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Throughput router download/upload bandwidth?

Level 1
Level 1

When you size the throughput capacity of a router should include both download and upload bandwidth of the circuit? So if the circuit is 100Mbps down and 100 Mbps up should the router be able to support a total throughput of at least 200 Mbps?




6 Replies 6

Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame

yes full duplex, but check depends on the router, some router may required performance License to support more speeds.



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thanks, so you are positive that the router should support the aggregate of both download and upload? Yes I understand duplex might as well always be full as I don't see any benefit in having half duplex over full.


I've come across this in the forums and confuses me now.

What confuses you, in the forum thread you reference?  The need for a router to forward packets, i.e. router's PPS capability (as translated into "bandwidth"), and/or the impact of half duplex vs. full duplex interfaces, or something else?

Yes, the need for a router to forward packets. should it support the aggregate of both download and upload or is download (assuming download and upload are the same) enough?

Sorry I'm not good at explaining myself clearly. I understand that if it's full duplex it each direction is separate. However all traffic still needs to pass through the backplane of the router. so does the backplane not need to support both the down and up capacitiy?


It needs to support processing all packets that will cross the backplane of the router.  So, often you can just need to aggregate all the interface ingress rates.

It can be a bit complex when you start to deal with half-duplex links (rather rare, now a days) or where you have asymmetric interfaces bandwidths.

For example, consider you have a full duplex LAN gig interface and a full duplex WAN 100 Mbps interface.  (Also assume all the LAN ingress becomes WAN egress and, the converse, i.e. all WAN ingress becomes LAN egress.)

As WAN ingress cannot exceed 100 Mbps, we only need to have a router capable of 100 Mbps, to support just that.  Further, as WAN egress is also 100 Mbps, we need to allow/support LAN ingress of 100 Mbps. I.e. 200 Mbps, total forwarding.  However, as the ingress is gig, it can burst above the WAN's egress capacity of 100 Mbps.  In theory, then we need to support up to 1.1 gig of forwarding bandwidth.  Practically, though, sustained LAN ingress gig will start to overflow WAN egress buffers, so do we really need 1.1 gig for forwarding bandwidth?  Maybe, maybe not.  We may need more than 200 Mbps capacity (which will never average above, because of the WAN interface's bandwidth), but may need some additional processing capacity beyond what the 200 Mbps average would require.  Again, it's difficult to say how much, if any, bandwidth forwarding capacity you'll need beyond the bandwidth bottleneck, as much depends on how "big" the gig bursts are, whether we want to queue them, and the architecture of the router.

BTW, if we run the LAN interface at 100 Mbps, then we "know" router will never see more that 200 Mbps of ingress (100 possible from both LAN and WAN) bandwidth.

Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee



You should also consider if the router is using services like NAT, ACL, QoS, etc. that could possibly consume CPU (depending on the platform) which will lead to a lower capacity supported.


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