What is Bandwidth and Why You Should Know

Bandwidth is the maximum transmission capacity of an information-carrying medium, usually expressed in terms of bits per second. Bandwidth has become increasingly important to our digital society. It affects how fast your internet connection will be and whether you can upload files to your site. However, not many people know what bandwidth actually is or what it does for them. So what is bandwidth? How does it work? And why should you care?

What is bandwidth?

Bandwidth is the maximum transmission capacity of an information-carrying medium, usually expressed in terms of bits per second.

This may sound like gibberish. Let’s break it down. Bandwidth is a measure that tells us how much information can be transmitted at one time over a particular carrier–such as your internet connection or phone line. It’s measured in bits per second (or bps). The more bandwidth you have, the faster your data will download or upload.

How does bandwidth work?

In the simplest of terms, bandwidth is a measure of how much data can be transferred from one point to another in a given period. For example, if you have a satellite link that provides 100 megabits per second (Mbps) of bandwidth and you upload 100 kilobytes (KB) of data every second, then the satellite link will transfer 10 KB per second.

The amount of bandwidth needed for just about anything online is constantly increasing. This is because people are using the internet more now than ever before. There are several factors that affect your data usage and ultimately your bandwidth needs, such as the number of devices you use at one time, the quality of your connection, and how much data-intensive content you consume online.

Why it’s important. 

The bandwidth of a connection is the maximum amount of data that can be transferred in a second. Think of it as a pipe that carries water. The wider the pipe, the more water you can transport. In comparison, think about your old school analog TV channels. You had channels 2-13 with limited bandwidth when you watched them on your TV.

In today’s world, when we type in keywords into Google to search for something and find relevant results within seconds, we often take this instantaneous response for granted. But how did it happen? 

If you research “bandwidth definition” or “bandwidth history” you will see that this technology has been around since the late 1800’s and was used to transmit analog signals such as early telephone calls and faxes. Nowadays, bandwidth is mainly used for digital data such as images and videos, which require much greater bandwidth than voice communication does.


Bandwidth is the maximum data rate a connection can support. It is measured in bits per second. It is important to know this because it helps you to determine the speed and performance of your internet connection.

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