computer bandwidth, what is bandwidth
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What is computer bandwidth?

What is bandwidth?

Bandwidth is the amount of traffic that is allowed to occur between your website and the rest of the internet or it refers to the amount of data that website visitors can download from a website. The amount of bandwidth a hosting company can provide is determined by their network connections, both internal to their data center and external to the public internet. Nowadays, most hosting companies or your ISPs offer a variety of bandwidth options in their packages.

Network Connectivity

The internet is a group of millions of computers connected by networks. These connections within the internet can be large or small depending upon the cabling and equipment that is used at a particular internet location. It is the size of each network connection that determines how much bandwidth is available. For example, if you use a DSL connection to connect to the internet, you have 7 Mb of bandwidth. Bandwidth therefore is measured in bits. Bits are grouped in bytes which form words, text, and other information that is transferred between your computer and the internet. If you have a DSL connection to the internet, you have dedicated bandwidth between your computer and your internet provider. But your internet provider may have thousands of DSL connections to their location. All of these connection aggregate at your internet provider who then has their own dedicated connection to the internet (or multiple connections) which is much larger than your single connection. They must have enough bandwidth to serve your computing needs as well as all of their other customers. So while you have a 7 Mb connection to your internet provider, your internet provider may have a 300 Mb connection to the internet so it can accommodate your needs and up to 43 other users (300/7).


A very simple analogy to use to understand bandwidth and traffic is to think of highways and cars. Bandwidth is the number of lanes on the highway and traffic is the number of cars on the highway. If you are the only car on a highway, you can travel very quickly. If you are stuck in the middle of rush hour, you may travel very slowly since all of the lanes are being used up.

Hosting Bandwidth

Each time you visit a web site, you are creating traffic, because in order to view that webpage on your computer, the web page is first downloaded to your computer which is then displayed using your browser software like Internet Explorer. The page itself is simply a file that creates traffic. A webpage may be very small or large depending upon the amount of text and the number and quality of images integrated within the web page.

How Much Bandwidth Is Enough?

It depends. But in truth, it does. Since bandwidth is a significant determinant of hosting plan prices, you should take time to determine just how much is right for you. Almost all hosting plans have bandwidth requirements measured in months, so you need to estimate the amount of bandwidth that will be required by your site on a monthly basis. Usually, hosting packages offer bandwidth in terms of Gigabytes (GB) per month.

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