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What's the difference between Megabits and Megabytes

Megabits (Mb) and megabytes (MB) may sound identical, but they don't mean the same thing.

The thing to pay attention to is the letter case. There’s a consensus that Megabits (Mb) are used for measuring download or upload speeds of internet connection, while Megabytes (MB) refer to data sizes for files and hard drives.

A bit is a binary digit, which is a very small unit of digital data. 8 of these bits composes a byte. A megabit contains about 1 million of those bits, and eight (8) Megabits (Mb) makes up a single Megabyte (MB):

What's the difference between Megabits and Megabytes


We can come up with the Megabyte equivalent of Megabit by dividing the latter by 8, and that’s basically the only thing you should know about this.

Why is that important?

The speeds of your internet connection is measured in Mbps (Megabits per second). The same way as 8 Megabits make up one Megabyte, 8 Mbps are equal to one MB/s (Megabyte per second). If your connection speed is 100 Mbps, you can download 12.5 MB of data per second. If a file you download is 100 MB in size, it will take less around 8 seconds to download it at this speed.

Check out the comparison table below to have an idea on how much time it may take you to download files of different sizes.

File Download time
Webpage
(~4 MB)
What's the difference between Megabits and Megabytes
Song
(~12 MB)
What's the difference between Megabits and Megabytes
HD Movie
(~4 GB)
What's the difference between Megabits and Megabytes
 

See also:

What speed can I expect on my VDSL line

Why is my internet connection slow

What are ping and latency

Last updated on Jan 27, 2020 | Tags:
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