What does bandwidth mean?


Imagine a data highway: bandwidth indicates how many lanes there are available for data traffic – and thus, how big of a data volume your Internet line can transmit. This maximum amount of data per second is quantified in Mbps (megabit per second) – or Gbps for particularly fast fiber-optic lines.

Difference: bandwidth vs. speed


Strictly speaking, bandwidth is not about the speed of a data line, but the maximum amount of data that can theoretically flow through it in a given period of time. To stick with the highway analogy, the bandwidth indicates how many vehicles can travel in parallel at the same time – not at what speed they are doing so.

In this simplified representation, the bandwidth is used optimally and therefore corresponds to the data throughput – i.e., the amount of data that actually arrives at your home. This can but does not always have to be the case.


Because a data highway can have some traffic gaps, the available space – the capacity of your Internet line – is not always fully utilized. Even so, for you as an average consumer, the bandwidth is still suitable as a benchmark for various application scenarios.

How much bandwidth do you need?


Different application fields on the Internet bear different demands for your data line. To get a rough idea of ​​how many Mbps you should be able to utilize for smooth online enjoyment, simply take a look at the following user profiles.

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Occasional surfer

Do you regularly visit websites, read the news every day, shop online, surf on Facebook and send out an e-mail in between? Theoretically, 5 to 10 Mbps are sufficient for simple applications of this type. Though you can and should have a little more at your disposal. Because depending on the type of website or social media app, data-intensive images and videos may have to be transmitted.


For a smooth online experience, you should plan for more bandwidth, especially in a multi-person household. 25 Mbps make for a solid cushion, but you may have to upgrade again in a few years if your usage habits or general Internet requirements change. In the long run, 50 Mbps should put the occasional surfer on the safe side.

Ein Mann sitzt am Schreibtisch und schaut lächelnd auf sein Laptop.

Home office users

If you earn your "daily bread" in the home office, a stable Internet connection literally means your livelihood. Simple online calls can already be realized with 10 Mbps of bandwidth, though for large video conferences in good quality and regular file downloads we recommendaround 25 Mbps.


If you share a household with several home office users, a bandwidth of 100 Mbps or more is certainly worthwhile. In this way you ensure uninterrupted productivity, where parallel video calls and downloads do not come to a standstill.


By the way: When it comes to video calls, the upload bandwidth is also relevant. We recommend at least 10 Mbps for one person; if there are several home office participants, the requirement may turn out higher respectively.

Eine Frau lehnt an ihrer Wohnzimmerwand und bedient ein Smart-Gerät.

Smart home designer

The living room light responds to your command, a music system fills the entire house with sound and the washing machine and refrigerator can also be easily monitored when you are out and about. In short: Your home is perfectly networked. And on their own, most smart home devices don't even need that much bandwidth. 


If you use a lot of those, though, data consumption can quickly add up. As a rule of thumb, you should therefore add around 5 Mbps for every ten smart home devices to your planned bandwidth.


Do consider, though: while a small thermostat only sends small amounts of data, the live image of an HD camera quickly becomes a data hog. If you have several surveillance cameras, you should therefore reckon with approximately 10 Mbps more.


Ein Mann sitzt mit Popcorn und Fernbedienung auf der Couch und genießt lachend das Streaming-Angebot.


Nobody wants to suddenly have to deal with muddy images, stutters, or outright streaming failures in the most exciting moment of a show. Smooth streaming pleasure requires a bandwidth of approx. 10 Mbps – that’s for content in full HD resolution. If you watch in razor-sharp 4K, you should have 25 Mbps at your disposal.


Be careful, though: In times of numerous end devices, it is prudent to calculate with parallel video streams. Depending on the size of household, family, and consumer behavior, you should plan with 50 to 100 Mbps.


If you don't watch Netflix and Co., but "classic" television via IPTV (i.e. Internet television), similar benchmarks apply. You can usually get more information about the necessary bandwidth from your streaming or IPTV provider.

Eine Frau sitzt auf der Couch und reckt lächelnd den Gaming-Controller in die Kamera.


Gaming is increasingly taking place online. Whether you're engaging in heated multiplayer battles with players from around the globe, buying and downloading games from the online store, or experiencing virtual adventures via the cloud – for a frustration-free (and victorious) gaming experience, a stable Internet connection with sufficient bandwidth is essential.


