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Byte, kB, MB and GB drives


In computing, when we refer to the size of a file or the storage capacity of some device, such as a thumb drive or the hard disk of a computer, we hear the terms byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, among others less known.

Each of these storage units is represented by a symbol:

Byte - B
Kilobyte - kB
Megabyte - MB
Gigabytes - GB

To understand what each represents, you must first know what a bit is, which is the smallest unit of information that can be stored or transmitted. Computers work with negative or positive electrical impulses, which are represented by 0 or 1 (power cut or pass, respectively). We call each of these electrical impulses bit (BInary digiT).

Each set of 8 bits is called byte. This is because computers are generally designed to store multi-bit instructions that were called bytes.

Since a bit represents two values ​​(1 or 0), while a byte has 8 bits, the byte can represent up to 256 values, because 28 = 256. That is, on your computer keyboard, each key must represent a byte to indicate to the computer that it was triggered.

The next units are all multiples of the byte, starting with kilobyte (or kilobyte). Although the prefix kilo means 1000, the term kilobyte and the symbol kB have been used in computing to refer to 1024 (2).10) bytes or 1000 (10³) bytes, depending on the context.

Therefore, from then on, the count is usually made against 1024, that is, 1kB (kilobyte) corresponds to 1024 bytes and so on:

1 byte = 8 bits

1 kilobyte (kB) = 1024 bytes

1 megabyte (MB) = 1024 kilobytes

1 gigabyte (GB) = 1024 megabytes

Note: In drive symbols, it is important not to confuse uppercase and lowercase letters. Contrary to what appears in many locations, kilobyte is abbreviated as kB rather than KB, since the uppercase K refers to the Kelvin temperature unit in the unit system.

Similarly, the symbols for megabyte and gigabyte drives are uppercase MB and GB, respectively. If you use lowercase letters, you are referring to other system drives. For example, if you type Mb or Gb, you are referring to megabit units and gigabits, not explained in this article.