How to calculate your Wi-Fi bandwidth need
In this blog post, we will show you how to calculate your Wi-Fi bandwidth need, so as to rely on a well performing network experience.
Bandwidth refers to the rate of data transfer in a network and is measured in bits per second (bit/s). In order to rely on a fast and effective WiFi network, it is extremely relevant to know how many bits per second are transmitted across your network. Indeed, a low bandwidth implies slow WiFi connection and it negatively affects you network perfomance and your WiFi user experience. Let’s see through a practical example the 3 steps to follow in order to effectevely measure your network bandwidth need.
1. Calculate how many devices will connect to your WiFi network at the same time.
If a hotel has 18 rooms, for 2 people each, the hotel has 36 guests if it’s full-booked. If each guest has 1.2 devices, you have around 43 devices in total. We can suppose that only 20 of 43 are connected at the same time.
2. Select the internet services that the guests expect to use
Your network bandwidth requirements also depend on the usage of Internet your guests perfom while being connected to your WiFi network. Some internet applications, such as web browsing and instant messaging, require low bandwith, whereas other applications, such as video streaming and VoiP calls, require intensive bandwidth usage.
|E-mail, instant messaging||Light usage|
|Web browsing||Light usage|
|Light / Medium usage|
|Upload photos||Medium usage|
|Skype||Medium / heavy usage|
|Google Drive, Dropbox…||Heavy usage|
|Video streaming (HD)||Heavy usage|
3. Calculate your bandwidth need
To calculate your required network bandwidth, take into consideration the number of concurrent WiFi-enalble devices connected to your network and the internet apps WiFi users are using. Then, multiply this value by a certain amount of Kbps, as follows:
- Number of concurrent devices (light usage) x 500 Kbps
- Number of concurrent devices (medium usage) x 900 Kbps
- Number of concurrent devices (heavy usage) x 2000 Kbps
We have 20 concurrent devices.
(10 X 500 Kbps) + (8 X 900 Kbps) + (2 X 2000 Kbps) =
5000+7200+4000 = 16200 Kbps = 16.2 Mbps
16.2 Mbps is our approximate Wi-Fi bandwidth need.