Throughput & Bandwidth

Technical Jargons 

Tried to explain the Jargons used in the performance world in the simplest form possible. Kindly let us know if you face any difficulty in understanding the concepts. 


  • Throughput is the actual amount of data that can be transmitted from source to destination within the given time frame. 
  • ​​​​​​​Practical Outcome or Results on ground zero 
  • It refers to an achieved value.


  • Is a unit for majoring maximum transfer capacity 
  • It refers to a theoretical peak value. 
  • It refers to the theoretical amount of data over a communication channel. 


A Shopping mall  

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The machine from the image is to be familiar to most of us. It is a People counter machine. People counter useful to count people entering the mall.  In a given day, probably 1000 people entered in the mall for example. But can we confirm that all of them bought the goods from there? The simple answer to the question is, “NO”. Let’s say, 700 people bought articles in a day. That indicates 300 people did not buy anything for any random reason.  Malls are trying to calculate Sales Turnaround figure with the help of People counter. 


Sales Turnaround     =     People entered in the mall – People did not buy      

700                      =            1000                          –        300

Theoretically, the capacity was to sell articles to 1000 people, but in actual sales done to 700 people. 

If we use these values in our Throughput and Bandwidth definition i.e. 

Bandwidth = Maximum sales Cap. = Maximum Transfer cap.  = 1000 mb/s Throughput = Actual Sales = Actual data transmitted =  700 mb/s Overhead = People who did not buy = Network packet header = 300 mb/s

A Highway

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Think about a highway.  If the space on the highway can accommodate 24 cars, and cars can go through on a highway in a second, then the bandwidth of that highway is 24 cars per second. Remember, Bandwidth describes the carrying capacity.

Cars can’t be driven in bumper-to-bumper mode. Considering the safety of every vehicle,  drivers of the cars maintain a safe distance in each other cars. With maintaining a safe distance, 20 cars can go through in a second. Than 20 Cars are considered a Throughput of the highway. Remember, throughput describes the actual use of the capacity. 

I hope the concept is much clear now. If you have any questions or have any suggestions, please leave the comments, and I will work on them.

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