In a perfect world we’d all have unlimited bandwidth to use to keep dozens of tabs open at a time while streaming video and working in Slack or Skype. Our connection speeds would be nearly instant, right?
Well, we’re getting there, but we all still have a set amount of bandwidth to work with. So how do you maximize the allowance you have? The answer is the same with bandwidth use as with most other things in life — you have to know your limits and make the most of what you’ve got.
A good place to start is by assessing your everyday browsing habits. We all know that streaming content from the Internet can use of a lot of bandwidth and slow down the connection. Pandora, Skype, and Netflix are the most well known culprits.
In addition, other applications are also likely to be slowing your roll by downloading updates — even while you are effectively offline from work!
So, know the score: Applications such Steam and Skype will continuously download and upload content while they are left running. Virus protection software can be another culprit because these programs will continuously scan downloaded files, such as music and pictures.
Any computer system updates for Windows or Apple, and storage or backup applications such as Dropbox for your photos and music, can work the same way. In the office, any peer-to-peer applications will accomplish virtually the same thing.
Obviously, you can use less bandwidth while working by choosing which streaming content you use wisely based on need. Social media applications such as Facebook will take up a lot less bandwidth than you think, but you may still want to limit use to increase productivity.
Finally, no matter what your network needs you have lots of options to keep score when it comes to the use of bandwidth at your personal computer and in the office. You can download a sidebar gadget to track speeds, or use built in tools, depending on your operating system. Some of the applications, such as Steam, have their own bandwidth monitor you can keep an eye on.
Or, use a third party program such as Networx or Netbalancer. And be sure to consult with us for more options to regulate and maximize your bandwidth use!