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Bandwidth (computing)

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In computer network and computer science, digital bandwidth or just bandwidth is the capacity for a given system to transfer data over a connection. It is measured as a bit rate expressed in bits per second (bits/s) or multiples of it (kbit/s Mbit/s etc.).

Digital bandwidth should not be confused with:

  • Network throughput: which is the average rate of successful data transfer through a connection.
  • Data transfer: which is the quantity of data transferred over a given period of time.

Bandwidth in web hosting

In web hosting, the term "bandwidth" is often used to describe the amount of data transferred to or from the website within a defined period of time. Another more specific phrase used for this meaning of bandwidth is monthly data transfer.

Web hosting companies often quote a monthly data transfer for a website, for example 500 gigabytes per month. If the total amount of data downloaded from the website in a particular month reaches this limit, the hosting company may shut off further public access to the site.

Internet connections bandwidths

Bandwidth Connection type
56 kbit/s Modem / Dialup
1.544 Mbit/s T1
10 Mbit/s Ethernet
11 Mbit/s Wireless 802.11b
43.232 Mbit/s T3
54 Mbit/s Wireless-G 802.11g
100 Mbit/s Fast Ethernet
155 Mbit/s OC3
300 Mbit/s Wireless-N 802.11n
622 Mbit/s OC12
1000 Mbit/s Gigabit Ethernet
2.5 Gbit/s OC48
9.6 Gbit/s OC192
10 Gbit/s 10 Gigabit Ethernet