Differences Between K bits Per Sec. And K Bytes per sec. (Kbps and KBps)



Ever thought about the unit of data or information you take or give while using Internet? When you visit wikipedia page, you largely download data to your computer wherein submitting an application or uploading a video file to youtube, you largely upload data from your computer. But how do you measure how much data you have downloaded and how much data you have uploaded and what is the unit to measure it? Majority of the netizen unaware the actual units but they know something about kebeepeeyes. What is this kebeepeeyes? Why you should know this? There are two kebeepeeyes - kbps and kBps.



Differences between kbps and KB/s explain to eliminate confusions generally occurs about units of measurements used while transferring data over the Internet and real meaning of modem / connection speed such as dial-up, GPRS, DSL, Wimax, portable USB connection devices.

Differences Between kbps and kB/s


  • bit (b) refers to smallest unit a computer that handles. It is either 0 or 1.
  • byte (B) refers to a set of 8 bits. A byte represents a character.
  • bits per second (bps) refers to unit of information transfer (0 or 1 per second).
  • Bytes per second (Bps) refers to unit of transfer of information in byte per second (a character per second).

Now we will multiply with 'k' or 'kilo'. Here are some confusion initially, for convenience and speed of calculation might say: 10 kbytes is equivalent to 10,000 bytes. Therefore to move from one to another you multiply or divide by 1000 respectively. But if we want to be strict, computer (and only computer) 1 kb (kilobyte) equals 1024 bytes. ie., k is equivalent to 1024 and not 1000 as in other measures.

1000 bits = 1 kbit (kilo bit)

1000 bps (bits per second) = 128 bytes/s = 0.125 kB/s (kilobyte per second)

1024 bytes = 1 kB (kilobytes)

1024 bytes/second = 1 KB/s (one kilobyte per second)

1024 KB = 1 MB (megabyte)

1024 KB/s = 1 MB/s (one megabyte per second)

Internet providers talk about speeds down from 64 kbps, 128 kbps, 256 kbps, 512 kbps, 1 meg (1024 kbps), 2 megs (2049 kbps) (ie., expressed it in bits per second). But both programs and Internet Explorer downloads and Internet in general, speak in KB (which is, ultimately, what is a file) and KB/s (kilobyte per second); Therefore, it is interesting to know how much is the expressed in KB per second download speed. This can bring confusion to the non-expert users because they might think that they would fall 1 megabyte of information per second, but actually download 1 megabit. In principle, it is more convenient to know the download (and upload) speed in KB/s connection, because it is easier to understand it. If, for example, a file is being downloaded to 25 KB/s, we know that 25 thousand characters of the file per second (and more precisely, 25600 characters) are downloading.

Conversions between bps and bytes/s

In general we do not need too much precision, we will take the easiest way and the 'k' will be up to 1000 and not 1024. Suppose that we have a connection of 128 kbps or 128,000 bps, thus becomes. 8 bps - > 1 byte/s 128,000 bps - > X bytes/s X = (128,000 bps x 1 byte/s) / 8 bps = 16,000 bytes/s = 16 KB/s.

Therefore will be to fall about 16 thousand characters per second.

Most common conversions of kbps to KB/s

8 kbps = 1 KBytes/s (KB/s)
16 kbps = 2 KBytes/s (KB/s)
32 kbps = 4 KBytes/s (KB/s)
64 kbps = 8 KBytes/s (KB/s)
128 kbps = 16 KBytes/s (KB/s)
256 kbps = 32 KBytes/s (KB/s)
512 kbps = 64 KBytes/s (KB/s)
1024 (1 mbps) = 128 KBytes/s (KB/s)
2048 (2 mbps) = 256 KBytes/s (KB/s)
8192 (8 mbps) = 1024 (1 MBps)

Why are there two measuring method for Internet speed?

There are several reasons. In the case of the Internet connection, no doubt the best way to measure it is KB/s (kilobytes per second), because we are always dealing with files formed by characters (1 byte), and remember that a character is composed of 8-bit. But there are cases where the transmission is serial (bit by bit) and information is not necessarily "packed" in 8-bit characters. There are also companies that take advantage of the confusion generated by the kbps and the KB/s for their benefit. Most of the Indian ISPs including BSNL, Reliance, Airtel, Aircel, MTS etc. refers their internet data transfer rate in 'Kbps' or 'Mbps' which means 1/8th of the 'KBps' or 'MBps'.