Definition

How much data can be transmitted in a time period over a communications channel, often expressed in kilobits per second (kbps).

Information

The difference between bandwidth and data transfer causes much confusion and is worth noting.

Bandwidth is a rate and data transfer is a total. For example, you might be a web hosting plan with 128 kbps of bandwidth for a maximum monthly data transfer of roughly 40 GB.

128 kbps = bits = bytes
per second 128,000 16,000
per minute 7,680,000 960,000
per hour 460,800,000 57,600,000
per day 11,059,200,000 1,382,400,000
per month 331,776,000,000 41,472,000,000
divide by one billion
~41 gigabytes/month

Note: many hosts use the terms bandwidth and data transfer interchangeably, referring to the monthly data allowance as bandwidth.

Related Terms

view all terms in the Web Hosting glossary or all terms in the Digital Marketing glossary

Sites

Yahoo! : Communcations and Networking : Broadband

Articles

WebHosting Bandwidth – An Introduction
SitePoint.com (May 14, 2001)