Digital Communication


Digital Communication

What are megabytes per second (MBps)?


Megabytes per second or megabytes per second in French, abbreviated MBps, or Mo/s, is a measure of the transferable speed of data to and from a computer’s memory. There is a risk of confusion with the unit of megabits per second (Mbps with a small b!), which indicates the capacity of network lines.

What are megabytes per second (MBps)?

Megabytes per second, or megabytes per second, is a data and information transfer unit. A byte represents 8 bits. Bits are the smallest unit of binary data, which can take the form of 0s and 1s in binary code. The different sequences of bits describe codes which, for example, represent a specific number or letter. Do not confuse megabytes per second with Megabits per second, whose symbol is Mbps (with a small b).

The symbol MBps thus designates the quantity of megabytes of data can be transferred in one second. The term megabytes per Second or megabytes per second consists of three elements: the Greek prefix “mega”, which represents the factor of a million. Bytes or “octets” describe data in binary form. “Per second” transforms the unit of measurement into speed. Data size is indicated in megabytes, abbreviated as MB. For example, a video requires 200 MB of memory. If you transfer it to a hard disk with a write speed of 160 megabytes per second, it takes 1.25 seconds.

What does the unit of megabytes per second describe?

MBps or MB/s symbol is used to describe file transfer speed. This notion comes into play, for example, when reading and writing hard disks. Even if you upload files through an Ethernet connection to a Cloud, the amount of MB/s is an essential factor in the waiting time. In many cases, the browser displays the megabytes transferred per second and then calculates the duration of the transfer.

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What is the difference compared to megabits per second?

The unit of measurement megabits per second comes up often when discussing internet speeds and transfer rates. There is a risk of confusion here, and the respective symbols of the two units of measurement do not make it easy to distinguish between them. While the symbol for megabytes per second contains a capital B in MBps, the correct symbol denoting megabits per second Mbps contains a small b. Both units of measurement describe data transfer speeds. In general, the units of measurement are each used for different purposes.

When you upload or download files, you typically use megabytes per second. Megabits per second are used in priority for show internet speed. In addition to the ping command, these measurements are used to assess the quality of the Internet connection.

MBps to Mbps, MB/s to Mbit/s: how to convert megabytes per second?

The conversion factor from megabytes to megabits is 8 because a byte is made up of 8 bits. In other words, to convert the displayed download speed in MB/s to Internet speed in Mbit/s, simply multiply the number by 8. This means, conversely: if an Internet connection has a speed of 200 megabits per second, the download speed is 25 megabytes per second maximum (200 divided by 8).

The following table shows reference values ​​for transmission speeds, as well as their mutual conversion. Mega corresponds here to 1000 times the kilo.

Kilobits per second (kbps) Megabits per second (Mb/s) Megabytes per second (MB/s)
50,000 50 6.25
100,000 100 12.5
250,000 250 31.25
500,000 500 62.5
1,000,000 1,000 125

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