* Definition:* Bandwidth is how much data you can move in a given amount of time.

* Real-world:* If your streaming media is too big for the connection of a viewer, they see choppy and incomplete playback.

The file-to-bandwidth ratio is important when you get into developing streaming media. So before beginning to develop streaming media, a bandwidth strategy is needed (or at least understood). The goal is to provide the quality needed, work with the viewers connection speed and not overload your hardware (the server).

**1. The Bandwidth Math Numbers**

The problem with “bandwidth math” is that **two different sets of numbers are used**. There is one for data transmission (Kbps) and another for data storage (KB ).

**Files **are measured in “**KB**” – kilobytes

**Bandwidth **is measured in “**Kbps**” – kilobits per second

Note that files use kiloBYTES and bandwidth uses kiloBITS (note one is “byte” and the other “bit”). Here is the trick – there are 8 bits in a byte. So when we have a 2MB streaming media file we are not transferring the 2,048KB (1MB = 1,024KB ), we are transferring 8x’s that much (2,048KB x 8 bits = 16,384Kbps).

**2. Estimating Monthly Bandwidth:**

This formula makes sure you stay within your hosting plans bandwidth allotment (usually hosting plans give bandwidth in GB per month – go over this amount and you risk additional charges or termination of your account). Here’s the formula:

(Average Daily Visitors x Average # Views x Average Media Size (in KB )) x 31 days x 1.5 (this is the “guesstimate” factor that gives a 50% buffer)

*As example:*

(40 daily visitors x 60 views x 20,480 KB (= 20 MB ) average media size) x 31 days x 1.5 = 2,285,568,000 KB

2,285,568,000 KB / 1,024 (1 MB ) = 2,232,000 MB, which is approx. 2 GB of bandwidth per month.

– Troy @ TLC