Although they are units of measurement that we use very regularly, many users are still unaware that the Megabit (Mb) is different in quantity Megabyte (MB). Both units of measure are used for data, but the use and purpose of each is different. For this reason, we are going to explain when they are used.
But before we get into flour, we must know the difference between bit(b) Y byte(B). The bit (b) is the minimum unit of information that is represented as “0” or “1”, which in the end, is the basic language of computers. A byte (B) is a unit of measure that represents 8 bits. It is used for the representation of storage capacity or memory of a device.
When is each unit of measure used?
Well, we are clear on what the basic units of measurement are, but for quite different purposes. Now we have to distinguish when using the Megabit (Mb) and the Megabyte (MB).
Megabyte (MB) measures size
The interesting thing is that this unit of measurement has different uses. The Megabyte (MB) is used to describe the size of a filethe unit size of storage and for him data volume that we can download
We will explain each of these cases:
- Size of a file: Files on a computer, smartphone and the like are usually expressed in MB. A photograph of any smartphone, for example, usually weighs between 2-6 MB
- Storage capacity: Currently it is difficult to find a hard drive or memory card with Megabyte (MB) capacity, since they are usually in the order of Gigabyte (GB) or Terabyte (TB). Anyway, it serves to give us a maximum capacity value
- Mobile internet rates: Interestingly, the mobile internet connection is measured in the maximum size of downloaded data and not in the speed of the connection. Currently the rates are usually several tens of Gigabyte (GB) of downloaded data.
Megabits (Mb) measure speed
Although the term is very similar both in name and abbreviation, what they indicate is something else. The Megabits (MB) are used to describe bandwidth and speed. It is usually expressed in Megabits per second (Mbps | Mb/s). This phenomenon is similar to light years, which do not measure speed, but time.
The Megabits (Mb) value is used in the following cases:
- Internet connection speed: Express the bandwidth that can offer us Internet connection. Currently, for fiber optic connections we speak of several hundred Megabits per second (Mbps | Mb/s) and it is even expressed in Gigabits per second (Gbps | Gb/s)
- Communication bus: Are the existing connections between different components from a computer. Some of these examples are USB ports, Thunderbolt ports or the PCIe 4.0 interface. It has been many years since it is expressed in Mbps, it is already expressed in Gbps. For example, the PCIe 4.0 x16 interface offers a bandwidth greater than 36 Gb/s (be careful not to confuse it with Gigatransfer, which is a different value)
Be careful, 1 TB is not 1000 GB
A fairly common mistake is to think that when we talk about units in Bytes, the ratio is 1000. This confusion is quite common and leads us to deceive, especially in the capacity of hard drives. The correct relation is the following:
|Unit of measurement||Symbol||Equivalence in Bytes|
Something normal when we buy ato storage unit (it does not matter SSD, HDD or any other) is that the marked capacity is not the same as that indicated by Windows. If our SSD is 1TBReally Windows will detect that it is 931.32GB. How is it possible? The mathematical explanation is as follows:
- It is understood that 1 TB is really 1,000,000,000,000 bytes
- We have to divide by 1024 and this will give us 987,562,500 KB
- Now we divide the 987,562,500 KB by 1024 and this will give us 953,674.3 MB
- Finally, we have to divide these 953,674.3 MB by 1024 and thus we will obtain the 931.32 GB indicated by Windows
The trick is that the capacity is indicated in decimal (base 10), while Windows reads it in binary (base 2), hence the difference.