Router Throughput vs Internet Connection

Posted on 2009-04-24
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I am trying to determine router throughput when it comes to choosing a device for my network. One of my clients has a fiber connection to the internet running at 100 Mbit/s. It resembles a fast Ethernet connection.

The device(s) I am researching have a Router Throughput in the range of 170 mbps to 350 mbps. If I translate these values in Mbits, I have 21.25 - 43.75 Mbits/s. I obtain this value by dividing by 8 (bytes).

Is this correct thinking?
Question by:ITRSupport
    LVL 43

    Expert Comment

    Nope, it looks like you are comparing bits to bits so 170mbps to 350mbps would be enough to cover the 100mbps Internet connection.

    The 21.25 - 43.75 values (divided by 8) would be MBps  (mega bytes per second).
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I think you are wrong. Mbits/s = mbps (mega bits per second) in this case. In other words router throughput 170 mbps will satisfy internet at 100 Mbit/s.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    As the others have stated, mbps and MBits/s are probably the same unit.

    Your router should be able to handle a fully saturated link without issue if it lives up to its specifications.

    Dividing megabits per second by 8 will give you megaBYTEs per second.

    Because the rate of the fast ethernet connection is clearly in bits (mBITs/s), even if your router's "mbps" meant megaBYTEs per second, it would mean it would be able to transmit 170 * 8 to 350 * 8 megaBITs per second.

    In other words, if the unit of measure was megabytes for the router, it would just mean that it would have PLENTY of overhead to cover your link.  Either way, you either have a comfortable amount of overhead or a huge amount of overhead-- in both instances the router will be able to handle the 100 Mbit/s link just fine.

    You should be set.

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Cheat Sheet::

    lowercase "b" = bits
    uppercase "B" = bytes
    mbps = MegaBits Per Second

    Note that if the router you intend to use has a SPI firewall, it will decrease network throughput significantly.  I highly recommend you look at the full specifications of the router to know where you bottlenecks will be.
    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    "The device(s) I am researching have a Router Throughput in the range of 170 mbps to 350 mbps. If I translate these values in Mbits, I have 21.25 - 43.75 Mbits/s. I obtain this value by dividing by 8 (bytes)."

    In general you never divide by 8 to get a throughput in megabits.
    You divide by 8 to get a throughput in megabytes.

    If your router has a throughput of 350 megabytes per second, that is equivalent to  2800 megabits, not   43 megabits.

    170 to 350mbps  is plenty of clear throughput for the use you indicated so far, even more than enough,  unless the client has an intention of possibly upgrading the connection later.

    There are other things to consider such as workload..  is it just straight routing, or will they be running VPN tunnels/similar off the router?

    And what are their primary uses for the link?

    Different applications may use different sized payloads.

    In addition to bandwidth capabilities, routers also have  packets-per-second switching capabilities.    Check that the capacity there is sufficient for the needs.

    Some applications can push routers towards the per-packets-per-second before they push them to the  databits-per-second  maximum capabilities


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