Difference Between Bandwidth and Data Rate

The speed at which data is produced day by day is good and bad. While all this data is produced sometimes, we also need to send data from one point to another.

To fulfill this need there are many mediums available to perform this task. In this whole process, the only thing matters are the pace at which the transfer of data is happening.

Bandwidth vs Data Rate

The main difference between bandwidth and data rate is related to their potential. Bandwidth refers to the network maximum speed possible to achieve data transmission from one point to another in a given period of time is known as bandwidth whereas the data which is getting transferred from one place to another is known as the data rate.

Bandwidth vs Data Rate

Internet connection-related bandwidth is just the highest peak of the pace by which data is transferred for a particular length of time.

The quantity of data that can be transported from one location to the other across a particular path is referred to as bandwidth.

Simply put, the application of bandwidth is that an individual can estimate how long it will take to download a certain piece of content over a given connection.

The count of bits that is transferred from a link (send or receive) in a second is referred to as the bit rate.

The pace by which data is moved from one device to another or from different devices like between a phone device and the computer is referred to as data rate.

When the bandwidth is reduced by 8, the data rate is found. Data rate means the unchanged pace of radio signals, which is usually measured in units like megabits per second or megabytes per second.

Comparison Table Between Bandwidth and Data Rate

Parameters of ComparisonBandwidthData Rate
Definition The maximum speed that is possible to gain while data transmission is happening from one point to another. when data is transmitted from one location to another then, it is known as data rate.
UnitsBps, Mbps, or Gbps.Mbps or MB ps.
type of measurementnumber of bits per second that a link can send or receiveSpeed of data transmission.
OSI modelphysical layer property in OSIPresent in every layer.
Dependent onsender or receiver properties or qualities do not affectIt can be affected by the features of the sender or receiver

What is Bandwidth?

The capacity of a computer network from which data can be transmitted is measured in the units of bits per second (Bps).

The other meaning is a phrase that is used to describe a person’s skills to perform tasks or think deeply at a given time.

The quantity of bandwidth necessary to surf the web without interruption is determined by the work the user desires to do.

 An instant message chat, for example, might take 1,000 bits, or one kilobit, of bandwidth every second.

In the meantime, an audio discussion, in which somebody’s voice is sent through computer links, uses 56 kilobits per second (Kbps).

The quantitative measure of data that is possible to transmit using a network is measured as bandwidth. The amount of data that can be carried fluctuate, affecting the efficiency of a transmitter like an Internet connection.

ISPs usually refer to bandwidth speeds in millions of bit / s (Bps), or megabits (Mbps), and thousands of Bps, or gigabits (GB) (Gbps).

In speaking, the greater the bandwidth, the faster a system can download data from the Internet.

Since its inception in 1994, the Internet has evolved from a unique technology used primarily to connect governmental research centers to a vital component of everyday life.

According to reports, 0.68 percent of the world’s population had access to the Internet in 1995. 2 By 2019, more than half of the world had been linked. 

 People today rely on the Internet to connect, buy things, earn money, gather information, and amuse themselves.

The total bandwidth required to operate the technology properly has increased dramatically since it has become increasingly content-heavy, efficient, and inhabited over time.

What is Data Rate?

The term data rate and the term bandwidth are very much similar to each other.

In the efficiency of communication systems, there is a constantly expanding demand for an increase in data rates and quality services.

The communication engineers have been working hard to get better data speeds. It is the network’s maximum capacity for transmitting bits per second.

So, if you are provided 5MHz bandwidth, the possible data transfer rate which is available to you will be 5 Mbps, although this isn’t always the case.

The amount of data in a given period of time at which the required data is displaced from one device to some other device and between a peripheral device, like the computer, is known as data rate.

Reduce the amount of bandwidth by the count of 8 to gain the amount of data rate.

Data rate term means the unmodified pace of signals of radio transmission, which is usually expressed with units of Mbit per second (Mbps) or megabytes per second (MB/s) (MBps).

Data transfer on computers is frequently measured in bytes per second. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT DoCoMo) of Japan recorded the highest data transfer rate to date of 14 terabits per second over a single optical cable in 2006.

Data transport is commonly measured in bits per second in telecommunications. A typical low-speed Internet connection, for example, might be 33.6 kilobits per second (Kbps).

Data transfer speeds on Ethernet local area networks can reach 10 megabits per second.

Main Differences Between Bandwidth and Data Rate

  1. The word bandwidth generally described as that of the greatest quantities of information that would be sent from a network, whilst the data rate is defined as that of the pace during which data is transported from one location to another.
  2. Commonly used units of bandwidth is Bps, Mbps or Gbps whereas that data rate is measured in the unit Mbps or MBps.
  3. Bandwidth is measured by counting the number of bytes which is sent or received through a link whereas data rate is just the speed from which data is transmitted.
  4. The presence of bandwidth and data rate is different in OSI model bandwidth is present in the physical layer property of OSA model whereas data rate is common to all the layers.
  5. The factors which affect data rate is the properties of sender or receiver whereas bandwidth is not affected by the properties of sender or receiver.


In today’s world, most of life is related to pc systems where people are just working on the data and transferring data.

The most common facility everyone need in today’s life is the Internet which is nothing less than transferring data from one point to another.

When everything is about transferring data then the speed at which it is getting done is also important and matters that’s why bandwidth and data rate are important to measure and keep a record or for getting the comparison between networks. maybe they are different but they are important and linked to the same aspect of the world.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/851593
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8246734
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