How To Increase Your Bandwidth
Get the most out of your Internet.
Imagine you're on a video call with a friend, family, or work, and your connection cuts out. You're frustrated and frantic, trying to reconnect while figuring out what's causing the slow connection in the first place. If your videos are constantly buffering or web pages take ages to load, chances are you're dealing with low bandwidth.
What Is Bandwidth and What Is An Example?
Bandwidth is the fastest rate at which your Internet connection can transfer data and how much data can be sent over your connection in a given amount of time. For example, an ethernet connection has a bandwidth of 1,000 Mbps and a cable Internet connection provides around 25 Mbps of bandwidth. When thinking about bandwidth, imagine the network connection is a tube and every piece of data as a grain of sand. If a large quantity of sand tries to move through a small tube, it will take a long time for the sand to pass. If you take the same volume of sand and try to push it through a wider tube, the sand will seamlessly flow. Translate this into data speak and it means that downloading will finish much faster with a high bandwidth connection rather than a low bandwidth connection.
How Do I Check My Bandwidth?
You can check your speed here and see how many Mbps you are currently working with. It is helpful to know what Mbps speed your plan offers, and you can compare that number to the speed calculated by the test. Similar to a credit score, the specific number you see when testing your bandwidth isn’t as important as the general range. For example, if you normally get around 30 Mbps for your download speed, but it drops to 5 Mbps during certain times of day, issues may need to be resolved. On the other hand, the difference between 31.23 Mbps and 30.89 Mbps is normal.
What Causes Poor Bandwidth?
TAs mentioned above, slow Internet connection is related to low bandwidth and bandwidth complications are made worse by attempts to process large quantities of data over a long period of time. When this explanation is applied to real life, bandwidth issues can look like:
- Streaming videos online
- Large files greater than 100 megabytes being transferred between devices
- Continuous streaming of video such as a livestream or security footage
- Downloading large files
However, sometimes these activities are inevitable. One possible workaround for bandwidth issues is to save large downloads or streaming needs for a time when traffic is low, like nighttime or very early in the morning.
The type of connection you have will also impact your bandwidth. If you have a Wi-Fi connection, your Internet may be fine but you’re physically too far from the router’s signal. Brick and concrete walls may block your signal from getting through, so the placement and distance to your computer make a huge difference. If you have the option of using a wired connection, or an ethernet connection, this is more reliable than a Wi-Fi connection.
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