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What is bandwidth?
In computer networks, the term bandwidth refers to the speed of data transmissions. It is a measure of the data that can be transmitted from one point to another in a given amount of time. This bandwidth is expressed as bits of data transmitted in one second or bits per second (bps). Since bps is a very small figure for most modern networks, the bandwidth is expressed as megabits per second (Mbps). Sometimes, the bandwidth is also expressed as bytes per second (Bps) or megabytes per second (MBps), where 1 byte is equal to 8 bits.
It's important to understand that bandwidth can be expressed in any unit (bytes, kilobytes, megabytes, gigabits, etc.). Your ISP might use one term, a testing service another, and a video streaming service yet another. You'll need to understand how these terms are all related and how to convert between them if you want to avoid paying for too much internet service or, maybe worse, ordering too little for what you want to do with it.
In computer lingo, the lower-case “b” refers to “bit” and the upper-case “B” refers to “byte.” Both are units of data, with 8 bits equal to 1 byte. 1 megabit denotes 1,000,000 bits, and 1 megabyte denotes 1,000,000 bytes.
Mbps stands for Megabits per second. MBps stands Megabytes per second. The two terms are similar, but Mbps is used to specify Internet connection speeds, whereas MBps is used to specify how much of a file is downloaded/uploaded per second.
Internet providers promote their Internet speeds in terms of Mbps, the number of bits transferred per second over an Internet connection. Higher Mbps generally means faster Internet, although there are a number of factors that can affect the Internet speeds you experience. Mbps is typically represented in terms of download speed and upload speed.
Files sizes are measured in bytes, not bits. Therefore, MBps is used to give users a better idea of how much of a file is transferred per second. Like the bits to bytes ratio, 8 megabits equals 1 megabyte. So, to determine how many bytes you are capable of downloading or uploading per second, take your Mbps and divide by 8 – that will give you your MBps. Divide your file size by your MBps to determine approximately how long a file will take to download or upload.
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