How Many Megabits in a Gigabit?

Digital storage is an essential aspect of our lives, from saving text documents to storing photos and music. However, have you ever wondered how digital storage is measured? Well, everything is saved in the binary system, where data is stored as ones and zeros, and the smallest unit of data in a computer is called a bit.

A byte refers to eight bits, which is the amount of space required to store a single letter or symbol in a text document. A kilobyte is a thousand bytes, and it can hold about one-third of a page of text. Although technically, there are 1,024 bytes in a kilobyte, it’s okay to think of it as a thousand bytes. Similarly, a megabyte is a thousand kilobytes, and it’s enough space to hold about one book, one photo, or one minute of music.

By the mid-1990s, a 1 gigabyte hard drive could be purchased for a couple of hundred dollars, and nowadays, you can get a 1 gigabyte flash drive or SD card for just a couple of dollars. A gigabyte is enough space to hold about a thousand books, photos, or sixteen hours of music. And if you have a thousand gigabytes, it’s called a terabyte and can hold about a million books, photos or two years of continuous music.

For everyday usage, it’s enough to know that there are eight bits in one byte, a thousand bytes in one kilobyte, a thousand kilobytes in one megabyte, a thousand megabytes in one gigabyte, and a thousand gigabytes in one terabyte. However, for those of you who are curious, after terabyte comes petabyte, exabyte, zettabyte, and yottabyte.

Digital storage has come a long way from the five and a quarter-inch floppy disk in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which could hold 360 kilobytes of information, to the readily available terabyte of storage as a hard drive, solid-state drive, or even an SD or microSD card. Now you know how digital storage is measured, and you can choose the best option to store your data.