How much internet bandwidth do you really need to work remotely?

November 14th, 2022
How much internet bandwidth do you really need to work remotely?

If your company shifted to a remote work setup, you should understand how crucial having enough internet bandwidth for remote workers is. But what does “good enough” mean? And what’s the minimum bandwidth ideal for work-related tasks? Let’s find out.

What is internet bandwidth?

Bandwidth is how much data your internet connection can transfer in a second. A higher bandwidth allows more data to be transferred at once. Most internet providers have different bandwidth limits for downloads and uploads.

Data transfer speed is calculated in megabytes per second (Mbps) or bytes per second (Bps), which indicates the maximum amount of data that can be sent through your home internet connection.

How much internet bandwidth is needed for remote work?

Several factors affect how much internet bandwidth you need to work remotely, like the type of job you have and which apps/programs you use.

Simple tasks such as checking your email, chatting online, or creating documents don’t use too much bandwidth. However, if your tasks require more complex processes, like video calling, then you’ll need higher bandwidth to complete them.

Below is a list of commonly used apps by remote workers, and the bandwidth required to use them effectively.

Google Meet

Google Meet needs access to enough concurrent bandwidth for HD meetings, as well as supplemental bandwidth in order to support other needs, such as live streaming. If there isn’t enough bandwidth for a video conference, the app will automatically switch to audio-only mode. 

Below are the minimum bandwidth requirements for Google Meet.

Average bandwidth requirement per participant

Type of meetingInboundOutboundHD video conference1.6 Mbps2.2 MbpsAudio-only mode18 Kbps12 Kbps

Average bandwidth requirements per live stream viewer

Video settingRequired inbound bandwidth720p2.6 Mbps480p1.5 Mbps360p1.0 Mbps240p0.5 Mbps

Zoom will adjust its bandwidth usage for the best experience possible based on the participant’s network, whether it be 3G, Wi-Fi, or wired. Here are the bandwidth requirements for different types of Zoom meetings.

1-on-1 video call

Video settingRequired bandwidthHigh-quality video600 Kbps (up/down)720p HD video1.2 Mbps (up/down)1080p HD video3.8 Mbps/3.0 Mbps (up/down)

Group video call

Video settingRequired bandwidthHigh-quality video1.0M Bps/600 Kbps (up/down)720p HD video2.6 Mbps/1.8 Mbps (up/down)1080p HD video3.8 Mbps/3.0 Mbps (up/down)Gallery view receiving2.0 Mbps (25 views), 4.0 Mbps (49 views)

Webinar participants

Video settingRequired bandwidthHigh-quality video600 Kbps (down)720p HD video1.2‒1.8 Mbps (down)1080p HD video2–3 Mbps (down)

Microsoft Teams

No matter the condition of your internet connection, Teams guarantees the best audio, video, and content sharing experience. If you have insufficient bandwidth, Teams will prioritize audio quality over video quality. 

This table details how much bandwidth Teams uses.

Bandwidth Requirement for Audio Only

Type of meetingMinimumRecommendedOptimumOne-on-one 10 Kbps/10 Kbps (up/down)58 Kbps/58 Kbps (up/down)76 Kbps/76 Kbps (up/down)Group1.2‒1.8 Mbps (down)58kbps/58kbps (up/down)76 Kbps/76 Kbps (up/down)

Bandwidth Requirement for Video

Type of meetingMinimumRecommendedOptimumOne-on-one150 Kbps/150 Kbps (up/down)1.5 Mbps/1.5 Mbps (up/down)4.0 Mbps/4.0 Mbps (up/down)Group150 Kbps/200 Kbps (up/down)2.5 Mbps/4.0 Mbps (up/down)4.0 Mbps/4.0 Mbps (up/down)

Bandwidth Requirement for Screen sharing

Type of meetingMinimumRecommendedOptimumOne-on-one200 Kbps/200 Kbps (up/down)1.5 Mbps/1.5 Mbps (up/down)4.0 Mbps/4.0 Mbps (up/down)Group250 Kbps/250 Kbps (up/down)2.5 Mbps/2.5 Mbps (up/down)4.0 Mbps/4.0 Mbps (up/down)

Bandwidth Requirement for Together mode

Type of meetingMinimumRecommendedOptimumOne-on-oneN/AN/AN/AGroup1.0 Mbps/1.5 Mbps (up/down)1.5 Mbps/2.5 Mbps (up/down)2.5 Mbps/4.0 Mbps (up/down)

For more helpful tips on how you can optimize your remote work setup, call us today.

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