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Category : Tip of the Week

How Much Bandwidth Do I Need?

How do you decide what bandwidth you need for your office? The answer to this question can cost you hundreds of dollars in lost productivity for your people, or in additional costs paying for internet you don’t need.

Bandwidth Usage

Here is a list of typical bandwidth suckers and then we’ll calculate a couple different office sizes:

VOIP Phone Call Per Device .5 Mbps[i]
Music Streaming Per Device 2 Mbps
Video Streaming Per Device 4 Mbps
Smart Devices (Phone, Echo) when Idle Per Device 1 Mbps
General Web Browsing Per Device 1 Mbps

 

You also should plan on actually needing about 30% more than what’s calculated for smooth network operation.

Office of 10 People (Heavy Use):

If you have 10 people in your office and you are a creative agency (Art, Marketing, Design, Etc). you’ll probably have 50% of them streaming a video or music at any one time, and they’ll probably all have a smart phone. Of course, all of this assumes they are doing all of this ALL the time, which isn’t true, so as you get to a higher number of uses, you’ll want to change the calculations.

Music Streaming x 5 = 10 Mbps

Video Streaming x 5 = 20 Mbps

Smart Devices x 10 = 10 Mbps

General Web Browsing x 5 = 5 Mbps

Total without VOIP (45 + 30%): 58.5 Mbps down

Adding VOIP (VOIP x 10 = 5) 65 Mbps.

Office of 10 People (Light Use):

Here’s a possible scenario of an office with 10 people who are not a creative agency (I would call this an average office). We’re going to assume that at any one time 20% of them will be either streaming video, music, or surfing the web. Here’s the calculation.

Music Streaming x 2 = 4 Mbps

Video Streaming x 2 = 8 Mbps

Smart Devices x 10 = 10 Mbps

General Web Browsing x 2 = 2 Mbps

 

Total without VOIP (24 + 30%): 31.2 Mbps down

Adding VOIP (VOIP x 10 = 5) 36.2 Mbps.

Other Considerations

Speeds Less Than 100 Mbps

  1. Old Building
    1. If you’re in an old building where the wiring was done in the early 90’s, then you may have Cat3, which is limited to 10Mbps.
  2. Hardware Limitations
    1. WiFi
      1. Your WiFi device has a total limit of traffic it can handle. If you’re trying to run lots of computers on a single WiFi device, you’ll likely experience a bottle neck that isn’t close to the full speed of your ISP.
    2. Firewall
      1. You’ll need to have a commercial grade firewall to get a reliable 100 Mbps through your firewall. Google your make and model to see what speeds it can accept. Also, if you’re using any kind of content filtering or gateway services, this will slow down your connection more.

Speeds Greater Than 1000 Mbps

  1. OldBuilding
    1. If you’re in a building built before the early 2000’s, it was probably built with Cat5 cabling. Cat5 cabling limits your throughput to 100 Mbps. Cat5e and Cat 6 both support speeds of 1000 Mbps
  2. Hardware Limitations
    1. WiFi
      1. Your WiFi device has a total limit of traffic it can handle. If you’re trying to run lots of computers on a single WiFi device, you’ll likely experience a bottle neck that isn’t close to the full speed of your ISP.
    2. Firewall
      1. You’ll need to have a really good commercial grade firewall to get 1000 Mbps through your firewall. Google your make and model to see what speeds it can accept. Also, if you’re using any kind of content filtering or gateway services, this will slow down your connection more.
    3.  Switch
      1. You’ll need to make sure your switch can support 1000 Mbps speeds. If not, you’ll need to upgrade. If you want to experience the full speeds.

[i] http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.99.7039&rep=rep1&type=pdf

2018 Cyber Crime Update

2017 was a crazy year for cyber crime and cyber security. WannaCry hit every continent and most modern countries (See image below), reminding us that bad guys were out there and were just an IP ping away.

So, what should we expect from 2018? Less ransomware, more IoT attacks, and more memory and chip attacks. According to SonicWall’s 2018 Cyber Threat Report, there is a global arms race going on that businesses like yours and mine are getting caught in. “Governments, enterprises and individuals are in the crosshairs of a global cyber arms race,” says Bill Conner, CEO of Sonicwall.

The Risks to Business

He goes on to say that cyber related risks are becoming a top risk for businesses: “The risks to business, privacy and related data grow by the day — so much so that cybersecurity is outranking some of the more traditional business risks and concerns.” and Lloyd’s of Lundon (massive insurance agency) agrees with them “There are substantial insurance gaps, as a majority of cyber risks are not covered by any form of insurance,” says Lloyd’s of London CEO Inga Beale. “Just like natural catastrophes, cyber events such as hacker attacks or internet failures can cause severe impact on businesses and economies.”

So be ready, make sure you have an updated firewall in place that is properly setup, antivirus on your computers, a good password manager, and cross your fingers…

Countries infected by WannaCry

BitCoin Mining: Warning to the miners

If you are mining Bitcoins, you may want to reconsider. A new study from RWTH Aachen University shows that the ledger used to verify transactions includes illegal content, such as child abuse imagery. The ledger is stored locally on the miner’s computer, and because that content is on your computer, you are liable for it…. We’re still in the beginning of Bitcoin, don’t get too carried away.

Study: https://fc18.ifca.ai/preproceedings/6.pdf

PASSWORDS EXPLAINED – WHY SHOULD MY PASSWORDS BE COMPLEX?

How would I ever remember a password like “e$K7e*lx”?  How important is your password, really?  The greatest data security systems in the world can only keep you as secure as the strength of your password used to gain access to your sensitive data.  This is why the big data storage organizations require you to choose a “Strong” password.

HOW DO THEY DETERMINE A “STRONG” PASSWORD?

Why is it that 8 characters, one upper case letter, one lowercase letter, and one number are the security standard?

If a desktop computer was given the task of breaking the below passwords, here’s how long it would take:

PASSWORD

CRACK TIME

golf 0.0000 seconds – Favorite hobby
10081975 0.025 – Birthday
fluffy23 11 minutes – Dog’s name with a number
F2luf3fy 15 hours – Dog’s name with capitol and numbers sprinkled
F2luf3f*y 275 days – Add a symbol and make it 9 characters
F2luf3f~y 1 year – Instead, add a symbol that isn’t part of the number keys

WHY DO I GET LOCKED OUR AFTER A CERTAIN NUMBER OF FAILED ATTEMPTS?

Many portals will block your account or your Internet address for 15 minutes after 3-5 failed attempts.  This prevents human efforts from breaking your password manually, but there are computer algorithms that can get around this.

WHY AM I BEING ASKED TO CHANGE MY PASSWORD?

If a computer can crack a 9-character complex password in 1 year, then changing your password often would make a successful crack statistically impossible.  This is why sometimes you’re asked to change your password every ninety days

SO HOW CAN I HAVE A SECURE PASSWORD, AND BE ABLE TO REMEMBER IT?

Take the example above of the dog’s name.  Choose some word that has meaning to you, that is also obscure and few people would relate to you.  Then sprinkle in a few numbers, symbols, and uppercase letters.  Get the word to be 8 characters or greater and then be prepared to change it from time to time for highest security.

WHAT ABOUT PASSWORD LOCKERS LIKE ROBOFORM?

We don’t recommend using password recording software.  It definitely makes life simpler, but you security is only as reliable as the software you’re using.  Also, it makes your mind lazy and you’re more likely to forget important passwords if your recording software is unavailable or crashes.