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What is Bandwidth and How Does it Relate to my Internet Speed?

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What is Bandwidth and How Does it Relate to my Internet Speed?

Think of bandwidth like a freeway.  All cars (data) are traveling at 65 miles and hour, so you would need to make a wider freeway to get more data through at one time.  Megabits are the cars on the computer freeway.

 

Since you will often hear of Megabits per second (Mbps) when talking about Internet speed, let’s say 1 Mbps is equal to a 1 lane freeway.  Now, with that in mind, let’s say you want to download a picture of your puppy and the picture is 10 megabits in size.  If you only have a 1-lane freeway, with 1 Mbps, it would take 10 seconds to download your picture.

 

Now let’s say you have a 10-lane (Mbps) highway and you want to download that same picture.  It would only take 1 second.  This example shows you the importance of your Bandwidth.

 

Now that you have a grasp on that idea, the next step up is the Megabyte. The Megabyte is equivalent to 8 megabits.  Many people talk about Megabytes and Megabits as though they are the same.  I only make that distinction so I can show you a few real life examples.

 

Here are some average downloads that you regularly do on your computer.

1.    A web page =1 Megabyte (8 megabits)

2.    An email = 1 Megabyte (8 megabits)

3.    A 5 minute YouTube Video = 20 Megabytes

4.    30 Minutes of gaming = 3 Megabytes

 

Hopefully this information gives you a grasp on Bandwidth.  At this point you may be asking why your computer and connection seems slow.  Well, a number of other things affect this like Connection type, Traffic connection, Bad/Old wires, Equipment, Distance or a number of other things.   

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