Bandwidth is one of those terms people throw around without much concern to if anyone really understands it. Due to this lack of concern, you also see it quite often getting confused with the similar word, “broadband”.
In the simplest of terms, bandwidth is the capacity for the amount of data that can be transferred, and sometimes at what speed it can be moved.
In the terms of your Internet Service Provider (ISP), they will tell you they offer you “unlimited bandwidth”, and that is to say that you can transfer as much data as you want, they won’t limit it. (although, be warned there is usually a catch to this in that it is misleading and can cost you in hidden fees, and we will discuss that in another post.) Many web hosting companies, where you host your web site, will also offer you unlimited bandwidth, also known as data transfer, or just an extremely high number, but with these you also have to be careful.
The speed aspect of bandwidth doesn’t get discussed quite as much, but it can apply to the rate with which you transfer your data either over your Intranet, an all internal network, or over the Internet itself. So if an ISP tells you that your connection would be 5 Mbps (Megabits Per Second), that would be your “bandwidth”. If you have an internal network with a 10 Mbps connection, that is also your bandwidth speed.
The confusion with “broadband” that I mentioned earlier is in that term refers to any high-speed form of Internet connection, but over time people have had a tendency to make the two terms interchangeable with one another. Just remember you are far more concerned with the “bandwidth” and you should be fine.