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Determining Your Current Network Bandwith Needs

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Your primary concern in determining the type of cabling to use is your network’s current bandwith requirements.  This figure can vary greatly based on the size of the network (i.e., the number of workstations connected to the network).  A small network of 15 workstations will generally have much lower bandwith requirements than a network that needs to support 100 workstations.  Future growth should also be factored when considering network size.  If your company is expecting to double the number of employees over the next two years, then you can expect your bandwith needs to increase accordingly.  To complicate matters further, you must also factor in the type and volume of the data traffic that your network will be supporting.  For example, a small multimedia and graphic design firm with only 10 stations will likely have much greater bandwith requirements than a law firm consisting of 25 workstations.  Again, this is due primarily to the type and volume of the data one can expect in each work environment:  a single user transferring a 5-minute high definition video across the network can easily consume more bandwith than 20 users opening MS Word and Excel files.

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