Re: baud vs. baud rate

Subject: Re: baud vs. baud rate
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 2009 13:26:57 -0400

Fred Ridder wrote:
> One important nit to pick with Robert's answer:
> When talking about a data transmission rate, the correct abbreviation is kbps rather than kbit/sec. In the case of data transmission, the "kilo" applies to the unit "bits per second" (or bps) rather than referring to kilobits (a different unit) per second. The difference is that 1 kbps is 1000 bits per second, while 1 kilobit per second would be 1024 (2^10) bits.

Depending upon one's audience and one's purpose it may also be helpful
to disambiguate abbreviations for "bits per second" from "bytes per
second" or to conflate the two if trying to create a false impression.
Some people really don't know bits from bytes and will make their buying
decisions upon a feeling of which number seems bigger, sort of like
mauve having more RAM.

The word baud is helpful for giving a feeling of technicality, even if
misused, just as knot gives a feeling of nauticality. The knot, also, is
a rate, one nautical mile per hour, but "knots per hour" occurs
frequently. Google reports 66,100 such entries, the first few devoted to
discussing the confusion. There are 1280 Google entries for "baud per
second" but the first few jump immediately into the matter of bits per baud.


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Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:

baud vs. baud rate: From: Joel
Re: baud vs. baud rate: From: Robert Lauriston
RE: baud vs. baud rate: From: Fred Ridder

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