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Performance variances

We are about to have 100 host computers interconnected with each other for our Internet access and yet we only have bandwidth of 400 Kbps. We also have a 56 Kbps modem. Here's what I would like:

  1. What does 400 Kbps bandwidth mean in connection with our LAN?
  2. Is 400 Kbps enough to supply the 100 hosts computers for better surfing?
  3. If not, would you care to furnish me a better suggestion/recommendation or information related to our Internet access in terms of its speed?
  4. If that 400 Kbps refers to the speed of our server, what will happen to our Internet access if 50 hosts computers are on line simultaneously?

I'm looking forward for your generous and precise answers with respect to this matter.
These are important questions with answers that are all qualified by "your mileage may vary." And they probably will vary quite a lot. So it is hard to meet your request for "precise" answers.

For a start, review a couple of answers to some previous questions:
https://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/answer/Calculating-bandwidth
https://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/answer/What-is-the-bandwidth-occupied-by-Telnet-or-a-browser
Then consider your own network and how it will likely be used, by whom, and when. Then try to apply the answers there to your own context.

Now you might be saying, "Stop being ambiguous and tell me what I get!" I'll make a few predictions but they won't necessarily be your experience. The net effect of this configuration will likely be that, at peak usage periods, a typical user will see

  • slow-to-very-slow response times
  • irregular loss (<1%) and large delay variations (100-500 ms)
  • effective transfer rates of 5-10 Kbps from the Internet
  • Web page loads that take 30-60 seconds

    At other times when there are no other users competing for the link, the performance will be dramatically better. A user might see:

  • quick response times
  • no loss, no significant jitter
  • effective transfer rates of around 250-300 Kbps
  • Web pages load in a few seconds

    I hope this is precise enough for you and the answer "it depends" makes some sort of sense for your network.

  • This was last published in June 2003

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