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Bandwidth: Just What Exactly Is it?

When looking at Internet connections you will often come across one term that a number of people are perhaps slightly unfamiliar with. That term is ‘bandwidth’ and yet understanding it is perhaps going to be a bit easier than you imagine.

Now, if we go back in time slightly the idea of bandwidth would refer to a number of different things but, of course, we are just talking about the Internet as that is our main cause for concern. In actual fact, when it comes to choosing your Internet connection, this is something that you need to take into consideration so that you do indeed end up with the correct connection that is capable of  dealing with whatever you are going to be doing.

To be honest, we could go ahead and provide you with a rather complex explanation but there is every chance that it would only further confuse people and not actually answer the question. So, here is the simplified version.

Bandwidth refers to the actual volume of information that can be transferred within a set period of time. That period of time is per second and the higher the bandwidth number then the most information and data that can be transferred within a single second.

What this means is that if you have an Internet connection that has a low bandwidth then it is going to take considerably longer for say a video file to be transferred or downloaded than it would do if you had an Internet connection with a higher bandwidth.

Understanding its Stats.

If you are now looking at your own Internet connection and wondering what your bandwidth is then the figure you should look out for is going to be written along the lines of 60 Mbps or perhaps as 60 Mb/s. What this figure would translate into is that you have a bandwidth that allows for 60 million bits of information (megabits) to be transferred in a single second.

Now, here is another thing to take into consideration when you are looking at bandwidth. The higher the number then the higher the price so you have to understand what your budget is going to be before you go ahead and sign up to any contract. Furthermore, the amount of bandwidth that you actually need is going to depend on what you plan on doing with your Internet. If you are just going to be sending emails and not really using media then a lower bandwidth is going to suffice. However, if you are looking at streaming movies, downloading songs, playing games or anything else that requires a lot of information to be passed between connections, then a higher bandwidth is always going to be better.

Think about the bandwidth issue and compare it to a stream. A stream is small and can only allow a certain amount of water to pass through it. That is the same with lower bandwidth. However, if you have a river then the volume of water that can pass through it at the same time is considerably greater as you have increased the capacity.

The bandwidth issue is even more prevalent when you have a number of people using the same Internet connection because if you find that you are battling and things are starting and stopping due to different people going online together then that is because of the bandwidth. If this is the case, then you need to increase it so as more people can connect without running into problems.

But here is one final important point that we need to mention.

Say you have an Internet connection where the bandwidth is measured at 50 Mbps. If you are the only person using the Internet connection at that time, then you have the entire 50 Mbps to your own self. However, if another person also comes online and tries to download something else at the same time, then you no longer have all of the 50 Mbps. Instead, that measurement is going to be shared between both of you so you may then notice a difference in the speed at which you are able to download and it is going to take considerably longer.

In other words, you have to spend time thinking about your entire Internet usage in order to make sure that you have the correct amount of bandwidth for your needs. How many people are going to be connecting at any given time? How are you planning on using the Internet? Will you be downloading files or is it just for simple browsing? Understanding all of this and talking to an expert regarding bandwidth and Internet usage is going to make a difference and make sure that you do not run into problems in the near future.

Bandwidth is easier to understand than you think and yet, get it wrong, and your time on the Internet is going to be compromised.

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