Bandwidth vs Throughput
Bandwidth and throughput are two often confused terms in the world of networking. Though they both refer to the amount of data that can be transferred between two points, there is a subtle difference between the two.
Bandwidth refers to the maximum amount of data that can be transferred over a given period, whereas throughput is the actual amount of data that is transferred over that same period.
To put it another way, bandwidth is the potential of your connection, while throughput is the actual performance you’re getting at a given moment.
What is the Difference between Bandwidth and Throughput?
Here are the key differences between bandwidth and throughput:
|1||Bandwidth refers to the maximum amount of data that can be transferred over a given period||Throughput is the actual amount of data that is transferred over that same period|
|2||Bandwidth is often expressed in bits per second (bps)||Throughput is typically expressed in bytes per second (Bps)|
|3||Bandwidth is a theoretical concept||Throughput is the actual measured performance|
|4||Bandwidth is determined by the number of available resources (e.g. the width of the pipe)||Throughput is affected by the efficiency of the data transfer process (e.g. protocol overhead)|
|5||Bandwidth is a function of the medium (e.g. optical fiber) and the signaling rate (e.g. 10 Gbps)||Throughput is a function of the medium, signaling rate, and effective data transfer rate|
|6||Bandwidth is a property of the physical layer||Throughput is a property of the data link layer|
|7||Bandwidth is a point-to-point measurement||Throughput is an end-to-end measurement|
|8||Bandwidth is a constant||Throughput can vary|
Importance of Bandwidth and Throughput in Network Devices
Both concepts are important in the world of networking because they help to determine the capacity and performance of a network connection.
If you are troubleshooting a slow or unreliable network connection, it is important to understand the difference between bandwidth and throughput. By understanding these concepts, you will be able to determine where the bottleneck is and take steps to improve performance.