Since we are in the information age, one thing you can never run away from is the term bandwidth, as long as you use the internet you cannot hide away from this bandwidth guy.
So what do you understand by the term bandwidth, most of us are confused by this and sometimes we miss interpret the whole circus about it. And here are some of the terms that come with it (Dedicated, managed/shared, broadband etc).
To understand bandwidth, it's best to think of the Internet as a series of highways and information as cars. If there's only one car on the highway, that car will travel quickly and easily (Known as Dedicated link). If there are many cars, however (also known as Shared/managed), traffic can build up and slow things down. The Internet works the same way -- if only one person is downloading one file, the transfer should happen fairly quickly. If several people are trying to download the same file, though, the transfer can be much slower.
In this analogy, bandwidth is the number of lanes on the highway. If a Web site's bandwidth is too low, traffic will become congested. If the Web site increases its bandwidth, information will be able to travel back and forth without much of a hassle. Bandwidth is important for Internet, because sending large amounts of video and audio data over the Internet requires large bandwidths.
- In computer networks, bandwidth is often used as a synonym for data transfer rate - the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period (usually a second). This kind of bandwidth is usually expressed in bits (of data) per second (bps). Occasionally, it's expressed as bytes per second (Bps). Now this is where always get it wrong between the small “b” and “B”. A modem that works at 57,600 bps approximately 57 kbps has twice the bandwidth of a modem that works at 28,800 bps ~ 28 kbps. In general, a link with a high bandwidth is one that may be able to carry enough information to sustain the succession of images in a video presentation.
- In electronic communication, bandwidth is the width of the range (or band) of frequencies that an electronic signal uses on a given transmission medium. In this usage, bandwidth is expressed in terms of the difference between the highest-frequency signal component and the lowest-frequency signal component. Since the frequency of a signal is measured in hertz (the number of cycles of change per second), a given bandwidth is the difference in hertz between the highest frequency the signal uses and the lowest frequency it uses. A typical voice signal has a bandwidth of approximately three kilohertz (3 kHz); an analog television (TV) broadcast video signal has a bandwidth of six megahertz (6 MHz) -- some 2,000 times as wide as the voice signal.
Units of measure are as follows:
8 bits always represent one character let me say like a single latter “a” or “A” or it can be a Number “2”. Each key you type on your keyboard is 8 bits = 1 byte example (00111001) that’s a binary way of representing a byte or a single character.
1 byte = 8 bits
1,000 bytes = 1kb (kilobyte – actually 1,024 bytes but usually written as 1,000)
1,000,000 bytes = 1mb (megabyte)
1,000,000,000 = 1 GB (gigabyte)
1,000,000,000,000 = 1 TB (Terabyte)
HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED?
The question of how much bandwidth you need depends on what you use the internet for, what traffic (Video, audio, images or just mail and normal internet use), how many users, applications, and scalability. For many ISPs they usually give less than what you actually pay for unless you are keen to monitor it using some bandwidth monitoring tools.
One single user will be satisfied with 56kps for his/her normal surfing and emails but that will not be enough for a small office of more than two Pc’s because that’s when you start complaining of slow terrible speeds, but one should also mind about the applications running on the computer too.
For a small office 128kbps is what I would recommend for 3-5 computers but depending on what type of work or traffic moving on the network.
For stable video streaming, 512kbs would be ok but more than 700kbps would be a very good recommendation but also depending on how many users are on that particular network and what they are doing.
Most people always complain to ISPs of poor bandwidth but sometimes it’s the applications that are running on their computers, doing updates and peer-to-peer applications like Live wire and torrents, that always consume a lot of bandwidth, always completely close them unless you need them.
There is so much about Bandwidth but that would be a simple explanation for it and so many other factors that affect it e.g. the medium used, weather, distance etc