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Internet Bandwidth Explained: What It Means for You

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Bandwidth; we've all heard this term. Many of us use it in our everyday lives. But what is it and what does it mean for you? Well, we're going to talk about that. In this blog post we're going to explain what bandwidth is, why does bandwidth matter, how much do you need and how you can improve your bandwidth on your own. Let's take a deep dive into internet bandwidth.

What Is Bandwidth?
Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data your internet connection can send and receive in a given amount of time.

Bandwidth Vs. Speed: What Is The Difference?
It can be super easy to confuse popular internet terms, even the most seasoned internet users do. Bandwidth and internet speed are not the same, but they're related and work together. Bandwidth is how much data you receive over a specific amount of time, while speed is how fast that information can be received.

Try to think of bandwidth and internet speeds this way: For example bandwidth is how many lanes your street has and speed is how fast you're going. The more lanes your street has available, the more room there is for everyone to get where they're going, and the less likely there will be a traffic jam. But the posted speed limit is the fastest you can go.

Why Does Bandwidth Matter
Bandwidth matters because it directly impacts your internet experience. Whether you're a heavy streamer, hardcore gamer or just like browsing the internet from time to time; the available bandwidth determines how quickly and smoothly these activities happen. Insufficient bandwidth can lead to frustratingly slow loading pages, buffering videos and dropped video calls.

How Much Bandwidth Do You Need?
The amount of bandwidth you need can be different from your friends and neighbors. It largely depends on how you use your internet and how many internet enabled devices are using your connection simultaneously.

For basic web browsing, email and bill pay, a lower bandwidth connection may suffice. However, popular activities like streaming, online gaming, and video conferencing have much higher bandwidth requirements to ensure the best experience. Even the most basic online activities can require higher bandwidth if you have many devices connected to your Wi-Fi and in use at the same time.

4 Tips For Optimizing Your Bandwidth Usage

1. Monitor Your Wireless Network: If you haven't downloaded your router's mobile app, today is a good day to do that. Using it regularly will help you quickly identify who is hogging up your bandwidth and kick unwelcome devices off your network.

2. Schedule Large Downloads On Low Traffic Periods: Remember that system update that keeps nagging you everyday? You can agree to install the updates without them downloading right now. If you schedule it to download while you're sleeping, you can still use your device while you're awake and free up some bandwidth. It's not just system updates either. Try to schedule other data intensive activities too like data backups, video game downloads and software updates.

3. Upgrade Your Equipment: When did you buy your equipment? If it's over two years old, your equipment is outdated. Even if everything seems to be working fine, it can still affect your internet connection's performance. We highly recommend investing in a quality modem and router. If you lease from your internet provider, you can turn in your existing equipment for more modern versions. Internet providers generally welcome these requests because if you're happy, you'll keep their service.

4. Upgrade Your Internet Plan If Needed: Sometimes it really is just your internet plan. If you consistently experience slow internet speeds or buffering, consider upgrading to a higher tier service plan. It'll cost you a little more per month but the faster speeds and additional bandwidth will be worth the added cost.

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