When it comes to using the internet, one of the most important terms to know is bandwidth. It's a rate that refers to the capacity of your high-speed internet connection. If it's insufficient, navigating the web will be slow. If you're only online to read the news, this may not be a problem, but if you want to stream high-definition movies, the bandwidth needs to be much higher. If you want to learn more about this term, take note of the following.
A Guide to Bandwidth
What is bandwidth?
Bandwidth is the capacity of your internet connection; it measures how much data can be transmitted. It's measured in megabits per second (Mbps). Think of bandwidths as plumbing pipes. The higher the number, the bigger the pipe; therefore, more data can be sent. If it's smaller, you're going to have issues with larger files.
How does bandwidth differ from internet speed?
Bandwidth and internet speeds are not the same, although they are often used interchangeably. Although the bandwidth is listed at 50 Mbps, that is the capacity. It doesn't mean that it can process at that rate consistently.
The internet speed, however, reflects the real-time rate. Due to variable factors like internet service provider’s (ISP) infrastructure, the number of subscribers the ISP serves, or latency—which is the amount of delay that happens before a data transfer—the actual internet speed could be 30 Mbps or even 20 Mbps. Even your router can affect it.
Can I test my internet speed?
If you're in the market for a new high-speed internet plan, it’s wise to measure your current speed. Thankfully, many free online apps can do this for you. If you have two devices connected, such as a computer or tablet, and you're just checking emails or watching short videos, your speed should be around 10 Mbps at the very least for reliability. Anything smaller will result in time lags.
How much bandwidth do I need?
For a single-person household, 10 Mbps is a solid starting point. However, if you have a family of four and everyone is using a laptop, video game console, or tablet at the same time, 50 Mbps is preferred, especially if the content is high definition. For more scenarios, refer to this chart of activities and the recommended speeds.
If your current connection speed doesn’t cut it, contact Volcano Communications Group to upgrade. This Pine Grove, CA, telecommunications company has served the region for more than 100 years. They offer a variety of high-speed internet options with bandwidth as high as 100 Mbps. Learn more about their services on their website or call (209) 296-7502.