This IMDA guide on throughput helps consumers understand the overall performance of their broadband connection beyond just the advertised speed. IMDA also provides tips on how to improve your throughput for a better overall broadband experience.
Throughput refers to the amount of data that is successfully transferred from one point of the network to another over a specified period. It is usually expressed as kilobits or megabits per second (kbps or Mbps).
More About Throughput
When we are surfing the Internet, the data packets in our PC need to travel to the intended website through that extensive network matrix we call the Internet. However, the advertised speeds on the various plans (e.g. 512 kbps, 12 Mbps) refer only to the "last mile" or more accurately the capacity of your line from your home to the nearest aggregating centre.
What the published bandwidth does not tell is your actual rate of data transfer from your PC to the intended website, or what is known as the throughput.
Throughput refers to the amount of data that is successfully transferred from one point of the network to another over a specified period of time. It is usually expressed as kilobits or megabits per second (kbps or Mbps).
Throughput is an important indicator of network performance, especially when it involves large file transfers or high-bandwidth applications. It will determine the time needed for the file transfer or the number of high-bandwidth applications such as video streaming that can be supported.
When we are downloading a file, the little box that pops up with the speed of your download is actually showing your throughput. And that is the number that really counts for consumers.
1. What does Average Peak Throughput measure?
It measures the Average Peak throughput that can be supported by the subscribed broadband service plans. For the broadband service plan subscribed by the user, the ISP provides Internet access to the user, at the advertised bandwidth for the selected broadband service plan.
When a user computer or device connects to another computer or device on a network or the Internet, a communication session is setup between the two devices to exchange data such as files, email or various other web content. This link is called a TCP session. To measure the maximum throughput, multiple concurrent TCP sessions are setup to fill up the access pipe to its maximum limit.
It is important to note that the ability to utilize multiple concurrent TCP sessions and hence maximising the access pipe is dependent on the software application. For example, popular software applications that uses multiple concurrent TCP sessions are web browsers and BitTorrent applications.
2. What does Single TCP Throughput measure?
It measures the throughput provided by the respective broadband service plans for applications that typically use a single TCP session regardless of the size of the access pipe. As such, the access pipe may not be filled up to the maximum limit when these applications are in use.
Popular email client applications such as Microsoft Outlook uses the single TCP session to transmit email messages between users.