Bandwidth vs. Data Rate

Main Difference

Bandwidth and data rate belongs to the world of Internet connections, basically from web hosting, and used to determine the amount of data being transferred (bit) in a given time, normally in a second. In network communication and system, both have different meaning and purposes, which makes them different from each other. Scroll down for the brief introduction of bandwidth and data rate so that next time you can choose the best option for your web hosting and network system.


bandwidthBandwidth is a wider term, which is basically associated with the computer networking and digital technologies and measures the bit rate of communication resources available or consumed. It was used firstly in analog tools for submission of radio transmission and electromagnetic signals. If talk about computing then it means how much amount or bits of data can be transferred in a time period, normally in one second. For example, if the bandwidth of an Internet connection is 1 MB then it means it can transfer the 1 MB amount of data within one second. It is measured in hertz, bps, kbps and mbps. Mbps, kbps or bps are used for digital devices while hertz is used for analog devices.

Data Rate

data-rateData rate is the term associated with the rate of data transferred between two or more computing and telecommunication devices or systems. It describes how much binary digits or bits can be transferred in a given time, normally in one second. Mostly data transferred rate is measured in Mbps. Data rate depends upon the bandwidth of Internet connection. If the bandwidth rate is high, data rate will be also high and vice versa. But data rate can never be high despite having a high bandwidth Internet connection. In respect of web hosting, data rate means at which rate data is transferred from web server to website in a period of time, normally in second.

Key Differences

  • Hz, bps, kbps and Mbps are used for the measurement of bandwidth while in data rate, Mbps is used as a basic measurement unit.
  • In a network connection, bandwidth is always higher than data rate because data rate depends upon how much bandwidth is available for transmission.
  • In case of website hosting, increase in visitor strengths increases the bandwidth speed of server while on the other hand data transfer rate decreases.
  • Bandwidth is a wider term than data rate. Bandwidth is associated with how much amount of speed is available to you and data rate is associated with transfer of data.

Video Explanation

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