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Megabits to bytes – An easy way to convert data size without a calculator.

Everything you see on the Internet and your computer are in bytes or bits. From the pictures to the presentation, they all occupy space in your computer in terms of bits and bytes. But is there a way to easily convert different data sizes? Like megabits to bytes? And what’s the difference between bits and bytes?
You don’t always need a calculator to convert the data whether it is from megabits to bytes or kilobytes to bits. Once you know the conversion scale, you can do a quick little calculation and find the data. Here is all that you need. 

Megabits to bytes.

If you put down the numbers in a bits and bytes calculator, you’ll find that 1 megabit is equal to 125,000 bytes. But why is this number not rounded off to zero? It is because of the conversion between bits and bytes. 1 byte is equal to 8 bits. 

Bits are how all the data is stored. One bit is either a 1 or 0. So a byte would look something like this; 10010010. Write this number a thousand and twenty-four (1024) times and you’ll get a kilobyte. To convert the byte to bit, you have to divide it by 8. And to convert bit to byte, multiply it by 8. So how do the megabits to bytes look like?
1 megabit is equal to 125,000 bytes. Convert it into bits? Multiply 125,000 by 8 and you get 1.000.000 (1 million). After converting into bits, 1 megabit is equal to 1 million bits. 

Megabits to megabytes 

As mentioned earlier, to convert something from bits to bytes, all you have to do is divide it by 8. So if we have to convert 800 megabits into megabytes, we get 100 megabytes. Similarly, to do the opposite i.e., megabytes to megabits, all we need to do is multiply it by 8. So 800 megabytes is 6400 megabits. Simple. 

All the units of bits and bytes

Although we use only gigabytes and megabytes in our daily life, there are way more units that are used in computers. We made a list of all the units and their values to give you an idea of the diversities in computer storage units. 

  • Bit
  • Kilobit 
  • Kibibit 
  • Megabit 
  • Mebibit 
  • Gigabit 
  • Gibibit
  • Terabit 
  • Tibibit 
  • Petabit 
  • Pebibit 
  • Byte 
  • Kilobyte 
  • Kibibyte 
  • Megabyte 
  • Mebibyte 
  • Gigabyte 
  • Gibibyte 
  • Terabyte 
  • Tebibyte 
  • Petabyte
  • Pebibyte 
  • Exabyte 
  • Zettabyte 
  • Yottabyte 
  • Xenottabyte 
  • Shilentnobyte 
  • Domegemegrottebyte

What is mebibyte, Kibibyte…etc?

People at the International Electrotechnical Commission created this unit of data in 1998. It was created to make the data readable in terms of powers of 2. So, 1 megabyte is equal to 10e+6 bytes (1,000,000 bytes). But to make it in terms of binary it is 2e+20 (1,048,576). You can see the problem here. The values aren’t the same. 

This discrepancy in the value is the reason mebi, kibi, etc were made. In smaller conversion, the difference is negligible like 1000 and 1024. But as the storage capacities of computers increased, this difference increased as well. So they came up with a new unit.

Series of 0 and 1. Megabits to bytes
What computer memory is made of. Image: Techcity Times

Here is the conversion of gibibyte and tebibyte to megabytes.

  • A gibibyte is equal to 1,024 MiB.
  • A tebibyte is equal to 1,048,576 MiB.
  • A pebibyte  is equal to 1,073,741,824 MiB. 
  • A kibibyte is equal to 1,024 KiB.
  • A byte is equal to 1,048,576 bytes equal to a MiB.

How much is that much?

When we see these data measurement units, we don’t get the idea of how much that is in the real world. Sure we get an idea of how many pictures it can hold and how many movies you can store, but again, these are just estimates which don’t have a solid ground to stand on. For example, a gigabyte can store a lot of photos, but how many? Let’s find out 

If one photo has a size of 5 MiB, then you can store 200+ photos in a 1 GB memory. But what if you upgraded the storage from one GB to 1 terabyte? Then you could store more than 200,000 photos of the same size! That is a huge jump.

In 2002, an estimate was made that in 5 exabytes, you can store all the words spoke by humans in our entire history. But this was criticized and proved wrong by linguists from the University of Pennsylvania professor Mark Liberman. He stated that it would require 43,000 exabytes to house a recording of all speech in human history, even at a relatively low level of quality. 1 exabyte is about twenty times as much as the books in the Library of Congress.

One exabyte is equal to 1000 petabytes. Calculated, the entire size of the internet is estimated to be about 17.2 million petabytes or 17,235 exabytes. The size of the internet keeps increasing. New data is added every second. Each second, terabytes of data are being added. The amount ranges from 4 terabytes to 20 terabytes or more. It is estimated that the size of the internet doubles every 2 years.

The popular streaming service Netflix has a huge library. Although the data files keep changing, it is estimated that the total size of the Netflix library is about 300 terabytes. 

An average Kindle ebook has a file size of about 2.6 MB. So how many books can you store in a hard disk of 1-exabyte capacity? 384 billion books. According to Google’s algorithms, there are currently 130 million books in the world. An exabyte can store almost 3,000 times more than the entire number of books in the world.  

So this was all about data conversion and how they are converted. At the current rate of data consumption and storage needs, we think that soon, in about 5-10 years, we’ll start seeing hard disk drives with petabyte memory capacities. But what if we run out of memory. Can we run our of memory? That is a question that needs its article. For now, this was all about megabits to bytes and more.

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