09 August 2013

Difference: KBps VS Kbps [Explained]

Do ISPs CHEAT on Internet Bandwidth & Speed? Do ISPs give what a subscriber pays for the expensive range of bandwidth service? Ironically, I am complaining for the slow connection, yet, I am still eager to use it anyway. The problem with the ISPs bandwidth and speed is very common. In addition, most people confused about their bandwidth of kpbs or Mbps and of KBps and MBps ( Well, Honestly, I too, confused about it – that's why I am making it a post entry to share what I have learned).

Difference: KBps VS Kbps [Explained]


Well, I did study about CISCO networking and it feels like “OH Loved the internetwork”. However, the sad part about it is, did I forget about kpbs and KBps? At the back of my mind, I can’t still comprehend if I did learn about it or maybe I skipped about the subject. Anyway, for the exciting part, I was being a contender about CISCO Networking Competition for quite 2 consecutive years. I am not bragging about it, instead to share so that I have the keen knowledge to put my learning here.

The purpose with this post is to educate, to learn how to calculate approximately in download speed, to differentiate KBps and kbps, and to determine whether ISPs do cheat to its subscribers.

Computing Terms and Values

Before we differentiate kpbs and KBps, let me give you some data.

1 byte (B) = 8 bit (b)

So the abbreviations:

kbps = Kilobits per second
KBps = KiloBytes per second

Noticed the capitalization of letter ‘b’? ;)

In computing terms, the upper case letter ‘K’ denotes for 1024 (2 ^ 10 or 2 power 10). Notice about the Two (2)? In a binary system, Two (2) denotes for number of characters which will be used to store data.

Moreover, binary system has 1s and 0s only.

To continue, these are familiar abbreviations, for sure:

KB = KiloByte
MB = MegaByte
GB = GigaByte
TB = TerraByte

Corresponding VALUES (this is useful if you want to convert from one unit to another unit)

1B = 8bits
1KB = 1024 B (Bytes)
1MB = 1024 KB (KilobBytes)
1GB = 1024 MB (MegaBytes)
1TB = 1024 GB (GigaBytes)

To illustrate, if you want to convert,

2048 MB to GB, use above unit values


= 2048 MB x 1 GB / 1024 MB (cross-out MB unit, so GB will be remained)
= 2048/1024 GB
= 2 GB

Therefore, 2048 MB is equals to 2GB.

KBps VS Kbps

To make it short.

KBps used in measuring FILE SIZE while
Kbps used in measuring DATA TRANSFER SPEEDS

About KBps

Let us start with KBps

KBps calculates on how big a file that occupies space in a storage devices(Hard disks, flash disk, Memory Card etc.). It is measured in terms of KB (KiloBytes) Uppercase K and B.

For binary based-system units

1KB = 1024 B (Bytes)
1MB = 1024 KB (KilobBytes)
1GB = 1024 MB (MegaBytes)
1TB = 1024 GB (GigaBytes)

About kbps

kbps calculates on data transfer speed over the network especially on the internet. (You will notice the difference now). It is measured in terms of bits bps(bits per second) – (kbps kilobits) lowercase k and b.

The difference from KBps is that letter k here stands for 1000 unlike 1024(file size).


1 kbps (kilo bits per second) = 1000 bits per second
1 Mbps (mega bits per second) = 1000 kilo bits per second.
1 Gbps (giga bits per second) = 1,000 mega bits per second.

What’s your bandwidth subscription in your ISP?

With today’s generation, it is more on Mbps subscription. Some of you have 1Mbps or if not 4Mbps and even more intriguing – UP TO 2Mbps! Notice the letter b in the bandwidth subscription? It is in the lowercase which means it is bit (b)!

Most of the time, people often complain about the ISP’s expensive yet slow internet connection without noticing the difference about the bandwidth subscribed(like 1Mbps or 1000 kbps) with downloading files. These ISPs promised to give you 4Mbps yet it could not achieve at all. Why?

Do ISPs cheat their subscribers?

Doubtful. Like it is mostly the case of no knowledge at all, but with those networking experts, they claimed, ISPs have its own way to generate income with expensive yet slow connection. Thus, ISPs cheated.

In an Interview with a certain (hide-ISP-name) technician

I asked why that internet connection is slow. He answered me that my connection was slower because of my torrent downloading and it consumed a lot of bandwidth. Like it is probably true, they (ISP) should not offer high bandwidth and expensive price yet I could not even download a torrent. In addition, I set my torrent bandwidth to less bandwidth so that it will not absorb lots of bandwidth in the network.

