Can someone explain transfer rates to me?

Posted:
edited January 2014
I'm just about to set up my first airport connection and am becoming totally confused by the various terms and transfer rates. despite having been around macs for many years i've never bothered to pay much attention to this. If someone could explain the following I'd be grateful. Please bear in mind that Maths is not my strong point.

Airport's rate seems to be around 11Megabits per second. (How many megabits in a Megabyte? ) How does that compare with for example, the normal dial up modem rate of around 38 or 40 Kps?

In other words what diff is there between speed of transfer of Airport, 56k modem and cable?

As you can see level of knowledge here is bordering on the non-existent. help please.

[ 10-26-2002: Message edited by: jimdad ] <img src="graemlins/embarrassed.gif" border="0" alt="[Embarrassed]" />

[ 10-26-2002: Message edited by: jimdad ]</p>

Posts: 706member
You have to be a bit careful as some transfer rates are measured in bits per second, others bytes per second.

Most dial up connections have a maximum theoretical transfer rate of 56Kbps (56 thousand bits per second).

Most broadband connections have a transfer rate of either 512Kbps (512 thousand bits per second) or 1Mbps (roughly 1 million bits per second).

I believe Airport can operate at up to 11Mbps (roughly 11 million bits per second).

Therefore a broadband connection is roughly 10 to 20 times faster than a dial up connection, but roughly 10 to 20 times slower than Airport.

A byte is widely accepted to consist of 8 bits, so to get the transfer rates in bytes per second, you simply divide the bits per second by 8.

Roughly comes into it as computers are binary and therefore most numbers are typically a power of two, 1024 rather than 1000 etc.

I hope this helps!

[ 10-26-2002: Message edited by: RodUK ]</p>
Posts: 140member
There are 8 bits to a byte. So if a something transfers at 56 kilobits per second thats 57344 bits or 7168 bytes or 7 kilobytes.

8 bits = 1 byte

1024 bytes = 1 kilobyte (1KB)

1024 kilobytes = 1 megabyte (1MB)

1024 megabytes = 1 gigabyte (1GB)

1024 gigabytes = 1 terabyte (1TB)

Thats about all I know, hopefully it right
Posts: 209member
Thanks, Rod. It certainly does. I've got my pencil and paper out as I write this, doing some sums. There may be a long pause (weeks? ) and then a follow up question, if that's OK.

One for just now. Am I right in thinking that in theory there should be no diff in the airport transfer rate between using Jag as a software base station and a proper ABS?
Posts: 706member

<strong> Am I right in thinking that in theory there should be no diff in the airport transfer rate between using Jag as a software base station and a proper ABS?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Hmmm, I'm not too sure on that one!

I guess what happens in theory may be different from what happens in practice anyway. I'd imagine that if you're setting up a network at home consisting of just a few machines, in reality there is unlikely to be any noticeable difference. This is probably true when accessing the internet via Airport anyway, as even a broadband connection is relatively slow in comparison to Airport. I'd imagine the slowest link is always going to be the internet connection.
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hey, rod, while you're at answering these airport questions, what about this one (which I posted in GD as well, to no avail, I guess);

can you use an airport card in an ibook with any 802.11... compliant base station?
Posts: 706member
[quote]Originally posted by der Kopf:

<strong>hey, rod, while you're at answering these airport questions, what about this one (which I posted in GD as well, to no avail, I guess);

can you use an airport card in an ibook with any 802.11... compliant base station?</strong><hr></blockquote>

I believe both the current Airport base station and Airport card are based on the 802.11b wireless standard and are theoretically compatible with any other equipment using the technology, either together or individually.

When using an Airport card with a non Apple base station, the problem comes with configuring the base station, as most configuration software is written for the PC only. A few can be configured through a web browser, by simply entering the IP address of the base station, enabling it to be configured on any platform (the default configuration enabling a basic connection to be established in the first place). Most though cannot.

[ 10-26-2002: Message edited by: RodUK ]</p>
Posts: 209member
Rod for Mod !
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<img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

Losing the ability to tweak people in Fireside Chat would be a too higher price to pay
Posts: 453member
[quote]Originally posted by RodUK:

<strong>

I believe both the current Airport base station and Airport card are based on the 802.11b wireless standard and are theoretically compatible with any other equipment using the technology, either together or individually.

When using an Airport card with a non Apple base station, the problem comes with configuring the base station, as most configuration software is written for the PC only. A few can be configured through a web browser, by simply entering the IP address of the base station, enabling it to be configured on any platform (the default configuration enabling a basic connection to be established in the first place). Most though cannot.

[ 10-26-2002: Message edited by: RodUK ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Your first statement is comepletely correct.

I am not sure about the second though. AFAIK, most current routers are all configurable via a browser at 192.168.1.1 (default). Case in point, I am now connected to a Linksys router with an airport card and I can freely edit any/all of the settings. The only thing I cannot do on the iBook is to upgrade the router's firmware which is done by a PC program.
Posts: 453member
[quote]Originally posted by iMud:

<strong>There are 8 bits to a byte. So if a something transfers at 56 kilobits per second thats 57344 bits or 7168 bytes or 7 kilobytes.

8 bits = 1 byte

1024 bytes = 1 kilobyte (1KB)

1024 kilobytes = 1 megabyte (1MB)

1024 megabytes = 1 gigabyte (1GB)

1024 gigabytes = 1 terabyte (1TB)

Thats about all I know, hopefully it right </strong><hr></blockquote>

True, except in the storage world where 1,000 MB = 1 GB (as opposed to 1024).