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How to calculate your Wi-Fi bandwidth need

by Mar 30, 2015All articles, Networking0 comments

Network bandwidth

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
Facebook Light / Medium usage
Youtube 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


Practical example


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.


>> Do you want to estimate your hotel network bandwidth need? Try our free Access Point Selector!


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 873466.

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