What is Internet Bandwidth?
Internet bandwidth connects the world to the web. Let’s explore how bandwidth affects Internet speed, and how it’s measured.
Bandwidth refers to how much data per unit of time a network connection can handle. Bigger bandwidths allow greater data to flow through them.
Bigger bandwidth doesn’t always translate to higher performance, though.
What determines Internet Speed?
Ever bought a wireless router for your laptop, printer, or other electronic devices? You might have noticed 54 Mbps advertised on the box. A standard Internet connection doesn’t usually reach that speed, though.
Internet speed varies. It depends on factors such as:
YOUR LOCATION | Proximity to your provider’s home office, towers or satellites
NUMBER OF NETWORK USERS | User traffic affects cable Internet
INFRASTRUCTURE QUALITY | Providers with maintained and advanced networks yield best results
On a cellular type connection, the difference between 3G vs. 4G connectivity can affect your speed, as can signal quality. 4G speed averages 8-12Mbps. Expect speeds of 1-4Mbps on a 3G network.
How to optimize your Internet speed
Internet speed will differ from the bandwidth your Internet service provider “promised.” You can maintain an acceptable speed while you’re online by taking a basic, common-sense approach.
- Try a residential connection instead of a cellular connection for robust activity
- Avoid illegal file sharing
- Conduct Internet speed checks online
Focus on the speed of the bandwidth rather than the bandwidth itself. Bandwidth indicates potential for peak speed. To measure your Internet speed, conduct an Internet speed test online. You can check your ISP to determine if you get what you pay for.