Copyright

Data Storage Units: KB, MB, GB, & TB Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: History of Data Storage: Hard Drives, Memory & Disks

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:03 Data Storage Units
  • 0:31 Bits and Bytes
  • 1:21 Larger Units
  • 3:04 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ian Lord

Ian is a real estate investor, MBA, former health professions educator, and Air Force veteran.

You may know your smartphone holds 64 GB, but do you really know what that means? In this lesson we will review what the definition the definition of a byte as well as how the metric system can be used to express large units of data storage.

Data Storage Units

Josh has grown up with computers as a part of his daily life and is familiar with terms such as megabyte and gigabyte. However, other than knowing that more gigabytes means more storage space, he knows little about the underlying computer science foundation of these terms. Let's help Josh start at the beginning and understand the fundamentals of information storage, as well as become familiar with the meaning of various units of data measurement.

Bits and Bytes

At the foundational level, all electronic data is composed of a binary digit. The digit is expressed as the number 0 or 1. This binary digit is known as a bit. Every other unit of information expresses a larger number of bits, so that we can work with terms that are more easily understood. It would be difficult for Josh to express and understand how many songs could fit on a smartphone if we had to speak in terms of billions of bits.

Distinct from a bit is a byte. A byte is a string of eight binary digits. In the eight digit string there are 256 possible combinations of 0s and 1s in sequence. This string can represent a letter in a text message or even the location or color of a pixel on the screen.

Larger Units

In common usage, we refer to data storage or file size in metric prefixes. Each kilobyte (KB) is equivalent to 1,000 bytes. A single kilobyte could be enough data for Josh to send about five different 200 character text messages, since each character is equivalent to one byte.

The next unit of measurement is the megabyte (MB). A megabyte is equal to 1,000 KB. A data CD can hold about 600 MB of information, which is enough for Josh to begin storing video and music files, although with modern file sizes the disc may only be able to hold a few songs or minutes of high resolution video.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support