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5 Examples of an Error Rate

 , updated on March 27, 2017
Error rate is a category of quality metrics that expresses the number of errors as a percentage of a total. It is typically used to monitor the performance of services, systems, communications and networks. The following are common examples of an error rate.

Bit Error Rate

A measure of networks that expresses the percentage of bits that were transferred incorrectly due to factors such as noise, interference or synchronization errors.

Packet Error Rate

In many cases, the error rate of networks is measured at the data packet level as opposed to bits.

Soft Error Rate

A soft error is a type of computing and electronics error that causes data to be wrong. It can occur on equipment that isn't broken due to factors such as cosmic rays hitting chips. Such errors are reasonably common. In some cases, hardware can automatically detect and correct soft errors by reloading data. This is particularly important in space where soft errors are more common due to increased exposure to particles.

Word Error Rate

A speech recognition metric expressed as the percentage or words that are heard incorrectly.


The term error rate is most typically associated with low level functions such as networking and computing. However, an error rate can be calculated for any software or hardware function for which errors can be detected.
Overview: Error Rate
Quality of Service
DefinitionThe number of errors as a percentage of a total.
Related ConceptsNetworking
Quality Metrics
Quality of Service


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