Transfer Rates Explained

Some of those terms and abbreviations can be a little confusing. They state the rate at which your modem is receiving data. Some of them could state 5.6K per second. However, users should realize the difference between bits, bytes, Kbps, KBps, Mbps, MBps, etc. Below is a chart that helps to clarify the difference.

Abbreviated Term Full Name Equivalent
bit Binary Digit; either 0 or 1 N/A
byte Byte 8 bits
Kbps Kilobits per second 1000 bits
KBps Kilobytes per second 1000 bytes
Mbps Megabits per second 1000 Kilobits
MBps Megabytes per second 1000 Kilobytes

This chart is true about network speeds. For data sizes in general, such as hard drive capacity, the 1000 mark equivalents should be changed to 1024. However, some sources will use the 1000 bits or bytes equivalent, it depends who is expressing the info.

Example for Network Download Speed:
Users with 56K modems could connect at 56000bps, which would be rare considering the many conditions which affect the rate. Now, take the 56000, which is in bits per second, and divide by eight to find how many bytes per second you will get. With that connection, 7000 bytes per second can be obtained, if the conditions are good. Finally, divide the 7000 by 1000 in order to find how many Kilobytes per second. So, 56K modem users could actually download at 7KBps. Once the many factors are considered, such as phone line quality and server performance, the rate backs away from the 7KBps speed. Although sometimes compression can help, but once again if the conditions are good. Another factor could be that the server you are downloading from is close to your physical location, or perhaps the server is just super fast. If so, the data can actually be obtained in faster speeds, or burst rates. You could consider this as getting the data shoved down your throat. These conditions are not common, and do not usually last for a long period of time.

Users with other connections, perhaps cable or T1, can also calculate their potential download speeds by following the same method as described above.


This page was published by the CCPlace Staff. No duplication of this page or any part of this site is permitted.