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How Is Internet Speed Different from Internet Bandwidth? 

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The terms speed and bandwidth are often taken in the same breath. Although they might look similar to laypeople, they are two entirely different concepts. For a person in the communications field though, it is like comparing apples and oranges. If the idea is too hard for you to grasp, you have come to the right place. This article is going to shed some light on the two terms and their differences.

Most people use the internet, but most don’t understand the terms most ISPs use. As a result, you might end up paying for something you don’t need. Moreover, it can be confusing to figure out the connectivity issues that you are facing. So, if you know what the terminology means, it can get a little bit easier. Later, when you call, let’s say, your Spectrum bill pay number, you can ask all the right questions. So, here is a run-down of some things you should know about internet speed and bandwidth.

What Is Internet Speed?

The first thing you should understand is what the internet speed on your package means. The usual units that ISPs use are a measure of data transferred in unit time. So, 15 MBps means 15MBs per second of data were transferred through your system. Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with how fast your internet works. In fact, it is merely a measure of the allocated bandwidth on your connection. We can also think of it as the rate of data transfer allowed on your package.

So, most internet speed units are measured in Kbps, MBps, or GBps. They are bigger denominations for the same measure. So, each increasing denomination can mean you have consumed a bigger piece of data per second. The units can get confusing but are easy to convert from one to another.

Upload and Download Speeds

The internet speed saga doesn’t just end here. It can get even more confusing when ISPs start throwing in words like upload and download speeds. Sometimes you will speeds written as 10/2 MBps. So, what does this mean? It means that your internet connection has an upload speed of 10 MBps and download speeds of 2 MBps. The two speeds differentiate between the rate of data when you’re downloading or uploading something.

It can be normal for these two speeds to be this different for most connections. This happens because most connections are asymmetrical. So, the bandwidth going both ways is usually different. It might not make a lot of difference to most users, though. Because most of us consume content on the internet and don’t upload much. So, ISPs also focus more on downloading bandwidths. It can also explain why buffering and downloading stuff is usually faster. And it can take longer to upload things on the same internet.

What Is Bandwidth?

Now that we understand the basics of our internet speed, it is time to talk about bandwidth. The internet bandwidth can mean the maximum capability of data transfer on any given network. It can be easy to understand this with an analogy. Imagine that your internet is a freeway. So, the bandwidth is the number of car lanes. The cars can represent data here. So, more cars can move freely if there are more free lanes available.

In other words, if you want more data transfers to happen, you have to increase the bandwidth. All data usually travels at the same speed. But more transfers can depend upon the number of free channels available. So, no matter how much you increase the bandwidth; data would still move at the same speed.

Relationship Between Bandwidth and Speed

So, it is clear that increasing bandwidth cannot necessarily increase your internet speed. It just makes more room and increases the capacity of data transfer. In other words, it is the amount of speed available for use. So, even if you keep increasing the capacity, it doesn’t mean it will benefit you directly as you can’t tap into it. Some ISPs can even throttle your speed if you reach a data cap.

You won’t reach the data cap through one or two systems. But if the ISP notes that your connection is hogging the bandwidth, they can reduce your speed. So, the lesser speed you have, the lesser bandwidth you will consume from the capacity.

How Can You Increase Internet Speed?

So, if increasing the internet bandwidth doesn’t help, how can you increase your internet speed? There can be a few things you can do that can help. Firstly, you should check the signal strength of your Wi-Fi router. If you find that you are getting weak signals, even changing your position can help. Next, you have to consider the health of your hardware and software. Using a shorter ethernet cable can also help. Otherwise, you can call your ISP and upgrade your connection to a higher speed.

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