How to Find and Eliminate Bandwidth Hogs

How to Find and Eliminate Bandwidth Hogs

With more companies shifting their computing workloads to the cloud, bandwidth has become one of the most valuable commodities in modern business. Unfortunately, in many areas of the country, Internet speeds are still not up to the job of handling all the work they need to without major slowdowns causing a drain on productivity. For this reason, it’s sometimes necessary to optimize your bandwidth consumption by finding and eliminating applications that are consuming more than they need to.

Although every business should entrust their internet connection with the fastest and most reliable service provider in their areas, there are still factors that are within your control. Some examples include the networking hardware you use and the degree of management access you have over your connection.

However, there are still things you can do to reduce bandwidth consumption and prioritize web traffic so that your systems function to their best abilities.

Start with Your Router

While you can use the performance tab in the Windows Task Manager to see which applications are using bandwidth at any given time, this approach can be impractical if you have a large network of connected computers and other devices.

It’s better to start by tracking down your bandwidth consumption using the management page on your router. To access your router’s webpage, you simply need to open a web browser in any networked device and enter the router’s IP address.

Once you’re logged into your router’s webpage, you’ll need to open the settings for something called “DHCP” to see a list of connected devices. From here, you can delete any connected clients that shouldn’t be using your network or are taking up too much capacity.

Many enterprise-grade routers also provide additional information about bandwidth and data usage by client, which allows you to detect which devices are consuming the most. Furthermore, you may also be able to set bandwidth quotas and download speed limits for each connected device or device category, although this is usually easier with third-party software.

Which Activities Hog Bandwidth?

There are many different factors that can contribute to slower internet speeds, but things like streaming video, downloads and large-scale VoIP communications are usually among the biggest culprits. That’s why it’s important to set a usage policy in your company that prevents misuse by employees and allocates resources on a per-system basis.

However, other factors, such as email spam, file sharing, backup jobs and automatic system updates can all hog bandwidth to such an extent that they make your internet connection almost unusable. For this reason, you should consider scheduling bandwidth-intensive tasks to take place out of working hours when your employees don’t need to access your systems.

Although employee misuse of company resources is perhaps the most common bandwidth hog, by far the worst kind involves malware intrusion. After all, it’s one thing having your bandwidth being consumed by an inefficient network infrastructure, but it’s quite another if that bandwidth is being used by a hacker with access to your systems.

If your network is suddenly suffering an inexplicable drop in bandwidth or reduced latency, you should immediately scan your systems for any potentially suspicious activity and check your router’s website for any unknown clients.

A corporate network is a complicated setup with many moving parts. That means performance bottlenecks are inevitable if you don’t have an efficient infrastructure in place. Here at SpectrumWise, we can help you implement a network that’s free of problems such as these. Call us today to find out more.