How many bytes in a megabyte


Roughly translated:

1 byte (B) = 8 bits

1 kilobyte (KB) = 1024 bytes

1 megabyte (MB) = 1024 kilobytes

1 gigabyte (GB) = 1024 megabytes

1 terabyte (TB) = 1024 gigabytes


Why 1024?

When we think of measurement, one kilogram is a 1000 grams and one kilometre is a 1000 metres. So why is one kilobyte equal to 1024 bytes? The answer lies in how early computer engineers interpreted tiny amounts of storage. They noticed that 2^10 (1024) was very close to 10^3 (1000) and therefore used the prefix of “kilo” taken from the greek word "khilioi" (meaning one thousand) to make the word kilobyte.


What is a Gigabyte?

Things become more confusing when we reach a Gigabyte. One gigabyte actually translates as 1024 bytes x 1024 bytes x 1024 bytes which is equal to 1,073,741,824 bytes. However, most people refer a Gigabyte as 1,000,000,000 (one billion) bytes, where Giga means one billion.

Tags: how many bytes in a megabyte; what is a gigabyte; gigabyte; megabyte; byte; kilobyte; terabyte