Bandwidth is your company’s capacity to pass data such as text, images, email, video, video conferencing, VoIP and much more over a network connection in a given amount of time. It’s usually expressed in bits or megabits per second (Mbps). Bandwidth is often mistaken for Internet speed, when it’s actually the volume of data that can be sent over a connection measured over time.
Generally speaking, the higher the bandwidth, the more quickly computers can download information from the Internet. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines Internet speeds as connections with a bandwidth of 25 Mbps for downloads and three Mbps for uploads. Providers state the bandwidth measurement to customers, although the number quoted may not always reflect what a customer actually gets because bandwidth is shared among many ISP customers. Your bandwidth can have “Quality of Service” applied to certain critical protocols such as VoIP for example. This reserves bandwidth for this service to ensure quality voice communications over IP networks.
Additional Reading: What’s After 5G?
Related Terms: Packet Sniffing, Quality of Service, Wireshark