Bandwidth is the total download/upload speed you can achieve through your connection. There’s a common misconception that if you’ve got a 10 Mbps package, you’ll be able to achieve 10 Mbps across all of your devices, all of the time, however unfortunately this is not correct. If you’re streaming your favourite box set in high definition (which uses your download capacity), this’ll take about half of your 10 Mbps, so if you were to run a speed test while streaming, the test will say your download speeds are only 5 Mbps.
These days, more and more devices are becoming internet connected (search “Internet of Things” for more information), so your bandwidth is going to be spread out thinner across the household.
Examples of devices which are connected to your network are:
- Sky boxes
- Alexas/Google Assistants
- Games consoles
These are your “normal” connected devices, however even some toasters, kettles, fridges, washing machines and even light bulbs are connected to the internet, so will be using your bandwidth.
The next time you think your internet is running slow, just check what other devices are using your network at the same time. Be mindful that devices might be accessing the internet in the background, such as phones automatically downloading updates.