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When it comes to technology, there are many different terms that can become confusing. For example, all the measurements that you may see referred to when it comes to data. There are so many choices out there, including megabits, megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes and more.
On top of that, you can also see these measurements in different formations as well. You might see Mb as well as Mbps, which can become confusing. Not to worry! We’re going to take a look into the differences between Mb and Mbps so that you can feel more confident about your technology choices.
Related Reading: Megabits vs. Megabytes: What’s The Difference?
Table of Contents
What are Mbs?
In order to understand how the conversions work, it’s good to have a solid starting point. For example, understanding what Mbs are. Essentially, Mb is a measurement that represents an amount of data. Known as the megabit, this measurement is made up of 1,048,576 bits, which can make it seem like a large measurement.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the megabit is on the lower end of the spectrum, making it far lower than options like the gigabyte or terabyte and just under the megabyte. When you’re looking at the megabit and megabyte, you’ll want to keep track of the “b” in the term, and note whether it is lowercase or capitalized.
What Is Mbps?
Mbps refers to “megabits per second.” This is especially important to understand when you’re shopping for internet service. In order for internet to function well, data has to travel. The speed at which the data travels will give you an idea about what speed you’ll be able to enjoy the internet at.
To clarify, if the internet you’re looking at claims to offer 5Mbps, that means 5 megabits will be able to move per second. You can think of this much like the speed used while driving. The main difference is that it works in shorter time frames, using seconds rather than the hours in mph.
How are These Concepts Different?
It’s worth keeping in mind that Mb and Mbps can be used at different times and for different purposes. Knowing that difference can make it easier to parse out what the information is telling you. Let’s take a look at how these terms are different from one another.
Typically, when you see Mb without the “per seconds” addition, it’s simply referring to an amount of data. For example, a file that is holding 76Mb simply contains 76 megabits of data within it. Keep in mind that this is much lower than 76MB.
When you see Mbps, it’s generally referring to speed. As mentioned earlier, this is very similar to the concept of driving speeds, or “miles per hour.” Instead, Mbps refers to “megabits per second.” This will give you an idea of how quickly a certain internet package will be able to function.
What to Remember
It can be easy to get tricked by internet providers when they choose to display larger numbers rather than the most efficient units of measurement. For example, you may see something like 100Mbps rather than 15MBps. The 100 tends to look more impressive to those who aren’t as familiar with the measurements, but they end up with slower internet after making that selection without understanding the difference between Mb and MB.
Because each megabyte contains 8 megabits, the 15MB option actually includes 120Mbs. Make sure to keep this issue in mind when you’re shopping for internet service. That way, you can get the option you actually want rather than falling for a larger number. It’s as simple as remembering that the big B means larger units!
The good news is that most internet providers offer plans that include either MB or GB plans, which offers a little more clarity as the names aren’t as similar.
Looking Out for Similar Measurements
Keep in mind that there is a whole range of measurements that can apply to data. One that is most likely to get confused with the megabit is the megabyte. Because of this, you’ll want to consider your options carefully when it comes to things like internet speeds.
The following are some other data measurement amounts that you may see commonly used when it comes to the amount of data something is using or has available, or the speeds at which it can move. Knowing the general sizes of these measurements can help you get the technology you need.
Megabytes are a larger measurement when it comes to data. Each megabyte is made up of 8 megabits, which is important to keep in mind. Because of different measurements like these, you’ll want to remember that a larger number isn’t necessarily always better. For example, 64Mbs will not provide greater internet speeds than 10MBs, so keep an eye on that B.
After megabytes, there is a larger leap in the measurement amounts. This is why so many of our technical devices are opting for gigabytes and terabytes to provide more space or speed to users. Each gigabyte contains 1,000 megabytes, which is a huge leap when it comes to either.
Another option becoming more and more prevalent is the terabyte, which makes a huge leap in size yet again. With 1,000 gigabytes for each terabyte, this has become a popular option for memory on computers and gaming consoles. Many serious users prefer this option so they don’t need to worry about using up all the memory.
Overall, data measurements don’t have to be a difficult thing. Essentially, megabits are at the small end of the spectrum, while megabytes, gigabytes and terabytes are larger. All of these measurements can be converted into speeds as well by adding a “per second” aspect at the end.
When you see 25Mbps, you’ll be able to know that the internet plan is moving 25Mbs of data every second. Compare that to 25MBs, which means that ultimately 200Mbps are being moved per second. That’s really a huge difference, even though the measurements may appear the same upon first glance.