Normally network devices/software show some kind of current throughput. For example my home router shows the throughput for each connected device in its web interface. Or every web browser when downloading a file is showing the rate.

My question is: is this usually the raw data rate including potentially corrupt packets (e.g. checksum failed) that need to be re-transmitted? Or is the the "net throughput" including only the good packets?

Background of the question is: on video streams (between two stationrary devices) over local WLAN I can sometimes and sometimes not observe bad video quality for the same video with the same network throughput (according to device logs) on the same network on the same video position. And I'm currently evaluating the root cause and need to fully understand what the different parameters do actually mean. If the throughput includes corrupt packets this could explain the sporadic bad quality (external signals interferring with my local WLAN, for example).

  • 1
    You are confusing the term "bandwidth" which is the number of bits per second a link can carry. It has to do with how fast the host interface serializes the bits onto the "wire." For example, a 10 Mbps ethernet connection will serialize bits at a rate of 10,000,000 per second even if it is only sending 10,000 bits, thus the bandwidth is always 10 Mbps. Unfortunately, questions about home networking and consumer-grade devices are explicitly off-topic here, and you are using the home networking misconception about bandwidth.
    – Ron Maupin
    Nov 23 '18 at 15:22

The throughput is a measure of how fast we can actually send/receive data through a network. Although, at first glance, bandwidth in bits per second and throughput seems the same, they are different. A link may have a bandwidth of B bps, but can only send/receive T bps through this link with T always less than B. Throughput can be calculated at any point between source and destination and it is the rate at which data transfers through the media and does not check as you say good or bad packets.

  • I obviously mixed up the terms bandwidth and throughput. I corrected the question. Thank you for still answering the intended question before I corrected it. :)
    – Foobar
    Nov 27 '18 at 7:28

In computing, bandwidth is the maximum rate of data transfer across a given path.

the bandwidth contains the bidirectional data transfer, your doubt is corrupt packets.

if the packets transferring on the link, it will be counted, no matter is good or bad.


Your access point may be showing the link speed based on the MCS index. This index includes a few variables such as channel width and spatial streams, along with modulation and coding rates to result in your PHY bandwidth between access point and client. This is different than the bandwidth of a file download in a browser, or other application level throughput.

802.11 wireless connections have more overhead than wired connections and therefore have a lower application throughput, sometimes referred to as "goodput".

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