How to Calculate Network Bandwidth Requirements? [Step-by-Step Explained in 2021]

Almost every member of your family requires the internet. Even if you are planning to set up wifi for your office space, having high bandwidth allocation is a must. In any commercial rooms or chambers, there are multiple devices connected.

Specific software and applications always require higher levels of data transmission. Having lower bandwidth will never help you to get complete satisfaction. You will always fall short. Calculating your bandwidth requirement completely depends on what activities you will do and what you need to use while choosing an internet plan.

You need to review your requirements which will help you to get the right calculation. Bandwidth is basically the highest rate of data transfer which you can get to your device easily.

A lot of people do get confused between bandwidth and internet speed and it is not the same at all. There is a lot of difference when it comes to internet speed and bandwidth transmission.

This guide on How to calculate WiFi network bandwidth requirements will surely help you to understand more.

WiFi Network Bandwidth

What is Bandwidth in Networking?

Coming to bandwidth in networking, it refers to the measurement of the data transferred between two points that too within a set period. In simple words, the maximum throughput transfer capacity of any network is defined as bandwidth in networking.

Usually, it is the measurement of how much data received and sent at a given time. It is measured in bits, gigabits, or megabits per second. However, it is vital for you to know that bandwidth doesn’t really increase the network speed but makes it appear as such. You can increase the bandwidth whenever you want but all you will be doing is increasing the data amount you can send at a time and not the transfer speed.

Also, keep in mind that higher bandwidth won’t mean higher network performance. But it is an integral part of network speed. Internet speed is the assigned bandwidth that allows you to send a specific amount of data per second. For example, 10 Mbps means you will be able to receive 10 megabits of data per second.

Why is it So Important to Calculate Network Bandwidth?

The volume of water that flows through a water pipe can be actually referred to as the Bandwidth! Why? Well! For example, if you have a bigger pipe, you can have more water flow at the same time. Bandwidth performs exactly a similar way. As a result, the more data connection the bandwidth is having, the more data it can receive and send at a time.

There are bandwidth limits even in any kind of deployment location. This will always indicate that there is a shortage of data flow when it comes to space.

Thus, in a single area, several devices must share the bandwidth. If you want to maintain the proper speed, then greater bandwidth is a must.

When do You Need to Calculate Bandwidth?

Online streaming, gaming, editing, and all other high usage activities will require a good amount of bandwidth speed if you want to have the best experience without any lagging issue. So the more bandwidth you are able to give, the faster your device will run.

Here are some of the tips you need to follow to match the bandwidth goals.

1. Calculate the Application Bandwidth Requirement

The bandwidth requirement depends on the usage of an internet connection to the same network. There are certain applications such as instant messaging and web browsing that require less bandwidth but there are applications such as VoIP calls, video streaming, etc, that need more bandwidth usage.

To have a high-performance WLAN, network designers should take into consideration external variables such as throughput networks and applications’ requirements. In fact, the FCC or the Federal Communications Commission provides you with all the needed information based on digital activity and set guidelines for Mbps. You can easily measure bandwidth requirements with the help of multiple other alternatives.

2. Estimate the Number of Devices to be Connected

Usually, mid-high end wireless access points and routers allow you to connect 255 devices at the same time. However, you should not do that. Connecting each device or computer will automatically decrease the bandwidth available to the other device that is connected to the same access point. So having an estimate of how many devices to be connected will help you solve the bandwidth slow problem.

3. Calculate the Network Bandwidth Requirement

As you know, the measurement of bandwidth is bps or bits per second. However, modern networks have greater capacity and are mostly measured in million of bits per seconds or Mbps, or Gbps.

In the symmetrical connections, the data capacity will remain the same in case of downloading or uploading. But, in the asymmetrical connections, the upload and download capacity isn’t the same. Generally, the upload capacity will be smaller than the download one.

Moreover, you must calculate how much bandwidth you need to run all the network applications. Now to know the capacity, you need to calculate the number of users who will use the network connection and multiply it number times the capacity needed by each application.

Check Below for the Formula

(Number of concurrent Users) x (Application Throughput) = Aggregate Application Throughput

How to Increase Wi-Fi Network Bandwidth?

If you want to increase the Wifi bandwidth, it means you basically want to increase bandwidth which is the maximum data transfer rate of internet connection.

Here is how you can actually increase the WiFi bandwidth.

1. Check the Broadband Speed

An important step is to check the broadband speed which means you must check the upload and download speed. There are several online tools and sites available that allow you to check broadband speed. You can use one of them to check the speed.

2. Check the Router Position

It is suggested that you keep your router away from any kind of obstacles. Always try to keep it in an open area. This will otherwise impact your router’s performance.

3. Keep your Router Updated

It is always important to keep the router updated as many viruses and malware may attack your router which will lead to a big loss. You can replace your router as well with a new one to boost the WiFi speed. The latest Wi-Fi standard is 802.11ac.

  • Once you are done with the replacing, you should click on the WiFi shortcut.
  • See the broadband service you are using.
  • You will see the standard listed right next to the “Radio Type“.

4. Reconfigure

Reconfiguration is a way that you can always do to increase or set your WiFi bandwidth. You can go to the router’s handbook and configure it from the given menu which you can find in the router’s dashboard on a computer browser.

5. Switch WiFi Channel

It is important to check the WiFi channel you are using and then switch it. This is because most of the time the default route channel is set to 1 or 6. And almost every router chooses this channel and thus the WiFi traffic jam creates an issue. The only solution is to change the Wifi channel using some online available authentic tools.

6. Update Your Driver or WiFi Adapter

After a few days or months of continuous use, you must check and update your WiFi adapter or driver. This will push the network to work again at the same speed. You can use some tools to update the driver.

What is Bandwidth Throttling?

Bandwidth throttling is basically slowing down the bandwidth already available. In other words, it is basically slowing down the speed of the internet connection you typically have. It can happen in several places between your device such as a smartphone or computer or the website or service that you use over the internet.

There are several reasons ISPs may reduce internet speeds such as:

  • Unpaid bills
  • Paid Throttling
  • Data Caps
  • Impossible Promises

There are people who think using mobile phones will prevent them from bandwidth throttling. However, it is not true. Throttling may happen in case of any kind of online activity that passes through an ISP server. It may be the WiFi or the mobile data provider.

Now the question is how can you prevent throttling. Well! To be very specific, you can prevent it simply by using the virtual private network or VPN. Whatever activities you do, depending on that your ISP will slow down. For example, online gaming and video streaming will take up a lot of bandwidth. It can be on the price side for providers and when they notice it, they might slow down the bandwidth.

Related: Dual-Band Vs Tri-Band Wi-Fi Routers: Which One to Pick?


Having a thorough check of your bandwidth allocation would be very helpful. Even when you are playing games or working on multimedia software, having stable bandwidth allows you to have a maximum rate of transmission! As a result, you will be able to perform better with your router. The guide above will help you to know more about bandwidth calculation.

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