Technology Blog

BITS, BYTES and WIFi

by ‎06-20-2014 09:30 AM - edited ‎06-20-2014 10:46 AM

There is a general misunderstanding around bits and bytes with most end users, especially when trying to measure WiFi performance.

 

Mbps (MegaBITS) are often referenced to measure transmission speeds.

 

Example: Comcast package

comcast.png

 

 

Example: speed test

 

speedtest.png

 

 

 

 

GB / MB (Gig or Mega BYTES) are often used to measure the size of storage.

 

Example:

4690309.jpg

 

 

 

While learning network fundamentals long ago we discovered that there are 8 bits in each byte.

 

Example: 

 

While the 802.11 standard for ERP-OFDM / OFDM supports 54 PHY (Mbps), meaning we could transmit 54 million bits per second, but due to WiFi overhead we're at best 1/2 of this rate in Mbps in a perfect world. But this isn't actual MB (megaBYTES).  

 

Assume we are actually TX 24 Mbps (megaBITS) we would need to divide the 8 bits into 24 Mbps (8/24) to see how many (megaBYTES) we are actually moving. In this case it would be 3 MB.

 

original.png

 

 

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