Question

How is bandwidth monitoring different from other types of network monitoring?

Answer
By Justin Stoltzfus | Last updated: July 6, 2020

Bandwidth monitoring plays a special role in overall network administration. Using bandwidth monitoring tools, administrators assess issues related to internal network traffic and bandwidth usage.

One way that bandwidth monitoring works for administrators is that it may help them look at compliance with bandwidth limits imposed by an internet service provider (ISP) or other vendor. When network bandwidth usage goes beyond these limits, it may trigger all sorts of fees and costs. Administrators use bandwidth monitoring to ensure that usage stays within the right boundaries.

In general, bandwidth monitoring can help administrators find internal sources of traffic disruption. If a network is moving slowly, not because of improper setup or malfunctioning equipment, but because of a huge bandwidth draw somewhere in the network, bandwidth monitoring can help identify the problem. IT professionals refer to this as "finding bandwidth hogs."

Other types of network monitoring focus more on other kinds of problems or bottlenecks that may affect network performance. Some of them help with finding malfunctioning equipment or other hardware and software problems within the network, while others look at intrusions from outside the network, security vulnerabilities and other potential problems.

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Written by Justin Stoltzfus | Contributor, Reviewer

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Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer for various Web and print publications. His work has appeared in online magazines including Preservation Online, a project of the National Historic Trust, and many other venues.

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