Which is better NIT or BITS 1

The difference between megabytes and megabits

By Andreas Filbig | August 20, 2020, 5:00 a.m.

Megabits (Mbit) and megabytes (MB) sound confusingly similar. That's why they are often mixed up. TECHBOOK explains what the terms mean and how to use them correctly.

What is megabytes (MB)?

Megabyte simply means that Size of a digital file. The basic unit of this unit of measurement is the byte. At the beginning of computer history, files were only a few bytes in size. With technical progress, file sizes also increased. So you combine 1024 bytes to one kilobyte (kB) and 1024 kilobytes to one megabyte. That can be compared with meters and kilometers. In the meantime, photos taken with a smartphone are a few MB and text files are several kB in size, so that files in the byte range hardly appear in the everyday life of normal PC users. Megabytes and the next larger unit, gigabytes (1 GB = 1024 MB) are more present than ever. Whether it's the data volume on the smartphone, the download size of games or the storage capacity of hard drives - in all of these cases we speak of bytes, or megabytes, gigabytes and even terabytes.

Also Read: The Difference Between HDD And SSD Storage

What is megabit (Mbit)?

Megabits or bits are also a unit of measurement for a quantity of data, because 1 byte in today's computer systems usually consists of 8 bits. In contrast to bytes, bits also serve to represent information content. Bit is an abbreviation for "Binary Digit", ie a binary digit that represents the smallest possible distinction between two states. Computer information always consists of two states, "On" and "Off" or 1 and 0. A bit is the carrier of exactly such information. Bits are combined into bytes in order to be able to store at least the smallest amounts of data. Historically, 8 bits are necessary to represent a single text letter, which is why this unit has become the standard for a byte. A bit is the smallest information and storage unit, while a byte is the smallest amount of data and is therefore used to describe the available space on a storage medium.

While memory sizes are specified in bytes, as already mentioned, bits are mainly used in connection with networks, to specify data transfer speeds. But then always in bits per second, because bytes are always sent through the Internet bit for bit.

In everyday life, Internet users mostly encounter bits in connection with the speed of DSL connections - here as Mbit / s or Mbps, i.e. megabits per second. This area is where the greatest potential for error lies in confusing the units megabytes and megabits. Because a 50,000 DSL line promises 50 Mbit / s and not 50 megabytes per second, as some still think. Mbit / s must first be converted in order to be really meaningful for the general public.

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How do I convert Mbit / s to MB / s?

Only very few people can do anything with megabits per second, which is why the conversion into megabytes per second makes perfect sense. As a byte consists of eight bits, this is therefore not too difficult. Simply divide the internet speed (e.g. 100 Mbit / s) by eight and you have already determined the maximum amount of data in megabytes that the line can ideally download. In this example, that would be a maximum of 12.5 megabytes per second.

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