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.
This page contains a technical definition of Data Transfer Rate. It explains in computing terminology what Data Transfer Rate means and is one of many computing terms in the TechTerms dictionary.
All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this Data Transfer Rate definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!
Subscribe to the TechTerms Newsletter to get featured terms and quizzes right in your inbox. You can choose to receive either a daily or weekly email.