100Mb vs Gigabit: Which Network Speed is Right For You?

Posted by Jeff Csisar on

When deploying, upgrading, or expanding existing network architecture, a network engineer must come to a decision, what network speed should I deploy? In the past, the choices would have been 10 Megabit or 100 Megabit, but as technology progresses the new standard today has become 100 Mb vs 1,000 Mb (commonly known as Gigabit). 10 Gigabit also exists, but is a much higher end standard that readers of this blog should not worry about.

Between our choices of 100 Megabit and Gigabit, you will have to decide which is a better fit for your business. 100 Megabit is the older technology that will be outdated sooner, but it is much more affordable than competing Gigabit offerings.

100MB still does well in low bandwidth offices. If your office is relatively small (<20 people) who only do mainly e-mail, word processing, printing, and web browsing, 100Mb is more than enough. You will not saturate 100MB of an internal connection doing those things.

However, if you’re sending large files such as video back and forth across your network or accessing a file server heavily, you may run into bandwidth problems. This is where Gigabit business-grade switches become critical to maintaining your company’s speed. Gigabit is ten times as fast, providing more bandwidth for your company to share. While Gigabit is more expansive, affordable Gigabit network switches are available.

In the end, it is your choice as the IT professional or business owner of your company. If replacing an existing switch or upgrading network architecture already in place, a 100Mb switch would make sense. But if it is a clean deployment, we here at Refurbished Phone Exchange recommend deploying Gigabit to your desktops.

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