“Bandwidth” gets thrown around quite a lot in conversations about the internet and hosting-related things, but what is bandwidth exactly? Well, bandwidth refers to the amount of digital information a network can transfer within a given timeframe.

To visualize the concept, think of bandwidth as a road and the data being transmitted as the vehicles moving at equal speed. If the road has more lanes, or if your bandwidth has higher capacity, then it can accommodate the passage of more cars or data. Otherwise, the cars or data can get stuck and congested.

The purpose of bandwidth is to allow 📡 data transmission over the internet and different networks, preferably at moderate or high capacities. Read on to know more about bandwidth and its types.

Understanding bandwidth

To understand the concept further, you must know how it is measured and how it impacts certain users.

Measurement, calculation, and allocation

Bandwidth is usually measured in terms of Gbps (billions of bits per second) or Mbps (megabits per second). The higher the value, the faster the bandwidth.

Any modern device – including smartphones – 📱 can measure bandwidth by accessing special websites designed for that purpose. These websites calculate bandwidth by sending data through the connection and waiting for that data to be sent back.

Bandwidth is a finite resource that is automatically allocated based on traffic load and interference. However, it’s possible to manually allocate it between your home devices. There are available hardware and software solutions that can distribute bandwidth and create traffic priorities.

👉 Don’t want to deal with bandwidth limitations? Check out these unlimited web hosts.

Importance to web hosting users

Bandwidth is important for all internet users, especially for those who deal with web hosting. If you have high bandwidth allocation, more visitors can flow in and out of your website. This enhances your ability to manage internet traffic and increases your chance to rank well in the search list.

In contrast, having a low bandwidth would cause your website to struggle as more people attempt to enter. This results in long loading times and occasional stutters. This is not good for web hosting users since consumers have a short waiting threshold. Almost 70% of internet consumers are less likely to continue interacting with a slow-responding website.

Types of bandwidth

There are different types of bandwidth, with dedicated and shared bandwidths being particularly important:

Dedicated bandwidth

A dedicated bandwidth is one that only you, the subscriber, can exploit and utilize for the needs of your website. It’s an entirely private allocation set by your provider. Since you don’t share your bandwidth with others, you get a more reliable and stable connection. This type is ideal for people or businesses that perform time-sensitive or critical tasks.

Shared bandwidth

In contrast, shared bandwidth is divided among different devices, internet users, or websites. It’s cheaper than dedicated bandwidth. However, there’s always the risk of compromised internet speed when several users connect to a site simultaneously. Since data congestion can occur in shared bandwidth, it’s recommended mostly for websites and setups that can deal with delays.

Conclusion on what is bandwidth 🏁

From the importance of bandwidth to web host users to its types, there are many things to learn about this key internet concept. If you’re looking for web hosting companies that don’t limit bandwidth, check out Bluehost and SiteGround.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Or start the conversation in our Facebook group for WordPress professionals. Find answers, share tips, and get help from other WordPress experts. Join now (it’s free)!