Computerware

Technology Basics: Bits and Bytes

Technology Basics: Bits and Bytes

In business, everything is measured. Every minute is quantified in order to run the most profitable business possible. When measuring data the measurements you’ll most hear are in bits and bytes. Today, we’ll get into the various ways bits and bytes are used to describe the technology we all use.

When you go to buy a computer, some of the first information you’ll see are the size of the hard drive and the measure of random access memory (RAM). You’ll see numbers like 500GB or 2TB, and if you don’t know about computers, or more specifically, data, you would have trouble really understanding what those numbers mean.

The easiest way to begin to understand the measurements of data is to start with the bit; and the best way to think about the bit is as the smallest increment of data on a computer. Computers use binary (or base two) math which presents every would-be digit as a bit. Every bit can have a value of 0 or of 1, that’s it. Today’s computers generate bits through fluctuations of electric current that run through a computer’s components. These fluctuations in voltage into the ones and zeros that are used to transmit bits, process calculations, and relay data across your network.

The methods used of network message encoding include:

  • Wi-Fi carries bits using radio signals
  • Ethernet connections carry bits using electric signals of varying voltages
  • Fiber connections use pulses of light to carry bits

(Hopefully these bits are encrypted so others can’t interpret them without permission.)

The byte, then, is just simply a fixed-length sequence of bits. Today’s technology organizes data into bytes to improve speed and efficiency of data processing. Since bits are such a small data figure, a byte (being eight times larger) is often thought of as the base measure for data.

Furthermore, since the rate at which data travels through a computer network connection is typically measured in time, the units that are used are bits per second (bps). Today’s computing networks are capable of transmitting millions (or billions) of bits per second (called megabits{Mbps}/gigabits{Gbps}, respectively), and the speed in which data is transferred, from machine to machine, keeps growing as both file sizes, and computing components rely on and can handle more data.

This is why you’ve probably heard of gigabit network switches and other devices. If a device supports 1 Gbps, it can transfer a single gigabit per second. Depending on your network requirements, your business might need more for traffic to flow smoothly across the network. Everything else on your network from the cables to the routers and access points, to the PCs themselves could also play a role in the maximum speed of your overall network.

By the Numbers
Every byte is made up of eight bits. A kilobyte, then, would be 1,000 bytes, right? Not so fast. Since computers are based on the binary system, it means that hard drives, memory, and bandwidth are measured in powers of two; and, 2 ^ 10 equals 1,024, not 1,000.

For most people, looking at the numbers in this way can be mightily confusing.

The best way is to give examples of where bits and bytes come into play in day-to-day computing. One example is that of an IP address. IP addresses in Internet Protocol (IP) consist of 32 bits (or four bytes). The IP address 192.168.1.1 has values of 192, 168, 1, and 1 for each of its bytes. The encoding of that IP address in bits looks like this:

11000000 10101000 00000001 000000001

This means that:

  • 192 = 1100000
  • 168 = 1010100
  • 1 = 00000001

Convert Bits to Bytes (and Beyond)
If you (for some reason) need to convert bit and byte, here is the conversion table:

  • 8 bits = 1 byte
  • 1,024 bytes = kilobyte
  • 1,024 kilobytes = megabyte
  • 1,024 megabytes = gigabyte
  • 1,024 gigabytes = terabyte

If you were to convert 4 kilobytes into bits, you’d have to convert kilobytes to bytes (4 x 1,024) and then use that total (4,096) to convert to bits (8 x 4,096 = 32,768).

So for consumers, when you purchase a hard drive that has 1 terabyte of data, it actually has about 8 trillion bits. Why do we use the term “about?” Hard drive manufacturers are assuming a rounded 1000 megabytes per gigabyte, while most computers use the 1,024 number. This means when you purchase a 1 terabyte hard drive, you’ll immediately notice about 35 gigs aren’t available. Plus, your operating system will require a small amount of space for the disk.

Computing isn’t magic, as it must sometimes seem to the layman. It is a structured system with very static rules. If you would like to learn more about computers, technology, and how it is deployed for business and personal use, look around our blog. We produce a lot of useful and interesting technology-based content that can help you understand the often-confusing technology world.

To talk to one of our technology professionals, call us at (703) 821-8200.

Automation Helps Deliver Secure Networks and Infra...
Technology Addiction is a Problem in Children and ...
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Friday, June 22, 2018

