What is Internet Bandwidth?

Networking terms can be confusing. These terms are used and repeated so often in our daily lives yet we don’t much about these terms. Unless you are related to the field of network, there is a high chance that you don’t have much idea about the term “Internet Bandwidth”, yet this term is repeated almost daily in our lives. So, what actually is Internet Bandwidth?

Internet Bandwidth is actually a term that defines the capacity of your network. Internet Bandwidth refers to the maximum amount of data that can be transferred over a period of time (usually one second) through a network. For example, if the bandwidth of your internet network is 10 Mbps then it means that the maximum capacity of data transfer of your network is 10 megabits per second.

For an analogy, you can compare the bandwidth of a network to the diameter of a water pipe. If the diameter of the pipe is bigger then more water will flow through the pipe at a time. The same is for your internet connection. If the bandwidth of your network connection is more then more data will be transferred over the network at a time.

What is the difference between Internet Bandwidth and Internet Speed?

Both the terms Internet Bandwidth and Internet Speed are used interchangeably but they are not used correctly. Both the terms have separate meanings and in some cases, they can be used interchangeably but in most cases, they can’t be.

When someone refers to the term Internet Speed then it means that the rate or speed at which the data can be transferred over a network. Let’s take again the aforementioned analogy where the diameter of the water pipe is equal to the bandwidth. When taking into account the internet speed then it refers to how quickly the water is flowing through the pipe or how fast the data is transferred over the network.

What you should know that having an internet connection of 1 Mbps or 5 Mbps does not make it technically faster but because there is much more bandwidth and the capacity is greater, more data can be transferred to connections with higher bandwidths as compared to connections with low bandwidth.

Your Internet may have different download and upload speeds due to the asymmetrically assigned bandwidth. Since most people use the internet for downloading and consuming the content rather than uploading stuff so, your upload bandwidth is less and this results in having lower upload speeds than download speeds.

When talking about the speed of the internet connection then there are several other factors that contribute to the internet speed along with internet bandwidth. These factors include server overload, server location, DNS, etc should be taken into account when talking about internet speed.

To narrow the difference between internet bandwidth and internet speed in simple words, bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can be transferred over a period of time while speed is how fast the data is being transferred.