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kilobit - megabit - gigabit

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Definition: In computer networking, a kilobit normally represents 1000 bits of data. A megabit represents 1000 kilobits and a gigabit represents 1000 megabits (equal to one million kilobits).

Kilobits, megabits and gigabits traveling over a computer network are typically measured per second. One kilobit per second equals 1 Kbps or kbps (these are equivalent), one megabit 1 Mbps, and one gigabit 1 Gbps. Slow network connections such as modem links are measured in kilobits, faster links such as WiFi wireless in megabits, and very fast connections like high-speed Ethernet in gigabits.

Many people less familiar with computer networking believe one kilobit equals 1024 bits. This is generally untrue in networking but may be true in other contexts. Specifications for today's adapters, routers and other networking equipment always use 1000-bit kilobits as the basis of their quoted data rates. The confusion arises as computer memory and disk drive manufacturers often use 1024-byte kilobytes as the basis of their quoted capacities.

Kilo - Mega - Gigabit Related Terms

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