What is Bandwidth?

September 20, 2018

Bandwidth is important when gathering information online. The amount of bandwidth available to you lets you gather that information at different speeds, and it’s especially important with streaming services. For some of you that don’t know what streaming means, streaming is playing video or audio files on your TV, computer, and/or mobile device over the Internet.  This includes watching movies and TV shows through Netflix, listening to a streaming radio service like Spotify, Apple Music, and/or Pandora. This also includes watching content on YouTube and videos posted on your Facebook News Feed.  With streaming, you are not “storing” the content on your device; you are just using it as it plays — much like a broadcast on TV or radio.  Rather, streaming is playing content that has been posted or linked to the Internet.

But what exactly is Bandwidth?

Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can be sent through a network channel over a given period of time. For example, a fiber-optic internet connection is capable of transmitting 1 Gigabit of data per second.

Network bandwidth is split among all the devices using a connection. So if an internet connection can deliver 100 megabits of data per second, 5 PCs using that connection could each download 20 megabits of data per second, and that would max out the connection, for example.

To use an analogy, think of a hose. It allows a certain amount of water to travel through it. Most of that time, you’re watering your plants and you’re fine with a garden hose. But if you need a larger amount of water to put out a house fire, you’d need a much bigger hose— like a fire hose. The diameter of the hose represents bandwidth.

Bandwidth should not to be confused with throughput, which would be the measurement of water consumed, overall. Or in the case of the internet, it’s the amount of data transmitted over a given time period. So Bandwidth is the water going through the hose, while the throughput is the overall water in the bucket that came out of the hose.

 

cable drums for bandwidth

 

Streaming services require more bandwidth if you want less lagging and buffering. More bandwidth is important for people who play competitive online video games due to the intensity of game play, so a game that freezes or lags isn’t as much fun and can ruin the entertainment value.


At Craw-Kan, we offer some of the fastest and most affordable bandwidth packages available in the area, with internet speeds up to a Gigabit for only $70. To see if you’re eligible for service or curious on our areas of expansion, click HERE.

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