What’s the difference between a bit and a Byte?

Difference between a bit and a Byte

Difference between bits and bytes
Difference between bits and bytes

Bytes are a larger measurement than bits. 1 byte = 8 bits. There are eight bits in one Byte.

On the same token:

  • There are 8 Megabits in one MegaByte
  • There are 8 Gigabits in one GigaByte

Bytes are written in uppercase ‘B’ and bits are in lowercase ‘b’. The best way to remember is that a capital B is bigger than a lowercase b – eight times bigger.

  • File sizes are measured in ‘Bytes’ – e.g MegaBytes (MB), GigaBytes (GB)
  • Broadband speed (data transfer rates) are measured and advertised in ‘bits’ – e.g Megabits per second (Mbps)

Unfortunately, people sometimes refer to megabits and megabytes as just “megs”! Now you know that if they’re talking about a file size then they referring to MegaBytes (MB) and if it’s about the speed they’re referring to Megabits (Mb)


If you have a broadband speed of 8Mbps (Megabits per second) how long will it take to download a file that is 8MB (MegaBytes)?


It would take 8 seconds. Remember 8Mbits = 1 MByte.

Seconds and total data downloaded:
1st sec @ 8Mbits per second = 1Mbyte overall
2nd sec another 8Mbits  = 2Mbytes overall
3rd sec another 8Mbits  = 3Mbytes overall
4th sec another 8Mbits  = 4Mbytes overall
5th secs another 8Mbits = 5Mbytes overall
6th secs another 8Mbits = 6Mbytes overall
7th secs another 8Mbits = 7Mbytes overall
8th secs another 8Mbits = 8Mbytes overall

Done. 8MB file downloaded in 8 Seconds on an 8Mbits per second (Mbps) download speed.

Further reading:

Bits vs Bytes Video Explainer

Bits vs Bytes topics covered
  • What is a byte
  • What is a byte in computer
  • How many bits in a byte
  • What is the difference between mb and gb in data usage
  • What is a bit
  • Difference between a bit a byte and a word
  • Difference between bits and bytes quora
  • What are bytes and bits

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