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How fast is your Internet connection?

How fast is your Internet connection?

An Internet connection is probably one of the most important things you need in this day and age when you want to run a business. Back in 1996 (or was it 1997?) when I started a new job at the tender age of 17 (or was it 18?), Internet had only just started to become popular.

I remember the first time I had an email address for work and I often used something called ICQ, it was an instant messaging program similar to MSN Messenger. Google didn’t exist at this time, I don’t even remember what I used as a search engine, possibly Excite or AltaVista.

So what’s this blog post all about? Well it’s about Internet connections and how we rely on these each day to successfully run our businesses.

Until very recently I never really thought about the speed of my Internet and how it affects my business. I have recently moved house, from a small town in rural France to an even smaller village in rural France. My connection was a respectable speed of 11Mb, which is good for around here. My Internet speed is now only 1.5Mb, and that’s on a good day. I really have noticed the difference in the speed, even for every day tasks I used to take for granted.

Depending on what services your small business provides, the Internet may not be very important. You may just have a website and email address, and occasionally do some searching online. For a business like mine for example, the Internet is very important, and the speed of it.

Many of my clients require me to work online most days, setting up a blog post, or altering a website, designing a website, researching online and so on. And my clients (or most of them) pay me by the hour. When my Internet speed was 11Mb, I was getting things done very quickly, but now things have slowed down a bit I might not be able to complete that task which took me 30 minutes before, in the same amount of time. 

Until now I didn’t think about the affect my Internet speed could have on the amount of time I am spending on client tasks, and how this was going to impact on them. Luckily I have already come up with useful tips to try and keep extra time spent to a minimum.

Not all of my client tasks need the Internet, so those are just fine. But now I am more aware of those tasks which may be affected, things such as setting up a blog post, downloading images and researching online. When I do these sort of tasks I make sure that all my Internet connection resources are being used on these tasks, so I will turn off the radio I sometimes stream, I close my email programme so that’s not using up bandwidth which could slow things down.

It’s been nearly 4 weeks of my new Internet speed, and although it is enough to continue working, it is taking some time to get used to. So it’s not only time saving tips I am on the look out for, it’s bandwidth saving tips also.

What Internet speed do you have and how do you work effectively with it if you are below the UK average of 14.7Mb*? (it’s 4.8Mb in France**) I look forward to seeing how you all manage with what speed you have.

You can check yours here: http://www.speedtest.net

Here’s mine… slower than 84% of France! 🙁 

*May 2013
**January 2013