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Bandwidth vs Latency Comparison: What’s The Difference?

Bandwidth vs Latency Comparison: What’s The Difference?

While assessing your internet service, it’s crucial to consider bandwidth and latency comparison. This is because they help measure your internet performance from your ISP (Internet Service Provider). In general, both of these parameters work together during your internet experience. This article will provide important information on bandwidth vs latency comparison.

What is Bandwidth?

Bandwidth is one of the factors to consider when you want to assess your internet connectivity. Essentially, it’s the quantity of data sent through a network connection within a specific duration. In simpler terms, bandwidth represents the capacity of a network connection or communication channel to carry data.

Secondly, bandwidth is typically assessed in kilobits per second (Kbps), megabits per second (Mbps), or gigabits per second (Gbps). In general, bandwidth determines the performance and speed of internet connections. Furthermore, bandwidth is a crucial factor in determining the speed and performance of network connections, which may include local area networks (LANs) and even internet connections.

What is Latency?

Latency refers to the time delay that occurs when data gets transmitted or processed in a system. To be precise, it’s considered the time interval between when a user makes a request and when the end-user receives the response. In practical terms, latency can impact the performance of various applications and services.

Meanwhile, it’s influenced by several factors that are crucial in transmitting data from ISP to your computer or device. These factors include the quality and capacity of the network connection, data transmission protocols used, the distance between the destination and source, software’s efficiency, quality, and capacity of the network connection, and the device’s processing speed.

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Comparing Bandwidth and Latency

Overall, bandwidth and latency are the backbone of internet network connection, where both play a crucial role in providing you with internet services. Let’s find a detailed comparison of latency vs bandwidth through an illustrative table:

DefinitionThe maximum rate of data transfer across a network or communication channel.Latency is the time a data packet takes to travel from its source to its destination.
MeasurementMbps (Megabits per second) or Gbps (Gigabits per second).Milliseconds (ms) or microseconds (µs).
ImpactDetermines how much data transfers in a given period.Measures the responsiveness and delay in data transmission.
ImportanceHigh bandwidth allows for fast data transfer and supports activities like streaming, downloading, and file sharing.Low latency is crucial for real-time applications like online gaming, video conferencing, and voice calls.
Factors AffectingNetwork congestion, connection type (e.g., wired vs. wireless), and quality of service (QoS) settings.Distance between the source and destination, network infrastructure, and processing delays.

How Can Bandwidth and Latency Affect You?

Both bandwidth and latency have an immense impact on our online presence. Thus, our daily use cases surrounding our digital life highly depend on them. Let’s discover how bandwidth vs latency can affect our digital presence through specific scenarios:


While you’re playing online games, internet connectivity might have a low bandwidth impact and high latency impact. Therefore, you don’t need high bandwidth, especially while playing solo games, which may be 3 or 5 Mbps compared to 20 or 25 Mbps during team gaming. However, low latency is essential for a good gaming experience because it can help reduce lags and delays.

Live Streaming

During live streaming, your internet service gets moderate and medium impact by bandwidth and latency. After all, the required bandwidth is highly dependent on the content’s resolution, including the streaming devices. A single 4K stream averages around 25Mbps, while you’ll need extra bandwidth for other devices. Low bandwidth can cause buffering, while high latency can delay camera view.

Video Calling

Within a video call, it’s essential that your internet connection gets supplied with high bandwidth and low latency. After all, this will help you get a stable video call with lag-free connections. The fact is low bandwidth can make it harder to see things during video chats, whereas high latency offers issues like freezing and syncing.

Internet Browsing

In general, your internet browsing is heavily dependent on the network’s bandwidth and latency. After all, low bandwidth can cause a webpage to load in segments at an extremely slow speed. Thus, you may need to wait while the content starts appearing on your screen. In response, high latency can cause the website to look unresponsive and may increase page loading times.