For simple online gaming, 10 Mbps of download and 5 Mbps of upload speed can be sufficient. To avoid delays, disconnections, and slow downloads, we recommend 25 to 50 Mbps of download bandwidth.


Since games are becoming increasingly opulent and file sizes (as well as downloads associated with them) are becoming more and more extensive, 100 Mbps or more download bandwidth are very welcome. This is particularly important when several gamers share an internet connection.

Ein Mann mit Kaffeetasse sitzt auf einem Tisch und schaut auf ein Smartphone.

Cloud users

Freedom is limitless above the clouds – assuming you have decent internet bandwidth. The faster your internet speed, the quicker you can upload your holiday and family photos to the cloud and the more reliably the synchronization with modern cloud services works. Here you should value a solid upload bandwidth.


If you book a line with a download bandwidth of 50 Mbps – which should be the bare minimum for users with serious cloud affinity – you can count on at least 10 Mbps in upload. But with that low of an upload speed, data backups can take a while. A comfortable Mbit cushion will not hurt anyway. With 100 Mbps download and approx. 20 Mbps upload bandwidth, video calls in the home office, streaming sessions in your spare time, gaming adventures and the like will probably not falter when synchronizing your cloud at the same time.

Measure and improve internet speed

The bandwidth of your Internet line can be found within the documents of your booked internet service. Whether this speed is achieved in practice depends on various factors, such as network utilization. Via an online speedtestyou can find out how much bandwidth is reaching your router.


If the booked bandwidth of the Internet connection is actually high enough for your purposes, but the streamed tv series is still running poorly, the problem probably lies within your home network – and your Wi-Fi coverage. Use the speed test to determine how high download and upload speed as well as latency (ping) on your end devices in different rooms are.


If there are signs of Wi-Fi weakness, you can follow our general tips for improving the Wi-Fi. The use of a Wi-Fi booster is particularly effective.

Eine Frau sitzt am Laptop und testet ihre Internetgeschwindigkeit.

Highspeed internet with devolo

The full bandwidth of the internet, in every room

Thick ceilings and walls—as well as general distance from the router—can prevent the full bandwidth of your Internet from being utilized in every room. With the flexible Wi-Fi boosters from devolo, you create the perfect basis for ideal Wi-Fi reception throughout the home.


This is particularly effective with devolo Magic: the clever Powerline technology brings Wi-Fi to every room that has a socket. In this way, you can enjoy full productivity in the home office, smart functions and inspiration for every situation, and of course lots of entertainment.

devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 3000


  • Wi-Fi amplification for adjacent rooms
  • For small to medium living areas (one floor)
  • Suitable for all devices & applications
  • Wi-Fi transmission speeds up to 3,000 Mbps
  • LAN port for ethernet connection




Application: Placement in the wall socket. Extends the Wi-Fi radius to adjacent rooms.

devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 5400


  • Wi-Fi amplification for adjacent rooms
  • For small to medium living areas (one floor)
  • Suitable for all devices & applications
  • Multiple antennas allow for many parallel connections
  • Wi-Fi transmission speeds up to 5,400 Mbps
  • 2 LAN ports for ethernet connection


Application: Placement on a surface. Extends the Wi-Fi radius to adjacent rooms.

devolo adapter powerline Magic 2 WiFi 6 starter kit and the wifi sign

devolo Magic 2 WiFi 6


  • Internet everywhere, through ceilings and walls – with powerline technology
  • For medium to large living areas (several floors)
  • Efficient, parallel use of data-hungry applications (e.g. 4K streaming)
  • Powerline speeds up to 2,400 Mbps
  • Wi-Fi speeds up to 1,800 Mbps
  • 2 LAN ports per adapter for ethernet connection


Application: Placement in an outlet near router as well as in additional rooms. Conducts the Internet signal through the entire house via the power line.

devolo Product Advisor


Not sure which Wi-Fi booster is right for your home? Our product advisor will help you in just a few clicks.

Whether streaming, cooking, gaming or even in the home office:

devolo provides strong Wi-Fi throughout the entire home.


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