5 questions about bandwith.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by lucface, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. lucface macrumors regular

    lucface

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    #1
    1. how do i find out how much bandwith is being used by me and/or others on my network?

    2. were is it? on my isp's server?

    3. is that were i get it from if i need more? gota give roadrunner mo money

    4. by having more does it speed up web activity like surfing and online gameing?

    5.what is the average quota? and is it weekly, monthly,ect
     
  2. SummerBreeze macrumors 6502a

    SummerBreeze

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #2
    Why are you worried about bandwidth? Your ISP should tell you how fast their network usually goes. If you want to go faster, you can get a better modem or switch your isp.

    Typically bandwidth refers to the amount of data transfer between a website and the server that it lives on. If you have a website, a 50kb page may be loaded 6 times in a day. If that happens, you've used 300kb of data transfer, or bandwidth. Sites that get hits in the thousands usually have to upgrade their bandwith.

    I don't quite know what you're asking with these questions. What made you think that you needed more bandwidth in the first place?
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #3
    If you're referring to home use, as opposed to hosting, your "quota" is essentially unlimited in every plan I've seen lately - you can download/upload as fast as you can 24/7/365.

    However, faster connection speeds will improve surfing/gaming if (and only if) the sites or servers you're using can be accessed faster than your current connection allows.
     
  4. lucface thread starter macrumors regular

    lucface

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    #4
    i dont really know what im asking either. i quess i just want to know how it works. the questions were inspired by a tread i read about open networks and people complaining about others steeling there bandwith. i just want to know how that works. cause i think most home networks should be open to share internet. and the argument, if not about security,, is always about bandwith.
     
  5. SummerBreeze macrumors 6502a

    SummerBreeze

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #5
    Ah, that makes a bit more sense. On a large network (say, the network in a huge college dormitory), only a certain amount of data can be transfered at any given time due to hardware limitations. Say in one room there is a guy with three different computers hooked up to an unsecured wireless network. Because anyone can get on his wireless network, a huge study group working on the grass outside is connecting through his network. Instead of using the amount of bandwidth the average co-ed is using, he is leeching a bunch of it by allowing all these people to connect. This will slow down the net for everyone, since the hardware can't possibly go as quickly when so many people are trying to access it at the same time.

    Home networks, on the other hand, typically have less of a problem because ISPs can usually handle the amount of computers a typical home can have. Sure, when I go home I have my PowerBook, my brother's notebook, and my mom's notebook connecting to the same wireless connection, which can slow things down, but there isn't usually a big problem. But when you have a bunch of people sharing the same home network (say 10 or 15), things get a lot slower. Sure, sharing the internet is nice, but when your neighbor decides to download all the porn he can find, it can keep you from using the internet to get things done.
     
  6. belvdr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #6
    There are programs that can monitor your hardware, if it supports it. One great program is MRTG but I think it would too much of a pain to configure and maintain for a home network.
    It doesn't physically reside on a server, as it's not data or anything physical.
    If you want more bandwidth, your ISP is who you should call.
    It can, as stated above, but depends on the bandwidth from your computer to the destination computer. In most cases, yes it will make things go faster.
    Quota is a different animal altogether. It is usually the cumulative bandwidth you have used. See your ISP to determine if you have a quota.

    I think webopedia will help you further understand what bandiwdth is. When reading it, you can skip #1.
     
  7. lucface thread starter macrumors regular

    lucface

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #8
    If it wasn't clear from these responses, it might help to keep in mind that there are two related but different uses of "bandwidth":

    One is the size of the "pipe" through which data can flow on a network (so "data transfer speed").

    For example, if you have a dialup modem you probably have about a 5KB/s "pipe", and so someone might say you "only have 5K of bandwidth"; if you have a 3Mbit DSL connection, you have about 375KB/s of bandwidth. More accurately, that DSL connection is probably 3Mbit down (to your computer) and 512Mbit up (back out to the internet), so you have "3 megs downstream bandwidth, 512k up".

    The other meaning is more commonly used by webhosting companies, and that is cumulative data transfer (generally per month). This is also (and more accurately) called a "quota", or "monthly quota".

    This is because webhosts generally serve data as fast as possible, but don't want a popular site to be sucking up all of their network bandwidth (1st meaning) or slowing down their shared servers. So, instead of limiting the stream of data, they limit the total amount of data, figuring that it'll follow an average pattern anyway.

    As such, you'll see webhosts offering "300GB of monthly bandwidth", though what they really mean is "300GB of monthly transfer, and some indeterminite but presumably very fast available bandwidth".


    Also worth noting: Most ISPs offer fixed bandwidth (1st meaning) and "unlimited" data transfer (2nd meaning). In reality, they often do some sort of checking on the total amount of data you transfer, and if it's VERY high, they may complain. Cox, for example, offers a 4Mbit "unlimited" plan, but "unlimited" actually means 30GB of downloaded data (much less up). Others might actually be unlimited, or just not publish the limit.
     

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