Data Transfer Calculator

Created by Steven Wooding
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD candidate and Jack Bowater
Last updated: Mar 22, 2022

With this data transfer calculator, you can find out how long it's going to take to back up your PC to the cloud, or download the latest movie if you know your internet upload and download speeds. Or you could use it in reverse to check that you are getting the correct bandwidth from your internet service provider (ISP) or check how much it costs.

Read on to learn about the data transfer equation, the units of data transfer, and how to use this data transfer tool.

Data transfer speeds and duration

The formula to calculate the data transfer speed is:

  • speed = data transferred / duration

You can rearrange this equation to find the duration of the data transfer:

  • duration = data transferred / speed

Before we go ahead and use these equations, we need to pay attention to the units. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) usually sell you internet bandwidth in units of megabits per second (Mbps or Mbit/s). A megabit is 1,000,000 bits of data. You'll see computer files usually in units of megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). A byte consists of eight bits, so one megabyte is eight times the size of a megabit. All we need to do to use the above equations is to convert to a common set of units.

For example, let's calculate the time it will take to transfer a 500 MB file over a 15 Mbps data connection. We need to multiply 500 MB by 8 to convert the data size to megabits. We then get an answer in seconds, which then can be further converted to minutes and seconds.

duration = (500 * 8) Mb / 15 Mbps = 266.67 seconds = 4 min 26 sec

The quality of the signal-to-noise ratio impacts the transfer of data across devices.

Data transfer calculator - How to use this data transfer tool?

There are two ways to use this data transfer calculator: find the time or find the transfer speed.

  1. Enter a value for the file size into the data transfer calculator. If you see different units from what you want, click on the unit to change it to something more suitable.
  2. Enter the transfer speed of your internet connection, or the storage and data transfer cable if you are transferring data from one device to another locally.
  3. The calculator will then display an answer for the length of time the transfer should take. Again, feel free to change the units of time so that they make the most sense.

To find the transfer speed:

  1. Enter the file size as before, but then input the time it took for the data to transfer. For example, use the stopwatch on your phone to measure the time.
  2. The real-world data transfer speed is the result, and it will probably be less than the quoted ISP speed. Typical.

How to transfer data from one iPhone to another?

A common question is, "How do I transfer data from my old iPhone to my new one?". The easiest way is to back up your old iPhone to Apple's iCloud, and then get the new iPhone to download that data. This method all depends on a reasonably fast internet connection, though. You can now use this data transfer calculator to estimate how long it will take.

If your internet speed is slow, you can backup your old iPhone to your computer using iTunes, then plug your new iPhone into your computer and restore it from the backup on iTunes. The speed of this operation will depend on the data transfer cable, and the speed of the hard disk in the computer, but should be much faster than the iCloud backup and restore option.

How to transfer data from Android to iPhone?

If you want to transfer all the data from your Android phone to an iPhone, you can get a data transfer app for your computer to do the job. Once the data transfer app is installed and running, plug both phones into the computer via USB cables. Try to use USB 3 cables and plugs as it has a maximum data transfer speed of 5 Gbps compared to USB 2's slower 480 Mbps.

If you only need to transfer some data, such as contacts or photos, you can sign up for a cloud service, such as Google or Microsoft. Then use their apps to send your data from your Android phone to the cloud, install the app again on the iPhone, and you will then have access to your data.

💡 Knowing the value of noise figure can help reduce any unwanted disruption in data transfer.

Steven Wooding
File size
Transfer speed
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