Conserving Bandwidth Tips

In today’s world, IT budgets all over the place have been cut down to the bone, and maybe you’re users are starting to hog up all the bandwidth and you don’t have the money in the budget to increase the bandwidth, what do you do?  Well there are ways that you can squeeze more out of your current bandwidth by adding some software or hardware solutions in place.  While each individual one, may only save a little bit of bandwidth, but together they can help you squeeze a little more out of a connection.
Here are some of the quick and effective ways of squeezing every last drop out of your connection to the internet:

  1. Block Access to Media Streaming Websites
    Videos are bandwidth hogs, pure and simple, and while the occasional video on YouTube may not kill you, the more employees you have and the more people who are streaming content, the more of a chunk that’s going to cut into your over all bandwidth.  I’ve been at many a company, that didn’t  block websites, and could see many users streaming video and audio, and the company wondered why their connection was slow.
  2. Limit your use of VOIP

    VoIP phone services have gotten pretty popular over time, and people forget that these phone calls also eat into your bandwidth.  I would recommend that you create a policy with your workers, that phone calls be “business only”.  I know, this wont go over well, but most people have cell phones, and it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
  3. Use a proxy

    A proxy server is one of those simple solutions for bandwidth problems.  Every time your computer goes to a website, it grabs the whole site every time.  A proxy server downloads the site once visited and periodically checks for updates.  This means the multiple computers connect to the proxy server  looking for the same site, and the proxy server grabs it once and displays it to all the computers connection, saving precious bandwidth.

  4. Windows Update Server

    This is a great way to not only kill the bandwidth slowdown, after Microsoft updates are released, but a way to make sure the updates wont effect your network, by being able to slow roll it out.  The idea, was rather than 30 computers downloading 10 updates, you have 1 server downloading 10 updates, it makes less of an impression on your overall bandwidth.

  5. Use 3rd part mail filtering 

    At a company that I worked for, we hosted our own MX record and mail server.  While doing some routine monitoring I noticed that a huge amount of spam hitting our mail server, our server was doing it’s job and blocking it, but still that bandwidth was still being used.  We looked into a 3rd party host for our MX record, that also did virus, maleware, and  spam filtering for us, and gave us that bandwidth back.

These are just some of the ways, but I’ve used these in the last couple years to help speed up some networks, and I’ve had networks where bandwidth was of critical importance, because there was so little of it to go around.  If you have any other ways to save bandwidth, then please leave a comment below.

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