Megabits vs Megabytes: What is the Difference?
Megabits and megabytes might look similar since they have the same abbreviation but they are completely different. For anyone who uses a computer, these two terms are quite important. One determines the speed of a business or home internet connection or data and the other determines the speed of data on a storage device. This definition might be confusing which is why we have explained the megabits vs megabytes difference thoroughly here.
Difference Between Megabits and Megabytes
Mbps (with a lowercase b) refers to megabits per second and it’s commonly used for referring to internet upload and download speeds. You can also call it bandwidth, the term often used when you’re planning to buy an internet connection like Spectrum internet cable services. The other one MBps (with an uppercase B) stands for megabytes per second. It is a unit of measurement that is used for indicating the rate at which a file is uploaded or downloaded.
Why Should You Know About the Megabits vs Megabytes Difference?
It’s useful to know the difference between the two since we all use the internet and computer every day. Both these come into play when you are using the internet i.e., loading a webpage, downloading music, or streaming something online.
The time taken to download something from the internet varies based on the size of the file and the speed of your connection. Some other factors affect the download time too, which include whether you are connected to wireless internet or using an ethernet cable. Sometimes, you can continue to experience a slow connection despite having the fastest internet speed or Mbps. In that case, activities like video chatting, online gaming, or video streaming could be the culprit.
As mentioned earlier, bytes are used for everything related to filing storage and size. They are used for all forms of storage from cloud to hard drives. Even the files saved on your computer are measured in bytes. Each bit can hold a value of either one or zero. Together, they make a byte, which is the minimum amount of memory a PC can read or process.
What Are Bytes and Bits Used For?
Let’s further elaborate on megabits per second vs megabytes per second. Bits and bytes are used in different settings and both are used for describes measurement in size. A bit, however, is also used for measuring speed.
A byte is known as the smallest storage blot. Memory systems, SSDs, hard drives, and USB sticks are measured in Bytes. Other than this, the software is measured in bytes as well. a single byte measures one standard character. If you are storing the word “mine” it will need 4 bytes of memory. This is why bytes are used for measuring computer memory as well.
It’s a bit trickier than measuring bytes when it comes to measuring data. A bit is used for determining internet speed.
The websites we browser or emails we send are broken into packets first and then sent in different directions. When they arrive at the recipient’s computer, they have to be rearranged. Such an erratic flow of data is not that simple and hence cannot be divided into bytes. This is why the speed at which data moves is measured in bits per second. Consequently, internet speed is being measured in bits since inception and so, you will see the word Mbps written on your Spectrum internet billing statement.
Do Bits and Bytes Matter in 2G and Other Gs?
The good news is bits and bytes have nothing to do with these Gs. It’s actually a lot easier to measure speed with the Gs. They relate to cellular networks, with the G indicating the cellular network’s generation—1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, LTE (long term evolution), and so on. These terms essentially allude to how advanced your mobile company’s network is.
The higher the G, the newer the generation, and the more devices the network can accommodate. This means if you are about to buy a mobile internet and TV bundle, you won’t have to look into the bits or bytes. As long as it’s the new generation network, you can expect a good mobile internet speed.
Note: If your internet company sells a data plan of 5GB on let’s say 4G, this means that you can download 5 gigabytes of data on your phone through this 4G network. it has nothing to do with speed!
Hopefully, you now understand the megabits vs megabytes difference, and your brain isn’t hurting from all the information shared.