the latest networking standards. Additionally, optimize your network settings, such as channel selection and bandwidth allocation, to minimize interference and congestion. – Vasilios Lambos, Cognition

4. Reevaluate Your Cybersecurity

Rethink how your company is protecting its network. Reevaluate your cybersecurity solutions, and look for alternatives. Instead of stacking up more physical equipment somewhere on premises, it’s possible to set up a network protection solution that not only filters user requests, but also keeps a fast speed. – Juta Gurinaviciute, NordLayer

5. Have Two ISPs

Having dual internet service providers is imperative. The primary provider should offer optimal speed and be complemented by a secondary provider that serves as a contingency. This approach guarantees optimal business continuity. Additionally, it’s prudent to employ an uninterruptible power supply—a UPS—to safeguard internet modems against power disruptions. – Henri Isenberg, ReviewInc

6. Utilize A Multiple WAN Router

Utilizing a multiple wide area network router, with two to three providers, that can be put into an unbreakable virtual private network or an immediate failover is a critical strategy for maintaining internet continuity. For example, pairing land-based, high-speed gigabit fiber with a fully redundant solar or backup generator and/or a UPS battery-powered satellite connection with a failover to cell-based connection would cover all the bases. – Thaddeus Dickson, Xpio Health

7. Insist On Fiber Service

Ignore any service that isn’t fiber to your office. It’s not just downloads that matter; it’s uploads and latency. A symmetrical connection will be “faster” even with the same download speeds. Also, a vendor with newer infrastructure will have lower latency—and lower latency, not bandwidth, is where true “speed” comes from. – Seth Wasserman, Menin Hospitality

8. Remember The Basics Of Network Management

Ensuring optimal internet service can be achieved by remembering the basics of network management. Good security, ensuring adequate access control, and bandwidth management through quality of service models that create separate channels for video messaging, unified communications and Wi-Fi is key. In terms of Wi-Fi management, leveraging whole-mesh network designs will help with device optimization. – Mark Brown, British Standards Institution (BSI)

9. Segment The Network

Implement network segmentation and strategically place access points to optimize your wireless network. This ensures efficient bandwidth utilization, reduces congestion and enhances overall internet speed and quality for seamless business operations. – Vinita Rathi, Systango

10. Ensure There’s Redundancy And A Backup Plan

As with anything on a network, optimize your configuration with redundancy and have a backup plan. For example, at my last company, we had a backup connection from AT&T Wireless on the roof so we’d be covered in the event our primary internet service provider went down. – Douglas Murray, Auvik

11. Survey The Team About Current Conditions

Have employees who work the most in the office take a survey about how they perceive in-office internet speed. Ask, “Is it fast enough? Are there too many outages?” and so on. This can help you understand your system’s baseline capabilities and areas that need improvement while saving you from spending on faster speeds that may be expensive overkill. – Syed Ahmed, Act-On Software

12. Deploy Cloud-Based Web Security And Malware Prevention

The vast majority of ransomware cases are the result of Web browsing or clicking on seemingly innocuous URL links in emails, so in the pursuit of speed, don’t forget about security. Look to deploy cloud-based (versus on-premises) Web security and malware prevention to maintain the fastest user experience and lowest costs. – David Canellos, Cradlepoint

13. Consider A Standalone Line

If you want to be sure your internet is fast and reliable, consider getting a standalone internet line specifically for your business—especially if you work in an office building with other businesses. This may initially seem like a hefty investment, but in my experience, it’s worth it. Speed and performance improve when you reduce the number and intensity of internet use across a single line. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

14. Strategically Position Office Furniture

“Feng shui” your Wi-Fi. By strategically positioning office furniture, plants and decor, you can optimize Wi-Fi signal propagation. Arrange furniture to minimize obstacles; plants and reflective surfaces bounce signals efficiently. – Avani Desai, Schellman

15. Implement A Bandwidth Management System

Consider implementing a bandwidth management system in which a share of the bandwidth is distributed to each device. This ensures consistent performance, efficiency and distribution of internet capacity. Implementing a bandwidth management system recognizes each user’s internet needs and promotes equitable usage. – Gergo Vari, Lensa, Inc.

16. Purchase A Router That Offers Multiple ‘Lanes’

I would advise getting a router that offers multiple “lanes” (for example, 2.4GHz and 5GHz). Spread your devices across these lanes. Use the faster 5GHz lane for important tasks to reduce slowdowns and interruptions. – Margarita Simonova, ILoveMyQA

17. Determine How Long You Can Safely Go Without Internet Service

Knowing exactly how much time your business can survive without the internet is critical. If losing internet access is catastrophic for your business, then the money you spend on incremental speed increases may be better spent acquiring a second, backup provider. Having a backup allows a business to switch seamlessly when necessary and to keep essential services running. – Dustin Verdin, Zipline Logistics

18. Carry Out Regular Network Audits

Businesses should regularly undertake network audits and tweak network settings to increase the quality and speed of in-office internet connectivity. In order to do this, it is necessary to analyze bandwidth utilization, update network hardware, optimize DNS settings, implement network segmentation, review Wi-Fi networks, consider load balancing, manage network cables and monitor network performance. – Neelima Mangal, Spectrum North

19. Implement Content Filtering And Traffic Shaping

Content filtering and traffic shaping allows companies to prioritize certain types of network traffic and limit access to non-business-related websites and applications. By implementing these measures, you can prevent bandwidth congestion caused by excessive personal use of the internet and prioritize critical business applications. – Shailesh Kunnath, Staynex

20. Leverage SD-WAN

A software-defined wide area network, or SD-WAN, is an excellent solution for businesses seeking enhanced network performance. It not only provides superior speed and quality, but it also offers centralized control, increased flexibility and efficient branch-to-cloud connections. As enterprises shift to the cloud, SD-WAN is emerging as a gold standard for WAN optimization. – Amitkumar Shrivastava, Fujitsu

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