Stands for "Kilobits Per Second." 1 Kbps is equal to 1,000 bits per second. That means a 300 Kbps connection can transfer 300,000 bits in one second. 1,000 Kbps is equal to 1 Mbps.

Kbps is primarily used to measure data transfer rates. For example, dial-up modems were rated by their maximum download speeds, such as 14.4, 28.8, and 56 Kbps. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Kbps remained the standard way to measure data transfer dates. However, broadband connections such as cable and DSL now offer speeds of several megabits per second. Therefore, Mbps is more ubiquitous than Kbps.

NOTE: The lowercase "b" in Kbps is significant. It stands for "bits," not bytes (which is represented by a capital "B"). Since there are eight bits in one byte, 400 Kbps is equal to 400 ÷ 8, or 50 KBps. Because data transfer speeds have traditionally been measured in bps, Kbps is more commonly used than KBps.

Updated October 8, 2016 by Per C.

quizTest Your Knowledge

What does the "4K" in 4K video refer to?

The video stream requires 4 Kbps of bandwidth.
The color depth is at least 4 kilobits per pixel.
The image is approximately 4,000 pixels wide.
The image is approximately 4,000 pixels tall.
Correct! Incorrect!     View the 4K definition.
More Quizzes →

The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

The definition of Kbps on this page is an original definition written by the TechTerms.com team. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, please 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 this definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

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.