How fast is fast when your data is moving? This chart puts into perspective line speeds used in Internet backbones, LANs, WLANs, MANs, and WANs. There are factors that may prevent optimum speeds from happening, however these are realistic and attainable speeds. In the case of wireless specifications, attaining the specification speed is very unusual. More often than not, the maximum throughput is from 10% to 60% of the specification; a norm is about 35%.
bit = smallest unit of digital information, i.e. ones & zeros
byte = a set of 8 bits
bps = bits per second
Kbps = kilobits per second =1000 bits per second
Mbps = Million bits per second =1,000,000 bits per second
Gbps = Gigabits per second = 1,000,000,000 (one billion) bits per second
Tbps = Terabits per second = 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) bits per second
Pbps = Petabits per second = 1,000,000,000,000,000 (2 to the 50th power) bits per second
Ebps = Exabits per second = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (2 to the 60th power) bits per second
Zbps = Zettabits per second = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (2 to the 70th power) bits per second
Ybps = Yottabits per second = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (2 to the 80th power) bits per second
Note: The individual components in the bandwidth measurement chart have not been separated by Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) protocol layer or media. Certainly the actual throughput will vary with traffic, sometimes distance, quality of connections and noise factors.