What’s the Difference Between Gigabit and Gigabyte?
A common source of confusion is between a gigabit and a gigabyte. Find out the difference and how it can influence your business and how they’re related to fibre broadband & leased lines.
Bits, bytes, kilos, megas, gigas and terras? It can all get a bit confusing right? But don’t worry because all you need to know is the difference between a gigabit and a gigabyte.
Just a bit…
A bit is essentially a number and, because computers work using binary a bit can only be the value of either zero or one.
However, having a value of zero or one isn’t a great deal of use on its own. Therefore, to make the bits slightly more useful, they’re combined into bytes.
Back in the day when computers were first invented the pioneers settled on eight bits making up one byte. Having more bits allows computer processors to move information around more efficiently, can perform more calculations each second and can have larger amounts of memory. For example; a 32-bit computer can only support a maximum of four gigabytes of memory whereas a 64-bit system can support up to 192 gigabytes.
Now we’ve established what a byte and a bit is, we can start looking at them in bulk. That’s when kilo, mega and giga come into play.
Simply put, a kilo is around a thousand, mega is around a million and a giga is around a billion. So a gigabit is a billion bits and a gigabyte is a billion bytes.
However, a gigabyte is eight times larger than a gigabit because, as aforementioned, a byte is made up of eight bits.
How much data is a gigabyte?
A gigabyte is the next step up from a megabyte, which consists of 1024 kilobytes. So, a gigabyte is made up of 1024 megabytes, therefore making it much larger. Some providers also offer gigabyte broadband.
Size and speed
When we’re talking about storage on a computer, we’re talking about gigabytes. Your computer might have 16 GB of memory and a 500 GB disk. However, a gigabit is smaller but gigabits are what we measure the bandwidth available on superfast broadband connections with.
One gigabit is 125 megabytes and you’ll need eight of them to make a gigabyte. Therefore, if you’ve got a one Gbps superfast broadband connection, you’ll be able to transfer 125 megabytes of data per second. If you’re wanting to transfer a gigabyte, it’ll take eight seconds.
When you’re at home, you won’t really see the benefits of upgrading to a gigabyte broadband capable connection, unless you need to download a large program update. However, it can make a huge difference to a businesses productivity.
In order for a business to get gigabit speeds; it’s necessary to switch from a broadband connection to a leased line which gives you a direct fibre connection from your premises to your internet service provider, offering you higher speeds.
Upgrading to a leased line can allow a business to make wider use of cloud services, including as-a-service software, and move to VoIP-based systems in order to reduce your calling costs. It can also help you scale up your business without any of the bottlenecks that can result from a slow connection.
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