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MB vs mbps vs bytes vs bits vs …

Some decades ago if you had mentioned something like gigabyte would have sounded as something quite weird. Now it is very common. So common that sometimes we do not know really what we are meaning.

This is a post thought for myself. Here I explained what I have learned these last days about bytes and bits, how to claculate gigas, megas, how to see differences between mbps and KB/s.

All I write is related to things I need to know as I use the Internet.

1 GB

Some companies give you 1 GB or more or less in a month basis. Once you have spent that quantity the speed is reduced. So, what’s that?

1 GB is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Normally in computers 1 byte is a 8 bits. 1 bit is a unity of information that can be 0 or 1. So in one byte you have 256 choices! You just have to multiply 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2=256. If I am not wrong then the color of a pixel using RGB needs 3 bytes. So if you create with paint an image and you keep it in 24bit bitmap you are using 3 bytes for each pixel. So if you create an image of 100×100 in Paint if may occupy about 30,000 bytes, about 3K. You can try this with Paint.

By the way, a binary system is used here. 1024 bytes make a KiloByte. I still understand not well why you follow the binary system but I understand the binary system in the bit. And I see that you just multiply 2 ten times to reach the number 1024.

In the same way 2048,000 bytes make a MegaByte or MB. Normally B is used bor Byte and b for bit.

If you have bought a pendrive, etc you may have realised that maybe it says 16  GB in the pendrive but that the computer says it has only14.9 GB. Well, the ones seeling the pendrive mean 16,000,000,000 Bytes and they used the decimal system instead of the bynary system used by Microsoft, for example! From the people behind the International System it seems that the good thing would be to say GiB when we are using binary system.

Another thing to consider is tranfer rate. A rate of 7.2 Mbps 7.2 Mb per second which means 7.2 Mbits per second which means 7200 kilobits per second.  When we download we say sometimes KB/s (KiloBytes/s) so to translate you need to take into account that 1 byte is 8 bits and that 1024 bytes are a KiloByte: 1000 kbps is 122 KB/s.

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