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Lesson 5: Bigger is Better

The Internet

Lesson 5: Bigger is Better

In Bandwidth, Bigger Is Better

Ever had to wait 10 or more seconds for a Web page to finish building on your screen? That can be a combination of many things. First, the file size of the Web page was probably big. There was a lot of information to get through. Second, the computer you were using may have a slow microprocessor. A fast microprocessor can process incoming information faster. Third, your connection to the Internet may have been slow. For better performance, the connection you were using needed more bandwidth.

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can pass through a particular connection in a set amount of time. It can differ depending on what type of connection your computer has to the Internet. The greater the bandwidth of the connection, the faster a Web page builds on your screen. Faster bandwidth means files download faster and videos like the one on this page play quicker and more smoothly.

When the Internet was largely text and fewer people used it, bandwidth wasn't that important. Text pages have small file sizes. But today there are many more people on the Internet and we use it to exchange photographs, download software, listen to music, and even view movies online. These kinds of files are much larger and require a bigger connection to your computer to perform properly. That makes bandwidth very important.