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Data Transfer – Computer to Computer, Hard Disc to Hard Disc

The original method of transferring data from one PC to another was to use a floppy disc. The limitations of this are the capacity of the disc and that the data must be copied to then copied from the floppy disc to the hard disc.

Technology has given us a variety of methods, each with advantages and disadvantages.

Type

Maximum Transfer Speed

Connections

Comments

Serial cable

115.2 Kbps

2

Slow but common to most PCs and operating systems
Parallel cable

500 Kbps

2

Slow but common to most PCs and operating systems
Infra Red

4 Mbps

2

Requires line of sight. Used mainly for laptops to printers, remote controls, wireless keyboards and mice.
USB ver 1.1

1.5 Mbps, 12Mbps

127

Common to PCs from 1998, modern operating systems. Has slower speed for mice, keyboards, joysticks, etc
USB ver 2

450 Mbps

127

Introduced May 2002. Fully compatible. With ver 1.1
Firewire, IEEE1394

100,200,400 Mbps

63

Used for video editing. Commonly fitted to late model Macintoshs and some PCs. Add-on card costs 15 appx.
Ethernet

10Mbps

2+

Previous type of network.
Fast Ethernet

10/100Mbps

2+

Most common type of network. Cards cost from 7
Gigabit Ethernet

1Gbps 1 billion bits

2+

Fast and Expensive. Used for network backbones but is future standard.
Bluetooth

720Kbps, 10Mbps

2+

Wireless networking, commonly for small devices: PDA, mobiles, etc
Modem

56Kbps

2+

Commonly used for domestic e-mail and Internet
ISDN

64Kbps

2+

Telephone line rental costs appx 40 per month, plus 200 connection
ADSL/Broadband 1.5 Mbps downstream.64-640 upstream

2+

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. Availability subject to location. Speed limited to distance from supplier central office.
Satellite

500Kbps

2+

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