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

Security Tip of the Week Technology Best Practices Privacy Internet Cloud Business Management Microsoft Software Business Computing Hackers Backup Managed Service Provider Workplace Tips Productivity Data Saving Money Hardware Business Malware Email IT Support Hosted Solutions IT Services Network Security Google Small Business Efficiency Smartphones Gadgets Quick Tips Mobile Devices User Tips Business Continuity Computer Disaster Recovery Virtualization Network Mobile Office Microsoft Office Server Innovation VoIP Social Media Android Mobile Device Management Smartphone Upgrade Miscellaneous Windows 10 Unified Threat Management Windows Ransomware Operating System Remote Monitoring Remote Computing Collaboration Communication Holiday Mobile Computing Passwords BYOD WiFi Vendor Management Apps Cybersecurity Marketing The Internet of Things Facebook Managed IT services IT Support Apple Users Analytics Firewall History Data Management communications Data Backup Automation Data Recovery Alert Productivity Internet of Things App Managed IT Services Phishing Tech Term IT Consultant Artificial Intelligence Save Money Outsourced IT Bandwidth Spam BDR Content Filtering Going Green Gmail Health Mobile Device Office Bring Your Own Device Big data Managed IT Hiring/Firing Maintenance Hard Drives Budget Printer Lithium-ion Battery Tech Support Best Practice Information Technology Virus Encryption Browser Cybercrime Wireless Technology Antivirus Search Windows 8 Outlook Cost Management Money Office 365 Document Management Computers IBM Recovery Phone System Help Desk Employer-Employee Relationship Update Hacking Hard Drive Law Enforcement Windows 10 Compliance Humor Data storage Running Cable Cloud Computing Proactive IT Customer Service Two-factor Authentication Saving Time VPN Travel Legal Intranet Networking Website Education Government Regulations It Management Business Technology Risk Management Training SaaS Administration Save Time Hacker Downtime Fax Server Securty Data Breach Avoiding Downtime Comparison Tablet Mobility Solid State Drive Project Management Company Culture iPhone Social Engineering Flexibility Computer Repair Black Market User Social Networking Laptop Excel Wireless Business Growth Access Control Customer Relationship Management Twitter DDoS Augmented Reality PowerPoint Data Security Current Events Paperless Office Telephone Systems Patch Management Blockchain Word Disaster Data Loss End of Support Business Intelligence Password Cortana Hosted Solution Digital Payment Robot IT service Router Lifestyle Google Maps Processors Inbound Marketing Computer Accessories Politics Virtual Reality USB Digital Presentation Bluetooth Websites Automobile Trending Emails Pain Points Start Menu Tech Terms Mouse Chromebook Mobile Technology Specifications Safety Cryptocurrency Computing Infrastructure Hack Vulnerabilities Virtual Desktop Software as a Service Programming How To Healthcare Social Google Docs Statistics Network Congestion Private Cloud Documents Experience Uninterrupted Power Supply Download Cleaning Heating/Cooling Monitors Telephony Storage Bitcoin Office Tips Gaming Console Streaming Media Machine Learning Data Protection Taxes Applications Distributed Denial of Service YouTube Co-managed IT Retail Unified Communications Settings Text Messaging User Error Sports Webcam Computing Public Cloud eWaste Net Neutrality Scam Chrome Value Redundancy Identity Theft UTM Content HIPAA Touchscreen News Monitoring Environment Smart Phones VoIP Notifications CCTV switches Writing Consultation Evernote Reliable Computing Legislation Electronic Payment Music Knowledge online Currency Business Metrics Computer Malfunction IT Plan Enterprise Resource Planning Competition Accountants Business Owner Adminstration Pirating Information Virtual Assistant In Internet of Things email scam Addiction Best Practives Upgrades Leadership Technology Tips Multi-factor Authentication IP Address LiFi Fake News Management Audit LinkedIn Data Warehousing Scalability Wireless Headphones Microserver Human Resources Motion Sickness Migration Connected Devices Application Access Skype Messenger Tracking Equifax Work/Life Balance Emergency Hard Drive Disposal Archive Network Management Deep Learning Meetings Device security Visible Light Communication Memory Microsoft Excel Get More Done Computer Care Rental Service IT consulting Upselling Google Drive Windows Server 2008 Point of Contact Cabling Nanotechnology Turn Key Web Server Desktop Finance Printer Server Digital Signature Spyware Mobile Payment Books Workers Startup Entertainment Vulnerability Video Surveillance Wi-Fi Administrator Business Cards Service Level Agreement Trojan Teamwork Supercomputer Organize Advertising Flash Unified Threat Management Backup and Disaster Recovery CIO Electricity Saving ZTime Printing Windows XP Windows 7 Analytic Worker Screen Reader PDF Staffing Google Wallet Recycling Microchip Gamification Displays Harddrive cache Television Product Reviews Reading Samsung Smart Tech Society Debate Piracy Upload Best Available Keyboard Employer Employee Relationship HTML Domains GPS Read G Suite Fiber-Optic Database Micrsooft WannaCry Downloads Webinar Public Speaking Time Management Freedom of Information Licensing Conferencing Drones External Harddrive Corporate Profile Hacks Physical Security Mobile Security Assessment SharePoint Relocation Tablets Multi-Factor Security Device Management Banking Botnet Software License Trends Shortcut Business Managemenet File Sharing Devices Troubleshooting Permissions Language 3D Ebay Tip of the week Content Management Sync Fraud Tactics Entrepreneur Thin CLient Google Calendar Capital Productuvuty 3D Printing Managing Stress CrashOverride

toner1.7