The best way to save money building an enterprise-grade WiFi network is to not buy more than your business needs for the foreseeable future. One way to spend less is to accurately estimate how much bandwidth is required. Bandwidth needs for a WAN pipe can vary widely (especially if you are enforcing bandwidth limits on your SSIDs). GNS Wireless offers this procedure to estimate your backhaul (or WAN needs) and avoid spending more than you need to.
- Take your download/upload limits per client.
- Multiply each figure by the number of clients you wish to support.
- Your end results should represent the rough WAN bandwidth needed to support an ideal situation where everyone is using the maximum pipeline allocated to them.
Here’s an example: Assume that your business provides 500Kbps / 150Kbps per client on a 25-device network. This means you’ll need a pipe the size of:
- Download: 0.5Mbps x 25 = 12.5Mbps Down
- Upload: 0.15Mbps x 25 = 3.75Mbps Up
Remember, this formula assumes that every client will be fully using their maximum bandwidth allocation at all times, 24/7/365. This is not realistic, but will capably cover current and estimated future bandwidth needs. Remember, these are general estimates.
How Much Bandwidth Does Your Enterprise-Grade WiFi Network Require?
Comparing your business with the example above, your WiFi clients may need less bandwidth at different times throughout the workday. Also, the type of device being used also impacts the amount of required bandwidth, as well as the type of application being processed. These additional considerations should be considered to establish your true bandwidth needs, to avoid overbuying, yet still maintain a reliable network for your clients.
The last consideration, know how your office is wired. Do you have dual cable-coax business lines from your service provider or hybrid lines that include metro ethernet or similar options as well? Such units capably perform load balances from two separate pipes to endpoint devices. Know how your network is configured and you’ll avoid overspending on a single fat pipe if more affordable dual pipes will handle your peak bandwidth demands.