What is Bandwidth?

In computing terminology, bandwidth is the bit-rate of available or consumed information capacity. Broadly bandwidth may be characterized as network bandwidth, data bandwidth, or digital bandwidth.

The term comes from the field of electrical engineering, where bandwidth represents the total distance or range between the highest and lowest signals on the communication channel (band).  Bandwidth represents the capacity of the connection. The greater the capacity, the more likely that greater performance will follow, though overall performance also depends on other factors, such as latency.

Network bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second (bps). However, in modern networks speeds are measured in the millions of bits per second (megabits per second, or MBPS) or billions of bits per second (gigabits per second, or GBPS).

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