Data rate

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Data rate and data transfer rate can refer to several related and overlapping concepts in communications networks:

Achieved rate[edit]

  • Bit rate, the number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time
  • Symbol rate or baud rate, the number of symbol changes, waveform changes, or signaling events across the transmission medium per unit of time
  • Data rate units, measures of the bit rate or baud rate of a link
  • Data transfer rate (disk drive), a data rate specific to disk drive operations
  • Throughput, the rate of successful message delivery, or level of bandwidth consumption


  • Bandwidth (computing), the maximum rate of data transfer across a given path
  • Channel capacity, an information-theoretic upper bound on the rate at which data can be reliably transmitted, given noise on a channel