Friday, June 14, 2024

When to Choose Shared Bandwidth over Dedicated Bandwidth

In today’s fast-paced technological environment, it’s almost impossible to work or run a business without the internet. Internet is essential for companies that aspire to scale their operations beyond their local community or area. You need a good broadband connection to market your products online, communicate virtually with clients and teams, and store and share documents via the cloud, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The first step to setting up a web connection in your business or workplace is to approach a reliable internet service provider (ISP). Your ISP can offer you two types of internet connections, shared or dedicated bandwidth. These two options vary in cost, speed, quality, and stability. This post will highlight the difference between shared and dedicated bandwidth and help you decide on the better option for your needs.

Shared Versus Dedicated Bandwidth: What Is the Difference?

Internet bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can move from one point to another in a second. The higher it is, the faster your internet connection will be. Your ISP can provide two options, shared or dedicated. Let’s look at how they differ.


When you purchase shared bandwidth, you share the connection with other users in your network. This bandwidth type always indicates that your speed will go “up to” a specified limit. For example, if your ISP provides shared bandwidth of up to 10 Mbps, you can only use up to that amount. Your bandwidth can be lower than 10 Mbps at certain times, especially when the network gets congested.

With dedicated bandwidth, you don’t share the internet with any other user. Your bandwidth is for your use only. For example, if you purchase 10 Mbps of dedicated bandwidth, your connection will consistently remain at that speed regardless of when you use it. It won’t drop or rise.

Cost, Speed, and Stability

The price for shared bandwidth is lower than dedicated bandwidth. This makes shared bandwidth ideal for those working with a tight budget.

The speed of shared bandwidth varies depending on the number of users and how they use their internet. If there are many connections at a particular time, the bandwidth will get shared across all of them, which slows down the internet speed. If other users utilize the internet to download large files or for video conferencing, your connection will slow down tremendously.

Dedicated bandwidth is stable since you are not sharing it with anyone. You can use your connection to upload large files or any other bandwidth-heavy tasks without worrying that your internet speed will reduce. You may, in some cases, find that you have more bandwidth than you need, especially if you are not using your internet at a particular time.

Such moments can be good opportunities to earn extra income. Bandwidth sharing involves renting or sharing unused bandwidth with other users for money or other rewards such as gift cards. You most likely won’t use your internet 24/7. Why not make some money out of your leftover bandwidth?

When Is Shared Bandwidth Right for You?

The bandwidth option to select depends on your budget and internet needs. Shared bandwidth is ideal if your usage is light. You will find this option sufficient for normal online activities such as watching movies, checking email and social media, and surfing the web.

Another case where you should choose shared bandwidth is if you plan to offer Wi-Fi to customers and visitors. In such a case, you can purchase a dedicated plan for your employees and a shared plan for your customers and visitors.

Also, select a dedicated plan if your privacy and security needs are pivotal to the success of your organization. Both shared and dedicated options offer a good level of network security. However, dedicated bandwidth provides more privacy and security since you are not sharing the network with anyone. This does not mean that shared networks aren’t safe.

Closing Thoughts

The main difference between shared and dedicated bandwidth is that you have to share the former with other users on the network. Shared plans are cheaper, but the connection may be unstable since it depends on the number of people using the internet and how they use it.

Lindsey Ertz
Lindsey Ertz
Lindsey, a curious soul from NY, is a technical, business writer, and journalist. Her passion lies in crafting well-researched, data-driven content that delivers authentic information to global audiences, fostering curiosity and inspiration.

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