Byte is a term used in the systems area to define the unit of digital information equivalent to an ordered set of bits (generally the ratio between bits and bytes is 8:1). It does not have a special symbology, in some countries such as France it is interpreted with the letter “o”, while in the Anglo-Saxons it is usual to identify them with the “B” to differentiate it from bit, whose symbol is the lowercase b. One of the functions of the byte in computing is to provide the user with knowledge about how much storage capacity is available in a device.

what is byte

It corresponds to a unit that represents a set of virtual information, which is formed by the sum of eight bits, each byte means a single character of text in a computer, being able to be letters, numbers, symbols, punctuation marks, etc; encoding various information in the same computer, depending on the amount.

From the etymological point of view, the word comes from the English word “bite” which means “bite”, referring to the least amount of data that a computer could store or “bite” at once.

byte history

The word byte was first brought up by Werner Buchholz more than fifty years ago, specifically 1957, in the midst of the advances of the IBM 7030 Stretch computers.

The original design of the relationship between bits and bytes established that 1 byte was composed of between 1 and 16 bits, later this was reduced to a maximum composition of 8 bits per byte.

Byte Characteristics

Byte - Characteristics of bytes

Some interesting features and facts about this virtual drive include:

  • Each byte corresponds to 0.001024 kilobytes, so 1024 bytes make up 1 kilobyte.
  • To make 1 gigabyte, 1,073,741,824 bytes are required.
  • The function of the bytes is to indicate to the user the storage capacity that some devices have, such as a pen drive, a cd, a dvd or a RAM memory.

    It is common for a CD to be able to store 700 megabytes, while a DVD exceeds 4 gigabytes. However, artifacts of this class can be found on the market, up to 4.8 and 10 gigabytes.

  • To know how many bytes a mobile device has, the following steps must be followed:
    1. Enter the applications menu to the configuration or settings.
    2. Then enter “storage”.
    3. A screen will appear in which you can select to see the internal memory available in the device or the storage availability of the memory card (external) if you have one. Usually these devices do the automatic conversion from bytes to megabytes.
  • In the case of a computer with a Windows operating system, follow these steps:
    1. