What is Mbps? Network Speeds Explained

What is Mbps? Network Speeds Explained


MUSIC So as we talk about networks and
identify different components of them, some of the concepts
that are going to come up are speed. For example, do customers
want speedy networks? Oh yeah. Yes. Do they know– does
the average user know what goes on behind the scenes? No. No, they just click, and
they want it to work. It’s amazing, like the phone. And I never call
the phone company and say, oh, by the way,
every time in the last year I picked up, I’ve got dial tone. Good job. They just expect it to work. And our customers
are the same way. They want it to work. So as far as speed
goes, they want it to be effective and fast. Let’s take a look at the
common characteristics here. 10 m could mean a lot of things. This case, m, lower case b-p-s
means 10 megabits per second. So that’s a lot. I mean just think about that. That’s like doing
[TAPPING NOISE], hitting it really fast. Are you with me? Just so screaming fast that we
couldn’t even– I can’t really even contemplate it. But this is what
ethernet started out as. So an ethernet network, which
we tie all this together, started off at good old
10 megabits per second. So that’s what it would
look like– 10 capital M-B. What if it was capital B? What could that mean? Bytes. “Bytes,” says Robert. And he shoots, he scores. So bits are just one signal, and
a byte would be eight of them. We’ll cover that in
the binary coming up. So then, that’s ethernet. And then they came up, and
they said I want it faster. So it went to 100 megabits. Isn’t that clever? Megabits per second. And they call this– it’s
faster than normal ethernet. So guess what they call it? Fast. It’s fast ethernet. So when people
say, oh, yeah, I’ve got a fast ethernet
interface, they’re simply referring to 100
megabits per second. And so you can have
devices that are connected at 10 megabits and 100 megabits,
and this device in the middle, called a switch, buffers
it, works it all out, and allows devices to
communicate even though they’re at different speeds. That’s one of the cool
benefits of a switch– it’s going to basically
allow everybody to connect and forward the
traffic as they need to on the same street
or the same network. Then, of course, that
wasn’t fast enough. So we went to 1000
megabits per second. And they call that? A gig. They call it a gig. So giga b-p-s. So ethernet, fast
ethernet, gigabit ethernet, and it doesn’t stop there. They got 40 gig and all other
kinds of stuff coming out. But that’s as far as speed goes. One other little scenario
that we should probably talk about right now is this. You may not be familiar
with irrigation, but let me share
with you a little bit I learned about
irrigation recently. If we have a pipe like
this and a pipe like this– and we’re talking about
irrigation pipes, or sprinkler pipes, what have you. Which is going to be
faster as far as sending more data through, A or B? A. A. It’s got more volume. It can take more. It’s just like 100
megabit fast ethernet can do more than 10
megabit because it’s got more bandwidth. That’s another term we can use
to get the traffic through. But if we took this,
and we coupled it down to a small pipe like this
and then back to a big pipe like this, now which
one’s going to have more effective throughput, A or B? I don’t know that you know that. B? If this and this are exactly
the same right there– Then both– they’re the same. If we round it
off, they’re going to be pretty much
the same because this is the slowest point
through our network or through the bandwidth. So it’s like the weakest link. It’s going to control
the throughput. So in a network, if we
have all gigabit ethernet or all fast
ethernet, and then we have a server connected
at 10 megabits, that’s going to be possibly
a bottlenecking getting all that traffic out. MUSIC

Author: Kevin Mason

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