Throughput vs. Bandwidth

Difference Between Throughput and Bandwidth

Both bandwidth and throughput are often confused with one another. Network administrators use these in the planning and making of new networks. The greatest amount of data which can be transmitted through a network for a certain amount of time is known as bandwidth. On the other hand, throughput is the definite quantity of data that can be moved through a network in a specific duration of time.

In fact bandwidth gives the highest sum of data which is transferred through a channel in theory. If one has a 100 Mbps broadband line, then what it actually means is the highest amount of data which can travel through that line per second and this is the bandwidth. We measure bandwidth in bits per second (bps). Kilobits per second (kbps), megabits per second (Mbps) and gigabits per second (Gbps) are used for large measurements of bandwidth.

We all know that the network speed in reality is way slower than what is stated. Throughput is the real quantity of data that is transferred back and forth from the internet to the web server at one time. We see a window with a progress bar along with a number in the process of file download. The number is actually the throughput which it doesn’t remain the same and has a value lesser than the given bandwidth. The cause for this lower value can be the amount of users logged on to the network, network topology, physical media and hardware capabilities. Bandwidth and throughput are measured with similar units.

Despite of giving the same measurement and having the same units of measurement, both bandwidth and throughput are a lot different to each other. One can state that the maximum throughput one can accomplish is the bandwidth, while the real speed that one comes across while surfing is known as the throughput. Let’s presume bandwidth to be equal to the width of a bridge. As the width goes on increasing, more and more vehicles can be accommodated at a certain time. But if the road isn’t smooth, there is a decrease in the amount of vehicles passing through in the specified time. The case is parallel to the one in throughput. Hence, the two are very different.

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