Basic CS-Networks [TCS Placement]: Sample Questions 47 - 47 of 133

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Question 47


Describe in Detail


Define bandwidth and latency?



  • Expressed in bits per second. It is the amount of data that can be transferred during a second.
  • Solving bandwidth is easier than solving latency. To solve bandwidth, more pipes are added.
  • For example, in early analog modems it was possible to increase bandwidth by bonding two or more modems. Similarly, ISDN achieves 128K of bandwidth by bonding two 64K channels using a datalink protocol called multilink-ppp.
  • Bandwidth and latency are connected. If the bandwidth is saturated then congestion occurs and latency is increased.
  • However, if the bandwidth of a circuit is not at peak, the latency will not decrease.
  • Bandwidth can always be increased but latency cannot be decreased.
  • Latency is the function of the electrical characteristics of the circuit.


  • Latency is delay- the amount of time it takes a packet to travel from source to destination.
  • Latency is normally expressed in milliseconds.
  • One of the most common methods to measure latency is the utility ping. A small packet of data, typically 32 bytes, is sent to a host and the RTT (round-trip time- time it takes for the packet to leave the source host, travel to the destination host and return back to the source host) is measured.
  • Latency on the internet is also affected by routing that an ISP may perform.

Together, latency and bandwidth define the speed and capacity of a network.

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