Why do we measure speed in bits but space in bytes? If you wonder that like others, this post is what you need. Here, MiniTool Partition Wizard talks about this phenomenon and discusses the reasons behind it. Besides, it offers you some extra information.

Why Do We Measure Speed in Bits but Space in Bytes

It is a common phenomenon that people measure Internet speed with bits but space via bytes. However, most people don’t know the reason behind this phenomenon. Why do we measure speed in bits, but space in bytes?

As the Internet delivers bytes of data a single bit at a time, we usually measure Internet speed in bits even if the Internet delivers bytes of data.

When you transfer a file in Windows, the measurement is shown in MB/s instead of Mbps. It doesn’t mean that you can’t measure data transfer speeds in a larger unit. However, the system isn’t transferring bytes in the network data transfer process. Instead, it transfers bits.

Storage devices like hard drives or SSDs are usually formatted to store data in accordance with the standard byte. As the disk is not an arrangement of single bits but of 8-bit bytes, it makes sense to measure its total storage as a multiple of this unit rather than of the bit.

You may also like:

What Does Formatting a Hard Drive Do? Here Are Answers

Does Partitioning a Drive Erase Data? How to Recover Lost Data?

Further reading:

You can see your hard drive space usage via Windows built-in utilities like File Explorer and Disk Management, or through third-party software like MiniTool Partition Wizard. It’s recommended to use MiniTool Partition Wizard: a professional and multifunctional partition manager for Windows computers.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Its Space Analyzer feature enables you to find what’s taking up your hard drive space and then free up space by deleting some useless but space-consuming files and folders. To know the exact speed of your storage device, perform speed tests by using the Disk Benchmark feature. Besides, this software also allows you to transfer data from one drive to another, format SD card/USB flash drive/HDD/SSD, recover missing data/partition, and do other operations related to partitions or hard drives.

Difference Between Bits and Bytes

You can also know the reason why do we use bits to measure Internet speed but bytes to measure data by learning the difference between bits and bytes. The content below will illustrate bits vs bytes in detail.

The bit is the smallest unit of computer information. It’s a single binary data point, either yes or no, on or off, up or down. A bit can be either a one or a zero. Bits are represented in many different ways: as memory cells in an SSD, as pits and lands on a Blu-ray, or as magnetic patterns on a hard drive platter.

As for the byte, it is a unit of memory that contains 8 bits. You need eight bits to represent every character in the ASCII encoding system. Bytes could have been a different random number of bits.

  • 1,000 bits = 1 kilobit (1Kb)
  • 1,000 kilobits = 1 megabit (1Mb)
  • 1,000 megabits = 1 gigabit (1Gb)

Some common Internet speeds are summarized as follows.

  • 10 megabits per second = 10Mbps
  • 25 megabits per second = 25Mbps
  • 60 megabits per second = 60Mbps
  • 100 megabits per second = 100Mbps
  • 1,000 megabits per second or 1 gigabit = 1,000Mbps

Also read: What Is a Good Internet Speed? Check the Answer Right Now!

Like others, you sometimes may mix the two. Fortunately, you can distinguish them from the aspects below.


A megabit is a million bits, which is equal to 125 kilobytes.

1. Megabytes are typically used for measuring storage like RAM, HDD, SSD, NVMe, etc. Differently, megabits are usually used for network bandwidth or throughput such as network cards, modems, Wi-Fi adapters, and so on.

2. The uppercase B stands for bytes while the lowercase b stands for bits. For instance, MBps and MB/s refer to megabytes and Mbps & Mb/s refer to megabits.

Bottom Line

Why do we use bits to measure Internet speed but bytes to measure data? Now, you may know the answer. If you have any questions related to partitions or hard drives, leave your words in the following comment area. We will try our best to help you.

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