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Convert Bytes to Kilobytes to Megabytes to Gigabytes to Terabytes, and Vice Versa

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If you need to convert a data unit to something bigger than a Terabyte, we have a new converter that converts data units up to Exabytes. Check it out Here.

A Quick Guide To

Mastering Bits & Bytes

Large Large Large Large
Character

Introduction

A few years ago, hard disk spacaibed in terms of ‘Megabytes'. Today, 'Gigabytes' and 'Terabytes’; are the most common terms associated with digital storage. But what are they?

Let’s start with the basics.

Disk Space

What is a Byte?

Bytes are basic and physical unit of information in computing and digital communications!

Disk Space
  • At the smallest scale in the computer, information is stored as bits and bytes.
  • In decimal notation, multiples of bytes are expressed in powers of 10.
  • However, in the computer and information technology fields, multiples are expressed in powers of 2.
  • Data Measurement Units

    Unit
    Abbreviation
    Decimal Value
    Binary Value
    Decimal Size
    bit
    b
    0 or 1
    0 or 1
    1/8 of a byte
    byte
    B
    8 bits
    8 bits
    1 byte
    kilobyte
    KB
    1001 bytes
    1001 bytes
    1,000 bytes
    megabyte
    MB
    10002 bytes
    10002 bytes
    1,000,000 bytes
    gigabyte
    GB
    10003 bytes
    10003 bytes
    1,000,000,000 bytes
    terabyte
    TB
    10004 bytes
    10004 bytes
    1,000,000,000,000 bytes
    petabyte
    PB
    10005 bytes
    10005 bytes
    1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes
    exabyte
    EB
    10006 bytes
    10006 bytes
    1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes
    zettabyte
    ZB
    10007 bytes
    10007 bytes
    1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes
    yottabyte
    YB
    10008 bytes
    1000* bytes
    1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes
    Character

    Understanding Bytes through Real Life Examples

    To put things into perspective, each data size is explained here with the help of real-life examples:

    Bit

    is the smallest unit of data that a computer uses

    • Single Binary Digit (1 or 0)
    Arrow

    Byte

    = 8 Bits

    • 1 Byte = 1 Character
    • 10 Bytes = One Word
    Arrow

    Kilobyte

    = 1,000 Bytes or 1,024 Bytes (despending on the decimal or binary value)

    • 1 Kilobye = A paragraph
    • 100 Kilobytes
      100 Kilobytes = A low resolution photograph
    Character
    Arrow

    Megabyte

    = 1,000 Kilobytes

    • 100 Kilobytes
      1 Megabyte = A short novel
    • 100 Kilobytes
      2 Megabyte = A high resolution photograph
    • 600 Megabytes
      600 Megabytes = A CD-ROM
    Character
    Arrow

    Gigabyte

    = 1,000 Megabytes

    • 1 Gagabyte
      1 Gigabyte = 7 minutes of HD-TV video
    • 1 Gagabyte
      1 Gigabyte = Contents of about 10 yeards of books on a shelf
    • 1 Gagabyte
      600 Gigabytes = A library floor of academic journals
    Character
    Arrow

    Terabyte

    = 1,000 Gigabytes

    • 100 Kilobytes
      1 Terabyte = 3.6 million 300 Kilobyte images
    • 1 Terabyte
      1 Terabyte = 300 hours of good quality video
    • 1 Terabyte
      1 Terabyte = 1,000 copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica
    • 10 Terabyte
      10 Terabytes = The printed collection of the entire Library of Congress
    Character
    Arrow

    Petabyte

    = 1,000 Terabytes

    • 1 Petabyte
      1 Petabyte = 20 million 4-door filing cabinets full of text
    • 1 Petabyte
      1 Petabyte = 500 billion pages of standard printed text. It would take about 500 million floppy disks to store the same amount of data
    • 1 Petabyte
      20 Petabytes = The amount of data processed by Google daily
    Character
    Arrow

    Exabyte

    = 1,000 Petabytes

    • 1 Exabyte
      1 Exabyte = 2 million personal computers
    • 5 Exabytes
      5 Exabytes = All the words ever spoken by mankind
    • 15 Exabytes
      15 Exabytes = Total data held by Google
    Character
    Arrow

    Zettabyte

    = 1,000 Exabytes

    • 1 Zettabyte
      1 Zettabyte = 250 billion DVDs
    Arrow

    Yottabyte

    = 1,000 Zettabytes

    • 1 Yottabyte
      1 Yottabyte = Size of the entire Word Wide Web. It would take approxiately 11 trillion years to download a Yottabyte file from the Internet using high-power broadband
    Character
    Arrow

    Brontobyte

    = 1,000 Yottabytes

    • 1 Brontobyte
      The only thing there is to say about a Brontobyte is that it is a 1 followed by 27 zeros!
    Character
    Arrow

    Geopbyte

    = 1,000 Brontobytes

    • 1 Geopbyte
      No on knows why this term was created. It is highly doubtful that anyone alive today will EVER see a Geopbyte hard drive.
    Character

    How It All Started: A Brief History of Bits & Bytes

    1725

    1725

    It started with the invention of punch cards which used to store information even before computers existed. Punch cards are pieces of paper which encode bits by presence or absence of holes in predefined positions.

    1936

    1936

    Vannevar Bush wrote about "bits of information" that could be stored on the punched cards used in the mechanical computers.

    1948

    1948

    The word “bit” was used for the first time by Claude E. Shan-non in his seminal paper “A Mathematical Theory of Communication.” He credited its origin to John W. Tukey, who had written a Bell Labs memo in 1947 in which he contracted binary digit to simply "bit".

    1956

    1956

    • The term byte was coined by Werner Buchholz in during the early design phase for the IBM Stretch computer.
    • Earlier, byte was described as a 4-bit or 6-bit chunk of information. Later on, byte was standardized as 8-bit in-formation with the introduction of System 360 by IBM.
    • A 4-bit information chunk is described as a 'Nibble' now.

    References & Further Resources

    • PortalDesk: Bits + Bytes: A Quick Guide to Data Measurement Units
      http://www.portaldesk.net/bits-bytes-a-quick-guide-to-data-measurement-units/
    • Wikipedia: Byte
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byte
    • TechCrunch: Eric Schmidt: Every 2 Days We Create As Much Information As We Did Up To 2003
      https://techcrunch.com/2010/08/04/schmidt-data/
    • Cirrus Insight: How Much Data Does Google Store?
      https://www.cirrusinsight.com/blog/much-data-google-store
    • Telegraph: Welcome to the information age – 174 newspapers a day
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/8316534/Welcome-to-the-information-age-174-newspapers-a-day.html
    • Tech 21 Century: The human brain is loaded daily with 34 GB of information
      http://www.tech21century.com/the-human-brain-is-loaded-daily-with-34-gb-of-information/
    • The Conversation: Not so science fiction after all, the internet could out-evolve humanity
      http://theconversation.com/not-so-science-fiction-after-all-the-internet-could-out-evolve-humanity-53162

    There have been some recent inquiries about the differences between the 3G and 4G technologies relating to how many Gigabytes faster is 4G. Well, I instantly realized the confusion. There is a big difference between Gigabytes and the Gigabit per second that the 4G claims to be capable of. However, the question sparked my interest and in my ever-increasing thirst for knowledge, What’s a G was created. 3G, 4G, 4g LTE and 5G explained.

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