Data Transfer Speeds By Joshua Blagden | JB - Mac Help | JBlagden

Data Transfer Speeds                                                                By Joshua Blagden

In my opinion, the most misleading thing in the world of computers is data transfer speeds. Data transfer speeds are always stated in bits per second instead of bytes per second. This may seem like a simple typo or a minute detail, but it’s actually rather significant. It’s a significant difference because a byte is composed of 8 bits

We usually think of file sizes in terms of bytes. For example, you might have a game which takes up 5 gigabytes or an episode of a T.V.  show which takes up 600 megabytes. But as I mentioned earlier, transfer speeds are always stated in bits. For example, you might have a USB 2.0 hard drive whose transfer speed is 480 megabits per second. That sounds really good until you realize the difference between bits and bytes

Transfer speeds expressed in megabits per second are actually 1/8th of what they look like. For example, USB 2.0 doesn’t actually transfer 480 megabytes per second; it transfers 60 megabytes per second. And that 30 megabit Internet connection of yours is actually 3.75 megabytes per second.

Now you know how misleading stated data transfer speeds can be and also to be aware that you have to divide the stated speed by 8 to find out the speed in bytes.

© Joshua Blagden & Justin Barczak 2013-2015