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HomeTechnologyMegabit (Mb), vs. Megabyte(MB): What's The Difference? This is how it works

Megabit (Mb), vs. Megabyte(MB): What’s The Difference? This is how it works

Are you confused about the differences between megabits (or megabytes)? The one is for storage and the other for speed. Which one is it?


Are you familiar with the differences between a megabit and a megabyte?

Although they sound similar and share the same abbreviation (and even sound the same), they are actually quite different. Both are very important as they affect the speed of data. For example, your internet connection (which you pay a lot for) as well as the size of data stored on storage devices like hard drives.

It’s confusing. But today, we’ll explain everything about the megabit (Mb), and megabyte (MB).

What is a Megabit and Megabyte?

We must first go back to the bit that started it all. Bit is a binary number, which is the smallest unit in digital computerized data. A byte is made up of eight of these bits. One megabit is about one million of these bits. Eight megabits are what make up a megabyte. This is the only difference between megabits, megabytes, and both.

Data sizes for files and hard drives are typically measured in “bytes”, while data for broadband is measured in “bits.”

Giantbytes (GB), or even Terabytes, are terms you may be familiar with. They are commonly used for data storage. A gigabyte can hold approximately 1000 megabytes of information, while a terabyte holds 1000 gigabytes.

A terabyte can be thought of as a bunch of bits stored in one location. It’s pretty crazy, isn’t it?

What is the difference between a Megabit (Mb), and a Megabyte(MB)?

It is also important to pay attention to the abbreviations. A megabit is smaller than a megabyte so it has the lowercase “b” which makes its abbreviation “Mb”. Megabyte is larger, so it receives the capital “B”, in “MB.”

Megabits and megabytes can be used to indicate data transfer speeds, such as internet connections or hard drives. If you are referring to hard drives only, the abbreviation is “Mb” or simply “MB”.

However, internet speeds refers to the amount of megabits (or megabytes) transferred per second. This is what gave rise to the abbreviations “Mbps”, and “MBps.” The abbreviation “per second” is “ps”.

Megabit and Megabyte: Why you should know both

All of us need internet access at our homes, and nowadays it’s all about broadband from the cable company. Many packages offer speeds up to 50Mbps or 100Mbps, and other options. It is important to understand what you are paying for.


A 100Mbps package may sound like it’s super fast, but don’t expect to be able to download 100MB files in one second.

This is because, when Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer you a “up to 100Mbps” connection they are actually selling 100 megabits per Second and not 100 Megabytes per Second .

This is actually 12.5MBps for a 100Mbps connection. That doesn’t sound quite as impressive. This calculation is done by multiplying 100 by 8 (eight bits equal one megabit). It is equivalent to 50MBps with a home connection of 400Mbps. The first number is much more impressive than the smaller.


Marketing Tips

Megabits are a marketing strategy used by ISPs to make their packages more appealing to customers. These numbers look larger and more impressive than their smaller counterparts.

You can also get up those speeds. However, it is not always possible, especially during peak hours.

SpeedTest provides a simple test to determine your internet speed. They always return results in Mbps as it is the industry standard. You can have your speed test service say MBps rather than Mbps.

Let’s say you need to download a file of 750MB. This file is the same size as 6,000MB (6,000 divided by 8 equals 750). This file will download in under two minutes if you have a 50Mbps connection. It would take 10 minutes for a slower connection to download the same file, 10Mbps.


Buy a new hard drive

You should pay close attention to the storage capacity if you’re looking for a hard drive for your computer or an external drive. A few drives have a megabyte capacity, but most people use gigabytes these days.

You’ll find drives sizes such as 256GB and 500GB or 750GB or 1TB when you shop for them. These numbers are equivalent to 256,000MB, 500GB, 500,000MB, 750,000MB and 750,000MB, respectively.

1TB equals 1000GB. This is approximately 1,000,000MB. Multiplying the gigabyte value by 1,000 is how you find out how many megabytes an item holds.

You use bits to describe the speed of a connection. Use Bytes (MB, GB, TB, etc.) Refers to file and storage sizes.

RELATED: How to Buy a New Hard Drive: What You Need To Know

How do I calculate the difference between a Megabit or Megabyte?

It is easy to remember that a megabyte (MB), contains eight (8) megabits, (Mb). To find out how many megabits it’s, multiply the number of megabits you see in MB.

Let’s say x stands for MB, and y represents Mb.


xMBx8 = yMb

You can convert megabits (Mb), into megabytes, by dividing them by 8.

yMb/ 8 =

This formula will tell you how long it takes to download a file, based on your speed limit. p represents the speed of download and t the time.

(xMBx8 / pMbps = T (in seconds).

You can then convert the seconds into minutes to get a better idea of how long it should take.

NB Remember that the advertised internet speeds may not always be what you get. This means that the actual time may be longer.

To find out how many megabytes it is, multiply the gigabyte number (let us use to represent a gigabyte) by 1,000.

aGBx1000 = xMB

If you don’t know math, it’s strongly recommended that you use Google search engine to convert digital storage unit.

Megabits and megabytes are not the same

It’s confusing to see Mb andMB interchangeably used so often. It couldn’t have been more wrong. You should now be able to understand the differences between megabits (Mb) & megabytes (MB) and convert them easily.


Next, learn why a 1TB drive has only 931GB of storage in our detailed explanation of hard drive sizes.




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