So, before you start to think about what these are and how they are different from each other, the first thing you want to think about is what data actually represents. All data, eventually, ends up as a binary number. Any computer program, message on Facebook, photo, song you download… it’s all eventually going to be translated into a language that your computer or devices processor can understand, which is binary code.

Binary code is used to represent all range of data from text to image to large databases. It does this by a series of 1’s and 0’s. Amazingly, simple 1’s and 0’s control all data that we use today. This is the foundation of our data and how we calculate the data’s size.

One bit is the equivalent to 1 binary number. So, a bit could be a 1 or a 0. A byte is a series of 8 bits, so a combination of 8 binary numbers. For example, a byte could be: 01100001. This binary combination, or “byte” is the computer language representation of the letter “a”. All programming code is eventually converted into it’s binary sets before being sent to the processor.

From that point on, it’s just extrapolating the data for higher measurements. Here is a list of how data is measured:

1 Bit = 1 Binary number

1 Byte = 8 Binary numbers

1 Kilobyte = 1024 Bytes

1 Megabyte = 1024 Kilobytes

1 Gigabyte = 1024 Megabytes

1 Terabyte = 1024 Gigabytes

In terms of how these sizes relate to the real world. An MP3 or song file might be around 2 – 3 Megabytes. A movie streamed from NetFlix is in the range of 1 – 3 Gigabytes.