Gigabit Transfer Speed Calculator

This tool computes the time it takes to transfer any number of files stored on your hard drive over a Gigabit Ethernet link.


  • Total amount of data to be transferred (kilobyte, Megabyte, Gigabyte or Terabyte)
  • Speed of the Gigabit link (Gbps)



Example Calculation

To transfer 5 Terabytes of data over a 1 Gigabit Ethernet link takes 40,000 seconds or 11 hours, 6 minutes, and 40 seconds.

File sizes on a computer are always specified in bytes, kilobytes, Megabytes, Gigabytes or Terabytes. Network speed and bandwidth is specified in bit, kilobit, Megabit, Gigabit and Terabit.

The tool converts the amount of data to its gigabit equivalent for this computation.


Gigabit Ethernet products entered the market in 1999. When first introduced the technology was a game-changer in terms of efficiency and productivity, especially in areas where large amounts of data need to be transferred quickly, such as in corporate networks or data centers.

How fast is Gigabit Ethernet ?

In theory, Gigabit Ethernet technology has a theoretical maximum throughput of 1 Gigabit per second. This is equivalent to 125 Megabyte per second or 1000 Megabit per second.

However in actual practice, the speed could be anywhere from 700 Mbit/s to 900 Mbit/s due to overhead [1].

What are some of the factors that impact Gigabit Ethernet speed?

Here is a list of factors that influence the speed.

  • Quality and type of cable used in the network infrastructure can affect the speed and reliability of the connection
  • Capability and efficiency of the router
  • Performance of the devices connected to the network, such as computers or servers
  • Speed of storage elements such as the hard drive when transmitting or receiving data, can act as a bottleneck
  • Finally the Ethernet protocol itself has overhead bits associated with it that impact the amount of actual data that’s transferred.

What cable does Gigabit Ethernet use?

Gigabit Ethernet is typically deployed using a standard Ethernet cable, which fall within different categories. These cables transmit data using different physical interfaces such as twisted pair or optical fiber. RJ-45 connectors are used at the end points to attach to network devices (e.g. Wi-Fi access point).

What is the difference between Gigabit Ethernet and Fast Ethernet?

Gigabit Ethernet is able to reach data transfer speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second or 1000 Megabit per second.

Fast Ethernet is able to reach data transfer speeds of up to 100 Megabit per second.

Gigabit Ethernet is therefore ten times faster than Fast Ethernet.

Related Calculators


[1] Real World Gigabit Ethernet and Wireless Transfer Speeds by Kerry Cordero