The absolute maximum amount of data that can be transferred through an internet connection over a marked period of time is known as Bandwidth. Bandwidth is often mistaken for internet speed when it’s actually the volume of information that can be sent over a connection in a measured amount of time – calculated in megabits per second (Mbps).
Typically expressed in bits, megabits or gigabits per second, bandwidth is shared among devices connected to the same network; this means activities like streaming video content or downloading large files can use a large amount of bandwidth and slow down connections for other devices on the network.
How bandwidth works
The more bandwidth a data connection has, the more data it can send and receive at one time. Bandwidth can be compared to the amount of water that can flow through a water pipe. The bigger the pipe, the more water can flow through it at one time.
So, the higher the capacity of the communication link, or pipe, the more data can flow through it per second
How much bandwidth do I need?
If you have multiple devices and several family members on them at the same time, you’ll need more bandwidth to keep up. Streaming, gaming and other high-capacity activities demand a certain amount of bandwidth speed to get the best experience without a lot of buffering or lag. And the more bandwidth your internet provider is able to deliver, the faster you’ll get to do your thing
Bandwidth vs. speed
Although bandwidth and speed are closely related and often used interchangeably, there are some key differences to highlight between the two concepts:
- Bandwidth describes the volume of data that can be transferred at a given time.
- Speed describes the length of time it takes for data to be transferred.