Despite its many technical meanings, the term bandwidth has been recently popularized across the internet. Currently, the most well-known definition of bandwidth is the volume or maximum of information per unit of time that can be transmitted by an internet provider over a certain period of time. If you would like to understand how bandwidth works and how it affects your internet, then keep reading.
What is Bandwidth?
In the past, bandwidth has only been able to be measured in bits per second. However, advances in network hardware has made it possible for bandwidth capacity to now be recorded in millions or even billions of bits per second.
Networks with higher bandwidth can be considered more effective than those with lower bandwidth, because they are able to transfer a higher number of data packets.
Why is Bandwidth important to understand?
Bandwidth is something that is very easy to dismiss as unimportant because of its technical background. It only seems natural to classify it as technology that does not apply to you unless you are interested in tech products or can set up internet hardware.
However, learning about bandwidth is actually useful knowledge because you will know how to mess around with your own set up in order to get faster internet connection when necessary.
Analogy: Data flows through bandwidth as water flows through a pipe
Bandwidth is quite comparable to a water pipe in the sense that water can only flow through the allotted amount of space within the pipe. The same is true for bandwidth. The amount of data you are able to use at the same time as others is completely decided by the amount of bandwidth you have. As the bandwidth increases, so does the amount of data that can flow through in a specific amount of time.
How do you measure Bandwidth?
Calculating bandwidth is typically done through monitoring the time it takes for a file to leave its original node and get to its destination. In the UK, the average broadband speed is currently 46.2 Mbps meaning that on average, 46.2 million bits can travel through the network line every second. Because of the fact that capacity deals with the amount of data being transferred rather than speed, it is possible that with multiple users within a household, there are not enough data packets being delivered to everyone.
How does it work?
In short, all of the data that you have travels at the same speed. In order for you to get a larger amount of data from the internet to your computer more quickly, the bandwidth needs to be wider.
For example, if you were attempting to download an image that was 5MB in size, and you had a bandwidth of 1 Mbps, then it would take about 5 seconds for that image to download. With that being said, if you were to expand your bandwidth to 5 Mbps, then it would only take 1 second for that image to download.
What is important to remember is that your internet does not become any faster from 1Mbps to 5Mbps, or not by the amount of bandwidth that your connection has. Your data is just being sent to you at a much faster rate because more data is able to be sent at the same time.
How Much Bandwidth is necessary?
The amount of bandwidth that you need is completely up to a number of factors. However, there is a formula that you can follow in order to help you calculate the amount of bandwidth that you need specifically.
With this information, you will successfully be able to avoid companies who are attempting to sell you more bandwidth than you need. The formula is: Bandwidth needed= Average page size x Daily pageviews x Daily visitors x Tolerance number x 31.
Learning about bandwidth is a great way to fully utilize the amount of data that you are able to use at one time. Use the formula to help you decide the amount of bandwidth is best for your home or your workplace.
Emily Jacobs is Happiness Ambassador for SpeedCheck.org. She loves to write latest technology trends and love to share her knowledge through her articles.