In the world of computing, there are a lot of different types of data connections. As a geek, I get a lot of questions about data speeds – “Is usb faster than bluetooth?” “Is firewire faster than ethernet?” – even if you have no idea what the difference between a usb and a bluetooth connection is… You can tell from the list below that bluetooth is one of the slowest connections that people use.
(Therefore, it’s no wonder that people’s voices sound so bad on a bluetooth wireless device – it just can’t carry a lot of information. Personally, I hate bluetooth headsets and I only use a wired one.)
Anyways, for the curious ones, I’ve compiled a list of different transfer speeds of all the basic connections that we hear about all the time.
Before looking at this list, I wanted to give a little key to the difference between a bit and a BYTE – because this can be a confusing thing to keep track of. Storage such as memory and hard drives are usually described in terms of BYTES and data transfer speeds are usually described in terms of bits.
The difference between a bit and a BYTE is:
8 bits (lowercase b) = 1 BYTE (uppercase B)
Also, here is a brief breakdown of how large and nerdy numbers can be translated:
k = thousand (kilo) = 1,000 (1×10^3) – 3 zeros
M = million (mega) = 1,000,000 (1×10^6) – 6 zeros
G = trillion (giga) = 1,000,000,000 (1×10^9) – 9 zeros
T = quadrillion (tera) = 1,000,000,000,000 (1×10^12) – 12 zeros
P = quintillion (peta) = 1,000,000,000,000,000 (1×10^15) – 15 zeros
E = sextillion (exa) = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1×10^18) – 18 zeros
So, for comparison purposes – here is a table from slowest to fastest of the most commonly used data-transfer speeds mentioned on packages and by tech geeks (data taken from this wiki):
|SPRINT\VERIZON 1xEV-DO Rev. A||3,100/1,800 kbit/s||397/230 kB/s|
|Bluetooth 2.0+EDR||3,000 kbit/s||375 kB/s|
|Ethernet (10base-X)||10 Mbit/s||1.25 MB/s|
|WIRELESS 802.11g OFDM 0.125||54.0 Mbit/s||6.75 MB/s|
|Fast Ethernet (100base-X)||100 Mbit/s||12.5 MB/|
|USB Hi-Speed (USB 2.0)||480 Mbit/s||60 MB/s|
|FireWire (IEEE 1394) 400||393.216 Mbit/s||49.152 MB/s|
|WIRELESS 802.11n||600.0 Mbit/s||75 MB/s|
|FireWire (IEEE 1394b) 800||786.432 Mbit/s||98.304 MB/s|
|Gigabit Ethernet (1000base-X)||1,000 Mbit/s||125 MB/s|
|eSATA (SATA 300)||2,400 Mbit/s||300 MB/s|
All the speeds that you see here aren’t the ACTUAL speeds that you’ll get your “downloads” / “uploads” transferring. In many cases, you will only see 1/3 – 2/3 of the listed speeds. This is just for comparison purposes.