Last updated on August 10th, 2023 at 07:31 pm

Have you ever wondered what the units of storage in the computer are?

Humans have a history of wanting to put measurements on the things that they use. For instance, we may wish to know how much rice can hold in a particular bag or how much drink is in a particular bottle. As we sought to answer these types of questions, humans developed their own system of measurements.

There are very good reasons for developing different systems of measurement. Measurements help us in our system of exchange. Think of someone who may exchange a bag of rice for a bull 🐂. For today’s rancher, this may not seem like a fair exchange.

Over the years, measurements have had a direct linkage to how we store things and our pay structure. We have developed measurements to ensure equality in the exchange and use of goods. For instance, one gallon of Karibee rice would cost the same amount in the same supermarket. However, two gallons would cost more since the amount you are exchanging for your dollar is more. On the computer, data we store on different devices, and the space it takes up is also measured and has a direct relation to the price of our storage devices.

Keep reading to learn the following:

- What are the units of storage used in the computer?
- What each unit represents;
- What is the smallest unit of storage used in the computer; and

**Related article: **How to convert between different units of storage.

## So what are the units of storage used in the computer?

On the computer, we store information in binary digits. As you may be aware binary numbers, use the values 1 and 0 only. These digits represent how all information is stored on the computer. When we talk about units of storage, binary digits are shortened to bits which is also the name for the smallest unit of storage.

**A bit** (b) is a unit of storage or measurement that holds either 1 or 0.

There are many different units of storage used in the computer. The most often used one is bytes.

The second smallest unit of storage is a nibble. But what exactly does that mean?

## What is a nibble?

A nibble (or nybble) is the second smallest unit of storage. The term references the fact that it is half of a byte. A nibble is equal to 4 bits. So a nibble may look like this:

1000 or 1111 or 1010, or any other 1 and 0 combination that adds up to four digits.

Now we said that a nibble is half of a byte which takes us to the next unit of storage.

## What is a byte, exactly?

A byte (B), as you may have realized, is equal to 8 bits or two nibbles. It is a combination of eight 1s and 0s. As such, we a byte may be represented by any of the following combinations:

**11110000** or **11001100** or even **11111111**

Any one of those combinations can only represent a single letter.

A byte is the building block of the space on our storage devices. However, a byte really cannot store much information. When information is represented in bytes, it means that the information on the device is just a few letters long.

## What is a kilobyte?

A kilobyte(KB) is a bigger unit than a byte. In fact, a kilobyte is 1024 bits or 128 bytes. This means that a byte can hold 128 letters.

Note well KB and Kb are not the same. As you would have seen above, the abbreviation for a byte is **B**. So, when we write Kb, we are talking about kilobits, and when we write KB, we are talking about kilobytes.

1024 kilobytes is equal to 1 megabyte. So are you wondering what a megabyte is now? Is your head spinning yet😛? Don’t be disheartened. They are not that difficult to remember. I promise.

## What is a megabyte?

A megabyte (MB) is the next unit of measurement and is bigger than a kilobyte. In fact, it is 1024 kilobytes in size. Most people today have heard of megabytes. Most small files have their units represented in megabytes. A movie clip or a music file may have the size of a megabyte or a few megabytes.

## What is a gigabyte?

A gigabyte is probably a much more familiar unit of storage used in the computer. It is larger than a megabyte, with the size of most storage devices today coming in gigabytes. A gigabyte is 1024 megabytes. According to livewire, a standard single-layer recordable DVD has 4.5 GBs of storage space. That is the same as 2 hours of playtime for a video.

## Table showing the units of storage in the computer

The following table contains information comparing storage space available with different units of storage. This table will help you in your calculations or unit conversions.

Unit of Storage | Abbreviation | Amount |

Bit | | 8 bits = 1 byte 4 bits = 1 nibble |

Nibble | | 1 nibble = 1/2 bytes |

Byte | B | 1024 byte = 1 KB |

Kilobyte | KB | 1024 KB = 1 MB |

Megabyte | MB | 1024 MB = 1 GB |

Gigabyte | GB | 1024 GB = 1 TB |

Terabyte | TB | 1024 TB = 1 Petabyte (PB) |