I want to know the difference between data rate, throughput, and goodput. All I know is the capacity of a link is not its throughput. Also, bandwidth is not capacity. Please, some one help me to know the difference?

2 Answers 2


Wikipedia has a good explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodput

... In computer networks, goodput is the application level throughput, i.e. the number of useful information bits delivered by the network to a certain destination per unit of time.

...[For example, using FTP] the goodput that the user experiences corresponds to the file size in bits divided by the file transfer time. The goodput is always lower than the throughput (the gross bit rate that is transferred physically), which generally is lower than network access connection speed (the channel capacity or bandwidth).

  • But the way goodput is differentiated from throughput (i.e. considering the actual message/data, without protocol overheads) seems to me to be the same way throughput is differentiated from bandwidth (i.e. you get throughput by considering the bandwidth and discounting protocol overheads). Maybe I'm missing something, but I find the terms really ambiguous in practice
    – Daniel
    Jun 26, 2020 at 11:13
  • @Daniel You are right that there’s some ambiguity. It’s best that you define your terms when you use them.
    – Ron Trunk
    Jun 26, 2020 at 11:22

Throughput as I understand it means transfer bits, that data that traverses your network, for example data going to and from your network to the Internet data in both directions would be the throughput or transfer bits.

Good put seems to be related to a FTP command to place a file on a website, I could be wrong, but "put" and "get" are FTP commands.

LA Reid

  • If you are guessing, why respond to a question that has been answered for 3+ months?
    – cpt_fink
    Dec 29, 2014 at 0:49

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