In part one of “How to Determine the Right Internet Package for Your Business,” we covered the basics of internet speed, the two most important factors in determining how fast your web connection should be, and gave examples of what activities take up the most bandwidth and might lead to hitting your data cap.

If you love numbers as much as we do, you might want a more in-depth study of how much data different tasks actually use, and how you can plug these numbers into a simple formula to get a rough estimate of your daily internet usage. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Key Terms

To start, we need to have a basic understanding of the different units that internet companies use to measure data. The most commonly used terms are “Kilobyte,” “Megabyte,” and “Gigabyte.”

• A Kilobyte (KB for short) is 1,024 bytes.

• A Megabyte (MB) is 1,024 Kilobytes.

• A Gigabyte (GB) is 1,024 Megabytes.

How Much Data do Different Tasks Use?

Now that those conversions are out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the most popular internet activities and how much bandwidth they use on average:

According to Xfinity, the average internet customer uses approximately 191 gigabytes of data per month
• Reading and answering emails takes up very little data (only about 10KB/email). Downloading or uploading large attachments will use more data, depending on the file size.
• Streaming video or making video calls uses about 8 MB of data/minute
• General web surfing uses about 2.5 MB of data/minute
• Social media uses about 2 MB of data/minute
• Streaming music or radio uses about 1 MB of data/minute

So how can you use this information to calculate your business’s internet usage?

The Formula

First, you’ll need to calculate what percentage of your time is used for which activities. If your 8-hour workday consists of 4 hours of answering emails, 2 hours of social media management, a 1 hour video call, and 2 hours of web management, your hourly breakdown would look like this:

• 30 minutes of email
• 15 minutes of social media
• 7.5 minutes of video call
• 7.5 minutes of web surfing

From here we can use this formula to calculate your hourly usage:

(Minutes of social media x 2) + (Minutes of email + 0.1) + (minutes of video streaming or call x 8) + (minutes of web surfing x 2.5) = MB of data usage, per user, per hour.

In the example above, the equation would look like this:
(15 x 2) + (30 x 0.1) + (7.5 x 8) + (7.5x 2.5) = 111.75 MB

Multiply this by the number of hours in your workday, and then by the number of employees in your office to get the estimated daily usage for your business. If the company in our example has an 8-5 workday and 10 employees, their total data usage would come out to be approximately 8 GB of usage per day, or about 250 GB per month.

Remember to take into account any email attachment downloading, music streaming, etc., in your final total. Buying a plan with a data cap significantly higher than your expected usage is a safe way to ensure you don’t run into a data limit that could lower your office’s productivity.

We hope you enjoyed this two-part series and that it helped you to figure out what internet package is right for your company. Want more tips like this? Subscribe to our blog to get the most out of your business’s budget.

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