What is it?
A data rate is the amount of data transported through a network in a certain period. In other words, it is the speed at which data is carried from one device to another. This measurement is normally expressed in megabits per second (Mbps) or megabytes per second (MBps).
The value of a data rate is closely related to bandwidth, which is a network’s maximal capacity to transmit data within a particular time frame. For instance, if the bandwidth is 200 Mbps, but the data rate is 170 Mbps, 200 Mb at the most could be transferred per second, although the actual amount sent is only 170 Mb.
How does it work?
To conclude, a data rate may be referred to as the number of data bits transmitted in a second. Another measurement that is inherent in a data rate is called a useful data rate. It stands for the number of data bits, excluding additional ones, which serve for signaling, error correction, recovery of timing information at a receiver, and addresses. Correspondingly, a useful data rate is typically lower than the actual data rate.