If you like to squeeze every last drop out of your data connection, you will inevitably run into issues with data congestion (or ‘bottlenecking’) on your network. Everything from uploading a project update to your client to an employee watching YouTube videos during a lunch break can put stress on your network. If your network is overworked, your performance will suffer.
An analogy would be pipes supplying water to a house. The pipes are capable of delivering only so much water at the same time, so it’s important to make sure that you get the water to the essential things first (like the sink, shower, and washing machine) before filling up the pool in your backyard. The same goes for your internet. Just like water to a house, there are ways to more efficiently use bandwidth so you don’t run out usability at the wrong moment.

Common symptoms of an over-utilised connection

The obvious benefits of migrating to the cloud include lower costs, availability, reliability, better disaster recovery and improved analytics. But there are other benefits to your business after you have migrated to the cloud.

  • Slow internet speeds
  • Pages only partially loading before needing to be refreshed or even timing out entirely
  • Decreased quality of calls on any VoIP, SIP or EPBX service that shares the connection

Common causes of congestion

  • Large downloads or uploads, such as computer updates, system backups, or sending large files across the connection
  • Staff or guests overusing the connection for personal use (which can also lead to excess data charges)
  • Not enough available bandwidth due to new staff, more resource-intensive software, or large projects that can impact the amount of bandwidth a business uses during day-to-day operations

How to resolve cases of congestion

Very often usage issues are fixed by upgrading to a plan that delivers more bandwidth to your door. While this can certainly fix the issue, it can be an expensive option, especially if you don’t resolve the underlying issues that caused the repeated over-usage. Upgrading your plan alone might fix the problem for a brief period, but often a business will increase its bandwidth usage to match the new total, leaving you with seemingly no benefit after just a few weeks or months.
The first thing that we’d recommend is to contact your IT department or an IT managed services provider. Advise them that you’d like to use your bandwidth more efficiently. The IT professionals should be able to investigate and recommend some policy changes to reduce the amount of bandwidth you use day to day.

The right tools for the job

Arrow offers a number of methods to control your bandwidth, such as:

  • A second service to control your VoIP calls, ensuring that your phone calls will remain the same high quality even if your office internet connection is being overworked.
  • Business-grade routers, such as the Draytek Vigor series, that provide traffic management and Quality of Service tools while providing enough flexibility to power any SMB.
  • Managed routers that let us take the job of optimising your network traffic off your hands. For a small fee, we’ll ensure that your router always dedicates enough bandwidth to keep your VoIP services crystal clear and your important applications running smoothly, along with many other benefits.
  • Increased bandwidth that can grow with you. Sometimes a company will expand fast enough that no amount of bandwidth management will stop it from running into congestion issues. At this point, it’s time to look towards increased bandwidth so you are able to continue operating without worrying about your IT. Arrow has a range of different internet and data services provided by a host of Australia’s carriers, and our account managers are experts at creating solutions that are scalable as you continue to grow.