Broadband speeds can be confusing and I’m going to try and make it clear in this piece.

The following are a few terns that you have read or heard about:

  • Kilobits
  • Megabits
  • Gigabits
  • Kilobytes
  • Megabytes
  • Gigabytes

Many people are honest when it comes to the use of these terms, they simply don’t get it. These terms are only used for historical reasons and you will find different definitions of some of these units. Some companies or professionals use these terms to confuse you.

Let’s try to unravel these units:

A bit represent a zero or one. It is the smallest unit of information when it comes to computing, and is commonly a “0” or a “1”, it can also mean a “yes” or a “no”.

A byte equals to 8 bits

A byte is enough information to represent a single character of the English language. For example, “hey” is 3 bytes which translate to 24 bits 3X8.

One kilobit is equal to 1000 bits

A kilobyte is equivalent to 1000 bytes

The main thing is 8 kilobits make 1 kilobyte, and this is a common pattern between “bits” and “bytes”.

NB: some computer scientists refer to a kilobyte as 1024 bytes but there is a movement to try and standardize the kilobyte to be 1000 bytes. However, this difference is insignificant to change anything.

  • A Megabit is 1000 kilobits
  • A megabyte is 1000 kilobytes
  • A Gigabit is 1000 megabits
  • A Gigabyte is 1000 megabytes

Shortened Names

You will see units shortened like this:

  • Kbps (kilobits or kilobytes per second)
  • Mbps (megabits or megabytes per second)

These two abbreviations are some of the most inconsistently used terms, so how do you distinguish between kilobits and bytes?

The convention is the use of CAPITAL B to refer to bytes and small b to mean bits. So:

  • KBps means kilobytes per second
  • Kbps means kilobits per second
  • MBps means mega bytes per second
  • Mbps means megabits per second

Also, this is not consistently used, particularly by ISPs. The rule is, if it’s an internet company talking about the speed of their connection, they usually mean megabits and kilobits. Use of upper and lowercase letters, in this case, does not change anything.

At GTA Telecom, we give you speeds in terms of Mbps. This means that you can download, upload, and stream HD video, music and video call without any connection issues. Talk to us for clarification of our internet packages.



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