Does a Network Switch Reduce Bandwidth? (4 Factors to see)

Network switches play a significant role in providing internet to your devices. You can use multiple devices and get the same speed and bandwidth with all of them if you are using a switch.

Since the switch is also a networking device, you may think that it is prone to bandwidth reduction and delays. But that is not the case. Let us understand whether a network switch can reduce bandwidth and does it have any control over it.

Does a Network Switch Reduce Bandwidth?

Does a network switch reduce bandwidth?

In short, No. A network switch does not reduce bandwidth significantly. Unless your switch supports a lesser bandwidth than your internet connection, you will not have any reduction in the speed of your connection. But there can be certain factors affecting the bandwidth due to the use of switches. Let us look into them:

Old Network Switch

Earlier network switches supported only lower bandwidths. You can see switches available with a maximum speed of 10Mbits. 

If you are using such an old device for your internet connection, then it will result in lower speed because your switch can only support Megabits of speed.

Nowadays, a typical home internet connection is about 400Mbits per second, and using a 10Mbit device will not bring you the speed from the service provider.

Type of Cable used

Cables also play an important role in bandwidth. Ethernet cables have improved and got updated a lot. 

If you look at the latest cat 8 cables, they can easily support 25 to 40 Gbps. But if you are using an older cat5 or cat4 cable, they have a significant reduction in the bandwidth.

Older cables support very little bandwidth compared to the latest versions. When you use such old cables with your old switch, there will be a heavy reduction in the speed. 

Cabling method

Although this doesn’t seem to have a significant effect if you have a proper cabling method you can have good bandwidth.

When you have longer cables connecting your switch and the devices, it may result in a slight reduction in the speed. 

Instead, you can reduce the length of the cable and optimize your connection to have higher bandwidth.

Are you really using a switch?

Both a hub and switch are the same in terms of external appearance. They have multiple ports and might confuse you.

You might be using a hub by mistake instead of a switch. Particularly if the model is old, it is difficult to differentiate them. 

Therefore, check the device you are using properly and if you are using a hub, you will have a reduction in bandwidth when multiple devices access the internet.

Also, read the following articles:

Can network switch control bandwidth?

Yes, a network switch can be configured to limit the bandwidth in individual ports with the help of manufacturer settings.

Most of the popular switch manufacturers such as Netgear, TPlink, etc. have discrete settings to limit the bandwidth for each port.

The switch only allows certain packets limiting the bandwidth. This type of control helps you to maintain the speed for certain users who require high bandwidth to accomplish their tasks. Whereas the others can enjoy simple browsing and surfing.

Since switch has this kind of functionality, it is very helpful in managing multiple devices connected to the internet.

It can help manage the traffic effectively and provides a seamless browsing experience to all users depending on their usage preference.

This is not possible in a hub because it just transfers whatever it receives and doesn’t have the technology to modify or control. 

Therefore, ensure that you are using a switch and not a hub for your connection. This will help you manage the bandwidth. 

How to monitor your internet bandwidth usage?

There are various methods to monitor internet bandwidth usage. Here are some popular options:

From Router or Switch Settings

  • On the router or switch settings page, you can find the number of devices connected to the device and what is the bandwidth usage of each device.
  • You can also manage the devices by enabling them or disabling them from accessing the internet.
  • If you want to remove a device with high bandwidth usage, you can simply delete its access.
  • In the case of a router or switch, you can modify the bandwidth for each device connected to each of its ports.

Using Command Prompt

  • By simply using the command prompt, you can find the list of active connections established on the internet by your device.
  • Go to the command prompt and type “netstat -o” without the quotes. Hit enter and you will see a list of IPs and PID.
  • You can cross verify the IP addresses using a browser and find out any suspicious user or a device sucking your bandwidth.

Using Third-party applications

  • There are various software options available for monitoring the bandwidth and internet usage from your PC.
  • You can simply download them and know what device is using the connection. You can also know how much speed each of them is using.
  • Some popular software options are Solarwinds, Capsa, etc.

Why is Internet Bandwidth essential to Monitor?

Internet bandwidth measures the amount of data that can be transmitted over a given time period. It is usually measured in bits per second (bps) or bytes per second (Bps).

Monitoring internet bandwidth is essential for many reasons:

  • It ensures that your company’s network and servers are running optimally.
  • It helps detect any threats on the network, such as DDoS attacks.
  • It can help you identify when there’s an issue with your ISP.
  • Knowing how much available bandwidth there is helps us choose whether to watch a video or download a file.
  • It helps ensure that your company’s website and other online content are available to all your customers.


Switches are highly important in internet connectivity and it is one of the key devices. They don’t affect the bandwidth heavily unless you use an older model. Also, a switch can be used to limit the bandwidth voluntarily. 

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