How to Fix Low Bandwidth or High Latency Issues

For a stable internet connection, it’s essential to have a balance between bandwidth and latency. Thereafter, in some instances, you often experience low bandwidth or high latency issues that can disrupt your calling performance. To fix these issues, here is what you need to know:

Tips to Reduce Latency

Latency refers to the time the data takes to travel from one point to another. Meanwhile, reducing the latency has immense importance for having good communication support. Here is how you can reduce latency:

  • Increase the internet and bandwidth speed, which will let you have a fast internet connection. This will automatically reduce latency.
  • Using the HTTP/2 protocol can help reduce the time for the signal to move between sender and receiver. This gets executed by reducing the signal’s route or path.
  • Switching to a wired ethernet connection can significantly reduce latency if you’re using a Wi-Fi connection.
  • If your router supports Quality of Service (QoS) settings, enable, and configure them to prioritize certain types of traffic. This can help reduce latency for specific applications or devices.

Tips to Increase Bandwidth

Increased bandwidth is referred to as the higher data transmission capacity or network speed. Generally, bandwidth can affect video call quality with limited reach, network congestion, and more. To overcome low bandwidth issues, here is what you need to do:

  • Upgrade your internet plan by contacting your internet service provider (ISP). Thus, opting for a package with higher bandwidth can help you with faster internet speed.
  • Make sure to use wired connections, such as ethernet cables. After all, they generally offer faster and more stable speeds compared to wireless connections.
  • Regularly update your router’s firmware to ensure it has the latest features and bug fixes. This will ultimately improve and enhance the bandwidth score.
  • Ensure your modem, router, and network cables can handle higher bandwidth speeds.

How to Achieve Better Real-Time Communication Quality

Bandwidth and latency are vital in establishing a connection within a video call. Consequently, certain issues with bandwidth and latency may exist, which can impact the quality of your video call. However, if you choose the right video chat platform, these issues might get resolved, and troubleshooting may end. For this purpose, the ZEGOCLOUD Video SDK is what you need.

1. Real-Time Network Across Regions

ZEGOCLOUD follows WebRTC protocol that ensures real-time network connection with disruption-free calling. Thus, all the video and audio chats get processed using this protocol which helps provide high network availability with low latency. Interestingly, ZEGOCLOUD is available in more than 212 countries and regions.

2. Advanced Network Testing and Devices

In addition, ZEGOCLOUD allows you to test the quality of your network probe through an advanced test before initiating the call. This ensures that the quality of your video call remains optimized. Apparently, you can perform network and device tests.

Within the network test, speed gets monitored during publishing/playing streams at a specified bit rate. The camera, microphone, and playback devices get checked within the device test.

3. Audio and Video Settings

Communication will remain optimized when you have the right audio and video settings for your video call. In general, with ZEGOCLOUD, you can configure video codecs where you can adjust resolution, frame rate, and bitrate. You can also modify hardware codecs within the video settings. On the other hand, you can also configure bandwidth by adjusting the audio bitrate.

4. Call Quality Statistics

The availability of a call monitoring service within ZEGOCLOUD allows you to check the quality of your call. Furthermore, an analytics dashboard exists from which you can get real-time insights on the call logs and other quality metrics. This facility lets you quickly determine what is causing your call quality and how to improve it.

5. Improve Facial Appearance

Surprisingly, several facial enhancement features within the ZEGOCLOUD exist that users can use to make their video chats more enchanting. These features include a cheek blusher, skin tone enhancement, smoothing, and image sharpening. This way, you can customize how you want to look in your video call.

6. Screen Sharing and File Sharing

It’s possible to share screens within your video calls while using ZEGOCLOUD SDK. Moreover, you can also share files and documents with the participants in video calls. This ultimately makes your video call more engaging as well as productive with enhanced use cases. For business virtual meetings, school online sessions, or virtual conferences, ZEGOCLOUD provides an ideal platform.


To conclude, bandwidth and latency are crucial in determining the quality of your video call and how good and stable the network connection is. As a reference, in this article, you discovered the difference between bandwidth vs. latency in a detailed way. You also learned about ZEGOCLOUD SDK, which provides an essential platform for building video chat applications with enhanced functionalities.

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