What is it?
Network bandwidth is the measurement of a network’s maximum capacity to transfer data in a specific amount of time. It is commonly represented in bits per second (bps), kilobits per second (Kbps), megabits per second (Mbps), and gigabits per second (Gbps).
While data transfer rate (DTR), or throughput, is the actual data successfully transferred in a given time period, bandwidth shows the biggest possible amount of data that can be transmitted. This is why the network’s DTR will always be lower than the bandwidth.
There is also the difference between network bandwidth and speed, which is not about how much data can be moved within a certain time frame but how fast this data can be transported.
How does it work?
A bandwidth connection can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. In the case of a symmetrical connection, data capacity is the same for both the upload and download directions. On the other hand, the asymmetrical connection type features unequal data capacity, which is higher for a download rather than an upload.