How much speed do I need for free Wi-Fi at my business?

You need enough speed to allow all of your customers to browse the internet at a reasonable pace, without lags, no matter how many people are in your store. This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to have speeds high enough to allow endless Netflix streaming, but it wouldn’t hurt if you know people are going to be spending long spans of time at your business and may need this luxury.

Ready for better business speeds? 

Check out our guide to business internet.


How many Mbps do I need for my business?

Businesses need 100Mbps a month for every 1,000 users. Those 100Mbps per month translates to about 100Kbps for each user. Unless you’re hosting the world’s largest book club meeting at your coffee house or waiting room, you probably won’t have an extreme amount of people in your business at one time, outside of employees.

Using Nielsen’s Law of Internet Bandwidth, which states internet usage doubles every 12 months, the report estimates businesses will need 1Mbps per user by 2017. This should provide your business with enough speed for users to access popular apps, casual web browsing, and watching YouTube videos.

Connection speeds vary by area and internet service providers, so it’s important to compare what’s available in your city before settling on one for your business. Many of the top ISPs provide download speeds of up to 150Mbps, like Comcast and Cox. Other popular choices including Time Warner and AT&T provide roughly 50Mbps. Establish the connection you need and then call and speak with an internet expert to discuss your options.

DSL, cable, and fiber-optic internet will provide the fastest speeds for your business, while dial-up and T1 are likely too slow to keep up with demand. Take into account the amount of people who’ll be using the internet at any given time throughout the day and what they might be using it for. If you have a high-traffic business where customers spend a good deal of time sitting and getting online, you’ll want the fastest Internet speeds you can afford.

Here is a helpful chart that outlines the desired speeds per number of office visitors.


Users Slow (128K/user) Decent (256K/user) Fast (512K/user)
10 1.28Mbps 2.56Mbps 5.12Mbps
15 1.92 3.84 7.68
20 2.56 5.12 10.24
30 3.84 7.68 15.36
40 5.12 10.24 20.48
50 6.4 12.8 25.6


How to check internet speed

One popular option for checking the current internet speed you have in your office is to perform our internet speed test. This speed test informs you of your download speeds. If you want to run a full test of your company’s internet capabilities, consider a Geek Squad, which provides two separate tests, one for speeds and another for comprehensive results.

After testing your Internet speed, you might want to upgrade to a faster service if you’re not reaching the speeds you want. Remember to consider the recommended speeds for the upcoming years when choosing a new service, so you can keep up with demand as your business grows.

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