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What is Bandwidth & Why is it so Important?

4 August 2020

What is bandwidth?

So, What is Bandwidth?

When it comes to bandwidth, some people think it is the speed of your Internet; let’s dispel that myth straight away.

Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can be transferred in a given time, usually measured as megabytes per second (Mbps). Data is bundled into Packets, and the bandwidth determines the maximum number of Packets that can be transferred per second.

If I Understand and I Know My Bandwidth, Will I Know How Many Mbps I Can Download?

Well, you might think so but the answer is no. This is because data Packets can get lost in transfer and throughput doesn’t always live up to the expectations of the data transmission capacity.

Throughput

Throughput is, if you like, the other part of the equation: Bandwidth tells you what you can achieve, and throughput tells you what you have actually achieved in terms of Mbps downloaded.

How much Bandwidth do I need?

The answer depends on what you are doing on the Internet. If you surf the web, dabble in some video conferencing and download a music file from time to time, you will probably find that just over 25 Mbps will serve you well. Alternatively, if you are streaming videos, gaming, particularly competing with others online, you could need somewhere in excess of 100 Mbps.

How to Calculate Bandwidth

Knowing how to calculate bandwidth will help determine what bandwidth is appropriate for the applications you use. There are two considerations: the amount available to you and the way that is used by the applications you deploy. There are calculators with examples available online.

What Do You Do If You Haven’t Enough Bandwidth?

If your Internet use is limited and you suspect it is your bandwidth there are certain things you can do:

  • Try rebooting your router to increase signal strength
  • If you are running several devices from the same router, consider upgrading to a router that can handle the load better
  • Use an Ethernet cable to link your device to the router
  • Disable your Firewall so you can ascertain whether it has malfunctioned and is the cause of your bottlenecks.
  • Talk to your Internet Service Provider

Data Transmission Speed in Networking

When you are running a network you should know that connections to servers have the largest transmission capacity.  It is sometimes the single devices that are likely to be the cause of your networking problems.

A Final Word

Make sure you understand your transmission speed, and get the throughput that is the best for you. Once you have those, maximise potential with network support services from Equipment HQ.

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