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Brian Cryer's Glossary of IT Terms with Links


Bits Per Second. Also known as bit rate. Used when specifying connection speeds across networks.

When calculating the maximum throughput across a network remember that network communications itself has some overhead, so as a rule of thumb therefore divide by 10 to get the number of bytes that this equates to. For typical connection speeds this equates to:

Speed Maximum achievable throughput
28.8Kbps 2.8 K-bytes per second
56Kbps 5.6 K-bytes per second
10Mbps 976 K-bytes per second (almost 1MB a second)
100Mbps 9.5 M-bytes per second (almost 10MB a second)

Actual throughput rates may be less than this because of other factors such as other network traffic.

See also kbps, mbps, bandwidth.