Data Transfer Rate

The data transfer rate is commonly used to measure how fast data is transferred from one location to another. For example, a hard drive may have a maximum data transfer rate of 480 Mbps, while your ISP may offer an Internet connection with a maximum data transfer rate of only 1.5 Mbps.

Data transfer rates are typically measured in bits per second (bps) as opposed to bytes per second, which can be understandably confusing. Because there are eight bits in a byte, a sustained data transfer rate of 80 Mbps is only transferring 10MB per second. While this is confusing for consumers, Internet service providers must enjoy measuring data transfer rates in bps since it makes their Internet access speeds sound 8x faster than they really are.

Definitions by TechTerms.com

The definition of Data Transfer Rate on this page is an original TechTerms.com definition. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, you can use the green citation links above.

The goal of TechTerms.com is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about the Data Transfer Rate definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Want to learn more tech terms? Subscribe to the daily or weekly newsletter and get featured terms and quizzes delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.