What Is Internet Bandwidth and Why Is It Important?

Several ethernet cables inserted in ethernet ports

Among the many things you look for in a good internet connection, bandwidth is one of the most important ones. However, many people fail to understand what bandwidth is and why is it so important. There is a lot about “bandwidth” you need to know before you decide which internet connection you should be getting for yourself. There are some internet service providers (ISPs) such as Xfinity that give you an ample amount of bandwidth to use, so it would be a smart decision to look into Xfinity internet plans so that you could get a connection that is easy on your budget. While in the process of picking out your favorite deal, keep an eye out for the bandwidth too.

Several ethernet cables inserted in ethernet ports

While we’re on the topic, here are some reasons why bandwidth is essential to your internet connection:

Understanding What the Term “Bandwidth” Means

When you are getting an internet connection for yourself, you would see that the ad mentions internet speed. The internet speed mostly refers to the bandwidth capacity that the connection is able to cater to, while the speed itself is a different phenomenon.

Bandwidth is measured in units of bits per second or bps. It measures the amount of data that the internet connection is able to transfer in a second, hence the term bits per second.

Different Internet Service Providers usually denote bandwidth in either Mbps or if your internet is supreme enough, it could also be in Gbps. You could either have a wired connection or a wireless connection and both of them would have a slightly different bandwidth.

A wired connection typically has a higher bandwidth while a wireless connection has a lower bandwidth since the signals that are dissipated into the air are affected by walls and objects such as furniture. You must make sure you use a wired connection for greater internet speed, and you need to have an internet connection with greater bandwidth so that more devices could use the internet.

The Difference Between Bandwidth and Throughput

Even though the two might seem the same but there is a difference between the two. Bandwidth usually denotes the maximum amount of data that can travel in your internet connection.

Throughput, on the other hand, denotes that actually how much data is successfully transferred in your internet connection.

This brings to light that bandwidth is actually a more umbrella term while throughput actually tells you how much data is being transferred while you are connected to the internet, keeping in mind the data losses and data gains in the process.

Due to this, the throughput would definitely be less than the bandwidth that is advertised, since there is data loss involved while the internet transmits and receives information.

A low bandwidth usually gives off a low throughput as well, which makes your internet connection slow in general. On the contrary, if you get an internet connection with greater bandwidth, you would most certainly have greater throughput too, making sure that your internet connection is as fast as it could be.

How Does Bandwidth Differ From Internet Speed?

Since bandwidth is usually measured by Mbps or Gbps, people tend to confuse it for internet speed, which is not the case as both of them are different from each other. While they might be different from each other, they actually are connected to one another.

As mentioned earlier, bandwidth measures the maximum amount at which data or information can be transferred in an internet connection.

Internet speed, however, measures how much data is actually transferred to your internet connection.

This, in effect, denotes the “speed” at which the data is able to transfer in a second. The speed is usually dependent on factors such as the type of network you have, whether you are using a wired connection or a wireless one, and how good the server is when it comes to effective data transfer.

Do keep in mind that having a low bandwidth would mean that your internet speed would be slow as well. When you are deciding which internet package you should get for yourself, make sure you get the one that has higher bandwidth.

How Much Bandwidth Should You Get for Yourself?

Now the question is, how much bandwidth is good enough? This would depend on your internet usage and how much your budget is.

If you are running a business, you need to keep in mind that you would need a download speed of 25Mbps and an upload speed of 3Mbps to keep your business up and running flawlessly.

The greater bandwidth you can get for yourself, the better. Also, keep in mind the data cap that is offered to you since you cannot exceed that.

In Conclusion

Bandwidth is one of the key elements that go into determining which internet connection you should get for yourself and how much you should spend on it. Do understand that it’s the more the merrier, the greater bandwidth you get for yourself, the better your internet is going to perform!