What is bandwidth?

What actually is bandwidth?

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Team Cuckoo | Cuckoo HQ

Hands up who knows the difference between bandwidth and internet speed? Anyone? If you said that bandwidth is how much data your connection can handle at once, and internet speed is how fast data moves to and from your device – then excellent job. Full marks. 

Think of bandwidth like a motorway. When it’s rush hour, everyone’s trying to get to work at the same time – and the build-up of traffic makes things slower.  It’s the same with bandwidth. When devices compete for the same connection, speeds become slower and the connection lags more. So if fewer devices are competing, there’s less demand on bandwidth – meaning internet speeds are faster. 

How do you measure bandwidth? 

No need to get out your ruler – bandwidth is measured by the amount of data you can send or receive over your broadband connection. It’s calculated in megabits per second (Mbps – fast) and gigabits per second (Gbps – really, really fast). 

How much bandwidth do you need? 

This really depends on the number of devices using the internet in your home (and how many will be used at the same time). 

Here are some good questions to ask yourself: are you a casual browser, or hardcore gamer? Do you WFH with lots of video calls, or stream loads of movies online? And do you and others in your home use the internet at the same time – including smart devices? 

Depending on your answers, you can use the table below to see the recommended figures for bandwidth based on activities.

Bandwdith requirement based on activities - emails require 2 Mbps, using smart home devices, video conferencing, and social media activities up to 10 Mbps. Hd Streaming and online gaming can take up to 25 Mbps

How much bandwidth are my devices actually using? 

You can get a good read on this by looking at your router settings. Or, if you’re a member of the flock, you can simply use the eero app – like this: 

▪ Open the app and tap Device Category 

▪ Find the device you want to check under Computer, Personal, Entertainment, Home or Other 

▪ Tap the device 

▪ Go to Activity and see what bandwidth the device is using 

▪ FYI, if the device isn’t running, it’ll show up in the Last Active time 

Or, if you’re keen to go full detective-mode, you could use an app like GlassWire or ManageEngine to check your bandwidth in real time, and even break it down to which website or apps use the most data. 

Ok… so how do I improve my bandwidth? 

There are a few things you can do – and they’re all pretty straightforward.  

Use a wired connection

Use an ethernet cable to plug in some of your more data-heavy devices like smart TVs or gaming consoles 

Limit the number of connected devices 

If an ethernet cable is a no-go, get into the habit of disconnecting anything you’re not using. Or if you’re feeling brave, ask any gamers in the house to hit pause while you jump on a work call. 

Upgrade your broadband plan 

Our full fibre broadband gives you way more bandwidth and faster internet speeds compared to other providers (who use older, copper-wire technology). Plus, with an eero router, you can connect multiple devices at the same time without any lag or latency issues. 

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