Internet bandwidth refers to the speed in which computers download information from the Internet. Bandwidth applies to the length of time it takes the user to get information downloaded and how long it takes for the website to respond to their request. A higher bandwidth results in faster processing speeds.
For example, two users run a search on a typical search engine like Google. The first user has a dedicated line with a higher bandwidth while the second user has dial up access, which naturally has a smaller bandwidth. The first user gets their search results in less than a second, but the second user has to wait 20-30 seconds for the same results to process.
Bandwidth speed is determined by a few different factors, the first of which is Internet connection. Internet users have one of three connection types: cable, DSL, or dial up. Dial up is significantly slower than the other versions because it requires more energy to process requests. DSL and cable are both fairly fast, though cable is the best option in most cases.
A dial up connection can still have an increased bandwidth. Users will notice faster speeds by changing to a better and faster router. They should also use new telephone wires and frequently check the lines for any sign of damage, which can cause a decrease in speed.
All users can also benefit from keeping their anti-virus software up to date and checking frequently for malware on their computer. Spyware, viruses, and adware can all cause the computer to slow down significantly. There are situations where users have lost their connection because of the viruses running on their computer.
There are also users who have wireless Internet, which is connected to the computer through a router. The router itself is plugged into a modem. Those who notice that their speed has dropped should pay close attention to the router, making sure the antennae on the router is pointed upwards. They should also take note of any interference between their computer and the router such as larger objects and other electronics that might cause static.
Testing bandwidth is as simple as visiting one of the websites listed here and letting them run a diagnostic test on the computer. The CNET bandwidth Meter Online Test is one of the best tests available from a reputable site. The user enters the type of connection they have, their zip code, and the system automatically runs a test.
A few other popular sources for these tests are Speed Test, bandwidth Speed Test, and Speakeasy-Speed Test. Other useful websites with tests include bandwidth Speed Test, PC Pit Stop,
Internet Speed Test, and Speed Test. This last website automatically runs the test as soon as the user enters the page. Some managed file transfer and file share sites will use the above mentioned speed tests to compare your results to theirs and help better understand and debug speed issues.
Understanding Internet Speed is a great way to learn more about bandwidth and how it works. Another good source is Why is my Internet Connection So Slow?, which offers suggestions on speeding up the computers response time and speeding up managed file transfer operations.