What is the difference between throughput and bandwidth?

Created: Sep 23, 2019 08:29:18Latest reply: Sep 23, 2019 09:07:17 101 5 0 1
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What is the difference between throughput and bandwidth?

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sebr
Created Sep 23, 2019 08:37:52 Helpful(1) Helpful(1)

Hi there,
Bandwidth is the theoretical maximum amount of data per second which can be transmitted on a link/ channel. It is measured in a unit of bits per second.


Throughput is the actual amount of data which can be transmitted on the same link. Due to impeding factors such as latency, jitter and protocol being used, this unit is always lower than bandwidth.

cheers,
Seb.
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sebr
sebr Created Sep 23, 2019 08:37:52 Helpful(1) Helpful(1)

Hi there,
Bandwidth is the theoretical maximum amount of data per second which can be transmitted on a link/ channel. It is measured in a unit of bits per second.


Throughput is the actual amount of data which can be transmitted on the same link. Due to impeding factors such as latency, jitter and protocol being used, this unit is always lower than bandwidth.

cheers,
Seb.
  • x
  • convention:

Network%20Engineer%20contractor%20based%20in%20the%20UK.%20%0AI%20have%20worked%20in%20the%20networking%20field%20for%20the%20last%209%20years%20and%20Linux%20servers%20before%20that.%20%20My%20main%20areas%20of%20expertise%20are%20routing%2C%20switching%2C%20firewalls%20and%20network%20automation%2F%20programming.
wissal
wissal MVE Created Sep 23, 2019 08:41:40 Helpful(0) Helpful(0)

Hello,

In brief, throughput and bandwidth can be defined as the following:

  • Throughput – Throughput is a term used for how much data can be transferred from the source to its destination within a given timeframe
  • Bandwidth – Bandwidth is the term used for the maximum transfer capacity of a network.

We’re going to look at these two concepts in further detail below.

What is Throughput?

Throughput is the name given to the amount of data that can be sent and received within a specific timeframe. In other words, throughput measures the rate at which messages arrive at their destination successfully. It is a practical measure of actual packet delivery rather than theoretical packet delivery. Average throughput tells the user how many packets are arriving at their destination.

In order to have a high-performance service packets need to reach their destination successfully. If lots of packets are being lost in transit and therefore are unsuccessful, then the performance of the network will be poor. Monitoring network throughput is crucial for organizations looking to monitor the real-time performance of their network and successful packet delivery.

Most of the time network throughput is measured in bits per second (bps) but sometimes it is also measured in data packets per second. Network throughput is measured as an average figure used to represent the overall performance of the network. Measuring a low throughput indicates problems like packet loss where packets are lost in transit (these can be devastating to VoIP audio calls where audio skips).

What is Bandwidth?

Bandwidth is a measure of how much data can be sent and received at a time. The higher the bandwidth a network has, the more data it can send back and forth. The term bandwidth isn’t used to measure speed but rather to measure capacity. Bandwidth can be measured in bits per second (bps) megabits per second (Mbps) and gigabits per second (Gbps).

The key thing to remember about bandwidth is that having a high bandwidth doesn’t guarantee high network performance. If throughput in the network is being affected by latency, packet loss, and jitter then your service will see delays even if you have a substantial amount of bandwidth available.

Bandwidth vs Throughput: Theoretical Packet Delivery and Actual Packet Delivery

On the surface bandwidth and throughput appear to be similar but they couldn’t be further apart in practice. The most common analogy used to describe the relationship between the two is to consider bandwidth as a pipe and throughput as water. The larger the pipe or bandwidth is, the more water or data can flow through it at one time.

Within a network this means that the amount of bandwidth determines how many packets can be sent and received between devices at one time and the amount of throughput tells you how many packets are actually getting transmitted.

To put it another way, bandwidth provides you with a theoretical measure of the maximum number of packets that can be transferred and throughput tells you the number of packets that are actually being successfully transferred. As a result, throughput is more important than bandwidth as a measure of network performance.

Although throughput is the better term to measure network performance, this doesn’t mean that bandwidth doesn’t have any influence on performance. For instance, bandwidth has a significant influence on how fast a web page will load on a browser. So if you were looking to use web hosting for an application the amount of bandwidth you have available would impact the performance of certain services.

Thanks

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sebr
sebr Created Sep 23, 2019 08:51:58 Helpful(0) Helpful(0)

@wissal If you are just going to google&copy, at least credit your source:
https://www.comparitech.com/net-admin/throughput-vs-bandwidth/
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Network%20Engineer%20contractor%20based%20in%20the%20UK.%20%0AI%20have%20worked%20in%20the%20networking%20field%20for%20the%20last%209%20years%20and%20Linux%20servers%20before%20that.%20%20My%20main%20areas%20of%20expertise%20are%20routing%2C%20switching%2C%20firewalls%20and%20network%20automation%2F%20programming.
wissal
wissal MVE Created Sep 23, 2019 08:56:25 Helpful(0) Helpful(0)

Posted by sebr at 2019-09-23 01:51 @wissal If you are just going to google&copy, at least credit your source:https://www.comparitech.co ...
Thanks for reminding meWhat is the difference between throughput and bandwidth?-3066223-1
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Telecommunications%20engineer%2C%20currently%20senior%20project%20manager%20at%20an%20operator%2C%20partner%20of%20Huawei%2C%20in%20the%20radio%20access%20network%20department%2C%20for%2020%20years%20I%20managed%20several%20types%20of%20projects%2C%20for%20the%20different%20nodes%20of%20the%20network.
Sprout
Sprout Created Sep 23, 2019 09:07:17 Helpful(0) Helpful(0)

Thank you very much.
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