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Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:15 am Reply and quote this post
Have you ever wondered why it takes longer to download a given file on one system and less time on another?

Here's why according to Pete Lundgren, my former classmate at the University of Phoenix - Online.

System performance factors are driven by the limitations of your computer system and your connection to the Internet via your Internet Service Provider (ISP), also known as bandwidth/throughput system capabilities. As indicated in the definition below, bandwidth and throughput are synonymous terms when referring to the data transfer rates: the amount of data that can be transferred through a medium over time.

Bandwidth: The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time. For digital devices, the bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second (bps) or bytes per second. For analog devices, the bandwidth is expressed in cycles per second, or Hertz (Hz). The bandwidth is particularly important for I/O devices. For example, a fast disk drive can be hampered by a bus with a low bandwidth. This is the main reason that new buses, such as AGP, have been developed for the PC (

Throughput: The amount of data transferred from one place to another or processed in a specified amount of time. Data transfer rates for disk drives and networks are measured in terms of throughput. Typically, throughputs are measured in kbps, Mbps and Gbps (

Many factors influence your actual throughput speeds. The old clich� that a 'chain is only as strong as its weakest link' is also true here. When ISPs make performance promises, they should only be providing the maximum speeds possible for the capabilities you request/order. Actual speeds will also vary depending on the performance of your computer. A few other factors that will decrease actual throughput include:

    *Multi-tasking on your computer (running multiple applications that eat CPU cycles)
    *Heavy traffic over the medium (Internet and hardware infrastructure) leading to saturation within the system
    *Type of medium (cable, fiber optic, twisted pair copper, etc.).
    *The distance between you and the source. Distance is a factor because your data travels in packets (with ID headers) to the source and then back through various routers within the system. Routers route the data packets to and fro.

Your thoughts?

Contributed by turbino, iVirtua Premier Contributor
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