Megabit (Mb) vs MegaByte (MB) – The Internet Speed Scam

Introduction

We are regularly scammed by our ISP (Internet Service Provider) and being confused between the term bit and byte i.e. ISP claims 50Mbps is not equal to 50MBps which is actually 5MBps internet speed. Don’t worry we are here to make it less confusing and solving the internet speed scam.

Yes, It’s a little confusing, but today we’re going to explain everything you need to know about the term bit and byte and the confusion created by our ISP.

How Computers work!

First, we need to clear out a few things and learn how actually computers work i.e. the binary system. Computers and other electronic devices are actually electronic and thus they only understand the difference between voltage i.e. 0 or 1 i.e. 0 means off and 1 means on or 5V. So this is how computers work and they try to convert everything, from text to data to the binary system.

Bit vs Byte

A bit is a binary digit, which is a very small unit of digital, computerized data. Eight of these bits composes a byte. A megabit contains about 1 million of those bits, and eight (8) megabits makes up a single megabyte.

For the most part, the data size for hard drives and files are usually measured with ‘Bytes’ whereas data for broadband i.e. internet and other wireless communication goes by ‘Bits’

The same goes for Gigabytes and Gigabits, and TeraBytes and Terabits. A gigabyte holds about 1000 megabytes of data (manufacturers think) which actually has 1024 megabyte of data (system thinks) and that’s the reason behind all the mess when we purchase a 4GB pen drive and get only 3.75 as usable space.

Difference between the abbreviations?

The abbreviations are also very important to take note of and our ISP (Internet Service Provider) plays on this. Since a megabit is a smaller unit than a megabyte, it features the lowercase letter ‘b’ making its abbreviation ‘Mb’ and since megabyte is larger, it gets the capital letter ‘B’ in ‘MB’

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