Design Manager recommends only about 20 to 30kbps per user of bandwidth for DM Cloud (30kbps equals 0.0293Mbps). This makes DM Cloud an excellent solution for use on mobile devices such as the iPad. If your home or office has a 300kbps DSL connection that you all share, then it should give good performance for about 10 users if you are only using DM Cloud. The actual amount of bandwidth a given user will take also depends on what they are doing. For example, if a user uploads a picture into DM Cloud, they may use much more bandwidth during the time it takes for the picture to upload. Actually sending output to a printer also takes up more bandwidth (it does not take much just to preview the report, it is the act of actually printing the report). In an office when multiple users are sharing the connection, other uses of the Internet will also affect performance. If 2 users are looking at YouTube videos they could be slowing other users down, so the required bandwidth needs to be adjusted based on other uses of the connection. Most business routers or firewalls can limit the bandwidth that each user can take up at one time thus eliminating this problem.
Most high-speed Internet Services such as Verizon or Comcast (xFinity) that are used at home or in a single-user environment are many, many times faster than is required for DM Cloud. When choosing an ISP (Internet Service Provider) for your office where there may be many more users accessing the Internet at once, here are a few tips:
- Make sure that the Upload speed is adequate. DM Cloud uses just as much upload as download bandwidth. For example, some ISP’s services are cheaper because while the download speed used for normal Internet browsing is fast, the upload speeds are very slow. An ISP might advertise a 300Kbps DSL, which is great 300/30 is about 10 users. What they do not tell you is that the 300Kbps is just the download speed while the upload speed is actually only 50Kbps (again 50Kbps is fine for a single user, add 2 or 3 users and performance could be compromised).
- Latency is the amount of time, measured in milliseconds (1000ms = 1 second), that it takes for data to cross a network between two computers. On computers that are connected to the same switch, latency should only be 2 or 3ms. Most connections over the Internet will have latency in the 30 to 40ms range (even 100 to 200ms is acceptable). Connections bounced over a satellite might have 700 to 1000ms latency (such as DIRECTV’s Internet service), which will yield poorer performance. The easiest way to test your latency in MS Windows is to open up a command prompt window and type “ping designmanager.com”. There are also a few ping tests like http://www.pingtest.net.
- Jitter is the consistency in the timing in which packets are sent and received. Even if an Internet connection has a slower latency of say 200ms, as long as it is consistent (always right around 200ms) and does not vary (30ms one time, 400ms the next), the user will can still have a good experience.
- Make sure that that there are no limits on your service. Most providers these days do not put any limits on the total amount of data you can transfer, but some still do. The more you use it during the day and the closer you get to your limit, the more they may slow your connection down. One of the heaviest traffic times is between 3PM and 6PM EST, run a speed test both in the morning and afternoon to see if your ISP experiences slowness during these hours.
- Make sure that your Internet service is made for business and for multiple users. Most ISPs have a home plan and business plan, the business plans usually do not have any or much higher limits and have much faster upload speeds.
- Make sure you are getting good signal strength on your wireless connection. If you are have a wireless network in your office make sure that you are getting a good signal. Make sure that you are actually connected to your router and not to the office next door. Make sure that you password protect and encrypt your wireless Internet so that the office next door cannot use your connection.
- Make sure you router is not set to disconnect your Internet after some amount of time or if there is no activity. Some routers can be set to terminate your connection in a certain amount of time, if this happens you will have to log back into DM Cloud. DM Cloud itself waits for 1 hour of absolutely no activity before disconnecting, so there is no need to set this option on your router or firewall.
- If you are having problems, try DM Cloud from a connection at home, at a friend’s house, or the local coffee shop. If performance is better you may want to have an expert check your Internet connection, computer, router, etc.
Here are a couple links to speed tests…compare your results here to the levels for the connection types we suggest above.