What is bandwidth?

In short ‘bandwidth’ refers to the amount of data that can be transferred across a pathway, in a given amount of time. When referring to bandwidth, there are several types: – network bandwidth, digital bandwidth or data bandwidth. 

When we think of online information, we usually think of the movement of data across the internet, and the movement of data between websites and internet browsers. A good way to visualise bandwidth, is to see the data being transferred as water, and the various components of the internet (servers, browsers), as containers. Bandwidth would be hollow tubes connecting each component to the next. If you have a high bandwidth (a wide hollow tube), the data will be transferred from one place to the next at a much higher rate, than if you had a lower bandwidth (a thinner hollow tube). A low bandwidth in one area of the data transfer, will impact further along the data pathway (a ‘bottleneck’ effect). So the low bandwidth at one point of the journey, will dictate the speed of the data transfer further along the pathway. The explanation mentioned just now would refer to network bandwidth.

Here at Peters Web we measure the bandwidth used by each client every month and feed this information back to help our clients gauge how busy their website is. This gives a good indication of the amount of traffic that is flowing in and out of the site in question. We also offer unlimited bandwidth on all of our shared hosting packages.

As always this is just a short introduction to help with understanding of the term bandwidth, I have kept the article relevant to how bandwidth is referred to around the topic of web hosting but there are many more definitions of bandwidth in other areas of information/digital technology! Please get in touch should you have any questions relating to this topic by launching a support ticket (open a ticket) with our hosting department.

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