Category: 

What is Internet Bandwidth?

Supporters of net neutrality think government legislation is needed to prevent internet service providers from throttling bandwidth for paying customers.
An ADSL modem, one of the ways to connect to the Internet.
Article Details
  • Written By: R. Kayne
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Doorknobs made of brass automatically disinfect themselves in less than 8 hours.  more...

July 24 ,  1979 :  Serial killer Ted Bundy was found guilty of first-degree murder of two female college students.  more...

Internet bandwidth can be thought of as an electronic byway that connects the Internet to your computer. Increasing bandwidth (widening the lane) allows more traffic to flow, increasing speed. Having a little or a lot of Internet bandwidth available makes the difference between watching a graphic-intensive Web page load in phases over a period of several minutes, or having it pop into your window like a flash of lightening. The more bandwidth your connection has, the faster it will load and the more time you will save.

Internet bandwidth test meters are available online to test your connection speed. The hosting site will upload blocks of data recording the amount of time it takes to complete the transfers. Speed is a measurement of how much data can be transferred from the Internet to your computer per second. A graph will reveal the results, allowing you to see if your connection is performing as expected. Close unnecessary background processes and programs before you start, and take several bandwidth tests from several sites to establish an average, true speed.

Ad

Unfortunately we cannot “unthrottle” bandwidth at will. Internet service providers (ISPs) allot computer connections so much bandwidth based on the price of the package purchased. To get more speed, you have to upgrade to a package with a greater allowance of bandwidth. In the case of dial-up, the slowest type of Internet service, the technology itself limits the connection speed to less than 56 kilobits per second (kbps). As a point of reference, one Megabyte is 8,192 kilobits so transferring one Megabyte of data over dial-up can take close to three minutes. This limitation eventually pushes most customers towards faster technologies.

There are several different types of high-speed Internet one can get depending on local availability. Options include Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) offered over conventional copper telephone wires, cable Internet via the neighborhood cable TV provider, and fiber optic services available over newer fiber optic wires that are replacing conventional copper lines in many regions. If you live in a rural area, dial-up or satellite Internet might be your only choices.

DSL serves up the most affordable Internet packages, several times faster than dial-up. DSL entry-packages can start as low as $13 - $15 US Dollars (USD) monthly for speeds up to 768 kilobits per second (kbps). A connection of this sort normally delivers one Megabyte of data in 12-15 seconds, a big improvement over dial-up’s three minutes. DSL also offers much faster packages that compete with cable.

Entry-level cable packages typically offer a heftier allotment of Internet bandwidth, perhaps up to 3000 kbps (advertised as three megabits per second), delivering a Megabyte in about three seconds. Subscription prices vary, generally starting at $30 - $40 USD monthly. Packages increase in speed and price from there, though many cable providers offer only a single package. The faster the package, the higher the price tends to be within the normal range of the cable market.

Fiber optic Internet services start as high as 10 or 20 mbps, with top-tier packages offering 50 mbps of Internet bandwidth. That’s a transfer rate (speed) of roughly a Megabyte per second, two Megabytes per second, and five Megabytes per second, respectively. The fastest possible Internet packages currently offered cost an excess of $100 USD monthly.

Cable and fiber optic services will often bundle TV and digital phone with Internet access for one monthly bill. Bundles are optional and can be customized to exclude a service that isn't required. For those who would like DSL but do not have landline service, some telephone companies now offer “naked DSL” or DSL without telephone service for customers who use their cell phones instead of landlines.

To find an ISP with affordable Internet bandwidth in your area, enter your town into a search engine with the type of service you’d like: DSL, cable or fiber optic service. You can also visit the websites of your local telephone and cable companies. Additionally, there are several websites dedicated to comparing, reviewing and listing ISPs by region and area code. Some of these sites allow customers to leave feedback regarding their opinions and experiences with DSL providers, cable companies and fiber optic providers.

Ad

Discuss this Article

CoffeeJim
Post 4

It is been my experience with different types of Internet connections the best Internet bandwidth that you will actually get at a consumer's home is in via cable Internet. These digital coaxial connections allow for a high amount of data to be transferred at any given time while still delivering video television cable services to your TV. The amazing part is that the transfer of the data and the transfer the video signals occurs on different spectrums so the Internet bandwidth isn't not influenced by the television watching in the living room.

There is no doubt in my mind that the best Internet service provider you can currently get on the market is cable Internet. Simply put the telephone industry's answer with DSL subscription lines simply do not stack up to the data transfer capabilities that Internet cable providers can achieve. They may be slightly more expensive than DSL Internet providers, but they are well worth it and you will definitely enjoy every pennyworth of your connection subscription cost.

GraniteChief
Post 3

As an Internet gamer I can tell you that my Internet bandwidth speed is critical to my performance in my very competitive competitions. Using this kind of gaming system either by use of a computer or via a specialized console, having any Internet connection capable of high-speed Internet bandwidth connection is critical.

You can make sure that you are ready to do Internet gaming by checking your Internet bandwidth. You can do this with an Internet bandwidth tester. There are different websites on the Internet you can go to the lab to test what your Internet bandwidth is. A popular one is called speedtest.net.

if you are worried that you are not getting the full connection speed available and advertised by your Internet connection provider can go to one of these websites to make sure that you are achieving your absolute best bandwidth connection.

fitness234
Post 2

The key to determining how much Internet bandwidth is necessary for your use is understanding how much different applications and services using Internet bandwidth. As the previous commentor mentioned, there is a great deal of data stream that is used when streaming any kind of music video or other audio source. At the same time, if one is simply using the Internet connectivity to connect e-mail servers and download text documents, there is not an extreme use of bandwidth and lower service line could be selected from your Internet service provider.

sammyG
Post 1

If you are computer nerd, it's all about the Internet bandwidth that you have available these days. So much is the status of having a large amount of Internet bandwidth one might think it may be related to a complex concerning a male anatomy. despite this generalization, there actually is some validity into wanting a higher amount of Internet bandwidth coming into your home or office.

Depending on the use and application of Internet connectivity that is being used from within your network at the house or within your workplace, there is a great difference in the amount of Internet bandwidth that will be necessary to perform basic functions. If you have a streaming Internet music service available for your restaurant that you stream live music to, this will take a considerable amount of Internet bandwidth. You may want to consider purchasing a larger service line that are available from Internet service providers.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email