Network bandwidth is the data rate that can be supported by your network connections and pipelines. Network bandwidth can refer to the theoretical limit or the actual usage. Most often when people discuss network bandwidth they are talking about the perceived speed of their local area network, but network bandwidth alone does not measure speed. The latency, or delays in processing, associated with the network also affects the speed of the network.

Lowering Costs and Cost Reduction

The cost of bandwidth can be one of the largest expenses associated with a company's Internet operations if they have high bandwidth applications or transactions. Companies aggressively negotiate bandwidth pricing at the start of hosting or telecom contracts, but surprisingly few invest in a bandwidth monitor to track usage on an ongoing basis. A bandwidth monitor can identify bottlenecks as well as underutilized pipelines. A bandwidth monitor also can verify that a telecom pipeline provider is billing correctly and is meeting their service level agreements.

Capacity Planning

Another reason to have a bandwidth monitor is for capacity planning. You need a bandwidth monitor to measure how bandwidth usage fluctuates at different times of the day as well as from month to month if you are to make an informed decision about capacity growth or contraction. A bandwidth monitor is something you should ask your hosting company to provide.