You should at least minimize the used of Tabs in a browser for its scripts consumed bandwidth too, he added.

Oh wait! I am a multi-user type, yet, he asked me to minimize? So he suggested not to use and subscribe their product?

Or shall I say, their ISP was a cheater and has a poor service. I am not concluding that other ISPs were angels. At least they were less evil. -_-

Download Speed Experience

Okay, let us back to the track, what did you notice when downloading a certain file?

In my experience, I have poor internet connection at least 512kbps or I think lesser 512kbps, with the help of 3rd party downloader like Internet Download Manager, I could get roughly at max 50KBps displayed. Let us extract some data here.

Connection: 512 kpbs
Download file: 50KBps

As I have mentioned above, kpbs used to measure in data transfer speed and KBps used to calculate the file size on the storage. And kpbs and Kbps cannot be used interchangeably.

So, how to measure the actual download speed with a file size of 50KBps?
With the value we have learned.

1 Byte = 8bits
8kpbs = 1KBps

Solution to convert KBps to kbps is to multiply with 8.

=50 KBps X (8 kbps/1KBps)
= 400 kbps

Since I have 512kps connection, we will minus the 400kps. So the remaining is 112kpbs, this is for the browsing right? Therefore, you will experience slow browsing when you download a file or stream a video (youtube).

Most likely, a 512kps connection will never reach a download speed of 512KBps. Moreover, a bandwidth 4Mbps will never achieve 4MB/s download speed. How much more with those UP TO <number>bps connection?

The truth is ISP technically did not cheat but they failed to explain on their bandwidth speed. In addition, they failed to put bandwidth cap (limit on bandwidth per day or month).

See other Interesting Post: Does ISP Gives Maximum Bandwidth to Subscribers?

If you have a bandwidth cap of 3GB in a month and you are a heavy-user, then you have a big problem. Just Imagine, If you are sitting there doing Facebook, in a day, you could reached 1GB of bandwidth (browsing, uploading, and downloading). Just imagine how frustrating it is.

Calculate Maximum Download Speed(approx.)

If you want to calculate your maximum download speed for a certain bandwidth of <number>kbps, we need to use this formula and we will denote it with letters instead.


X = max download speed of a certain bandwidth in KBps
Y = kbps value

Note the static values here: 8 (1Byte = 8bits), 1024 (2 power 10), and 1000(in kbps k for 1000)


X= ((Y*1000)/8) / 1024;

What is the Maximum Download Speed of 1Mbps connection?


First we need to convert 1Mbps to kpbs.

=1Mbps * (1000kps/1Mbps)

So 1000kps is now our Y value.

Now apply it in the formula.

X= ((Y*1000)/8) / 1024;
X=((1000*1000)/8) / 1024
X= (1,000,000 / 8 ) / 1024
X= 125,000 / 1024
X= 122.07 KBps

Therefore, 1Mbps bandwidth connection is approximately and theoretically has a maximum of download speed of 122.07 KBps

However, there is a quite simple value to calculate even simpler. Use the value of approximately 0.1220703125

Where did I get 0.1220703125 ?

I get it in the formula ((1*1000)/8) / 1024).

Since ((1*1000)/8) / 1024)) resulted to 0.1220703125

Go back with the 1Mbps or 1000kps:

Therefore, 1000kps * 0.1220703125 = 122.07 KBps

Lists of Calculated Bandwidth with corresponding Maximum Download Speed(approx.)

  • 512kpbs = 62.5 KBps
  • 1Mbps = 122.07 KBbs
  • 2Mbps = 244.14 KBps
  • 4Mbps = 488.28 KBps
  • 5Mbps = 610.35 KBps
Note: Not for Up To Bandwidth subscriptions and there are factors affecting internet connection speed.
  • User Intervention (downloading, streaming, seeding, and uploading)
  • Hardware (outdated hardware firmware, overheads)
  • Server (slow or experience issue, signal, and lack of redundancy feature)

I hope the confusion about KBps and kbps will be all cleared. And remember, KBps is for measuring FILE SIZE of a file that occupies space in storage devices, and kbps is for measuring data internet speed. I do hope also that you have learned to calculate and convert KBps to kbps.

Lastly, before you complain about the slow connection of a certain bandwidth, try to calculate, and you know why. It also suggests looking and analyzing other ISPs to subscribe with. J

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