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Demystifying Throughput vs Latency vs Bandwidth

by | Sep 20, 2022

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Users expect communication channels to be fast and efficient in this tech-driven world. The three factors that are significant to network performance are throughput, latency, and bandwidth. 

What is Throughput?

Throughput refers to the amount of data packets that travel over time across a network. It is measured in bits per second (bps) and is the rate at which data reaches the destination from a source. 

What is Network Latency?

Latency is the time taken for data to travel from one point to another. It is measured in milliseconds (ms) and reflects the delay during data transmission. Lower latency means faster communication, making it a critical factor for real-time applications like video meetings and online gaming.

What is Bandwidth?

Bandwidth is the measure of a network’s capacity to transfer data packets at any given point in time. It is measured in bps and signifies the maximum amount of data that can travel simultaneously. Higher bandwidth means larger volumes of data can travel and hence improves performance while downloading large files. Better video bandwidth enhances quality during streaming.

Throughput vs Latency vs Bandwidth: How They Interact 

  • High Bandwidth and Low Latency can lead to improved network performance, allowing higher Throughput.

  • Low bandwidth or high latency can result in lower throughput 

  • An optimized high-performing network should have the right mix of the three factors.

Real-Life Examples of how Throughput, Latency, and  Bandwidth Impact Performance

  1. Throughput: A file transfer protocol (FTP) server’s ability to transfer large files quickly and efficiently depends on its throughput capacity. If you want to share a large file with someone across the world, the throughput of your networks will affect the transfer speed.2. Latency: Low latency is vital to have an enjoyable online gaming experience. High latency can result in lag and hamper a player’s performance in the game.

3. Bandwidth: Video Streaming platforms such as Netflix demand high bandwidth to avoid buffering and provide a smooth viewing experience.

A robust network is vital to the success of any business relying on internet connectivity. Understanding metrics such as throughput, latency, and bandwidth will help improve overall performance.


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Kalaivani Narayanan

Kalaivani Narayanan

Content Specialist

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