# What are bytes used for

How Do Bits, Bytes, Megabytes, Megabits, and Gigabits Differ?

Jan 18,  · A byte contains enough information to store a single ASCII character, like "h". A kilobyte (KB) is 1, bytes, not one thousand bytes as might be expected, because computers use binary (base two) math, instead of a decimal (base ten) system. Computer storage and memory is often measured in megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB). Historically, the byte was the number of bits used to encode a single character of text in a computer and for this reason it is the smallest addressable unit of memory in many computer architectures.. They are calculated in base 1, Or Round-Off Base Of 1,, 8 .

A bit is a binary digit, the smallest increment of data on a computer. A bit can hold only one of two values: 0 or 1, corresponding to the electrical values of off or on, respectively. Because bits are so small, you rarely work with information one bit at a time. Bits are usually assembled into a group of eight to form a byte. A kilobyte KB is 1, bytes, not one thousand bytes as might be expected, because computers use binary base two math, instead of a decimal base ten system.

Computer storage and memory is often measured in megabytes MB and gigabytes GB. A medium-sized novel contains about 1 MB of information. Similarly, one 1 GB is 1, MB, or 1,, xx bytes. A petabyte PB is 1, TB.

Indiana University is now building storage systems capable of holding petabytes of data. An exabyte EB is 1, PB. A zettabyte ZB is 1, EB. Finally, a yottabyte YB is 1, ZB. Many hard drive manufacturers use a decimal number system to define amounts of storage space. As a result, 1 MB is defined as one million bytes, 1 GB is defined as one billion bytes, and so on. Since your computer uses a binary system as mentioned above, you may notice a discrepancy between your hard drive's published capacity and the capacity acknowledged by your computer.

For example, a hard drive that is said to contain 10 GB of storage space using a decimal system is actually capable of storing 10,, bytes.

However, in a binary system, 10 GB is 10,, bytes. As a result, instead of acknowledging 10 GB, your computer will acknowledge 9. This is not a malfunction but a matter of different definitions. Note: The names and abbreviations for numbers of bytes are easily confused with the notations for bits. The abbreviations for numbers of bits use a lower-case "b" instead of an upper-case "B". Since one byte is made up of eight bits, this difference can be significant.

For example, if a broadband Internet connection is advertised with a download speed of 3. Bits and bit rates bits over time, as in bits per second [bps] are most commonly used to describe connection speeds, so pay particular attention when comparing Internet connection providers and services. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.

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Sep 04,  · A byte, as a unit, used to refer a storage space and memory in a computer. But, why byte is used to measure the storage space and memory in the computer. As we know, a bit is a binary digit, which holds any of the two values: 0 and 1. And, also it is the smallest unit in a computer that is used for storage purpose. Nov 14,  · The terms bits and bytes in computer networking refer to standard units of digital data transmitted over network connections. There are 8 bits for every 1 byte. The "mega" prefix in megabit (Mb) and megabyte (MB) are often the preferred way to express data transfer rates because it's dealing mostly with bits and bytes in the thousands.

But most of them are often confused about the difference between bits and bytes, Kilobits and Kilobytes, Megabits, and Megabytes are. Bits are mainly used to measure the data transfer speeds in computer networking, like 80 Mbps. Whereas, bytes are generally used to measure storage space and memory in computers like GB gigabytes in the hard disk. It is similar for the case, GB for gigabyte and Gb for gigabit. The only exception for the above rule is kb; all are denoted in lowercase, kilobit.

A bit , as a unit, used to refer to networking and downloading speeds. Whenever we talk about data transmitted over a network, transfer of files in a network, and download and upload speed in broadband, then we are merely referring the measurement in bits. But, how are the bits digital signal generated in a network during transmission of data? The modern computer, nowadays, generates bits by using the various pattern of voltage or current levels into digital signals that represent 0s and1s during transmission of data.

This process is also called the encoding of data. The generation of bits 1s or 0s , that is, digital signals, may vary in a different medium. In Ethernet connections , the bits are generated from the electric signals by varying voltages. Whereas, in Wifi , the bits are formed from radio signals by varying frequencies. Similarly, Fiber connection uses pulses of light to generate bits , which get transmitted over a network as a digital signal.

So, based on the file size and downloading speed, you can easily estimate how long it will take to download or upload a file. Because a megabyte MB is eight times bigger than a megabit Mb , so, theoretically, it will take 8 seconds to download 20 MB file size with a connection speed of 20 Mbps. An IP address, termed as Internet Protocol address, is an identity given to a computer in a network so that it can interact within a network or internet.

In Internet Protocol version 4, the IP address consists of 32 bits 4 bytes. The IP address, like So, it will range from 0 to , in which 0 is the minimum value, and is the maximum value.

Hence, the maximum IPv4 address will be So, when the IP address The transfer of data in computer networking is usually measured in units of bits per second bps.

Currently, all modern networks are capable of transferring files in millions or billions of bits per second, which is called megabits per second Mbps and gigabits per second Gbps , respectively. The confusion arises when you see the download speed is in bytes, but the connection speed is in bits.

Now, it is clear that all type of communication in a network is in bits. But, when we talk about storage and memory in the computer, the scenario is different. A byte , as a unit, used to refer a storage space and memory in a computer. As we know, a bit is a binary digit, which holds any of the two values: 0 and 1. And, also it is the smallest unit in a computer that is used for storage purpose. So, to represent complete information and to include every character, we combined 8 bits to form 1 byte.

As we have discussed, one byte can have 0 to possible values, and also the total number of characters in ASCII is So, 8 bit can store any of the characters 2 to the 8th power. You would be thinking 1 kilobyte KB equal to bytes, but it is wrong. So, the correct value of 1 kilobyte KB equal to bytes 2 to the 10th power. Most of the drive manufacturers use a decimal number system to define the storage capacity, but when you put the hard disk on the computer, it shows a different number.

Because computers use a binary number system to measure the capacity of the hard disk, so, the discrepancy is not because of malfunction, but its a matter of conversion. For instance , if you have purchased 10 GB hard disk, then according to manufacturers, the storage capacity would be 10,,, bytes. But, the computer will acknowledge different values. So, when we convert manufacturer storage capacity, that is, 10 GB decimal value into a binary system, then the value would be 9.

According to the computer, 9. Another important thing to remember, the transfer of data in networking is mostly calculated in the decimal value base of But, the storage or memory in a computer is calculated in a binary system base of 2. Bits and bytes are often used in computer networking, computer storage, and memory. Bit and bytes both are used to measure the amount of data but in different contexts.

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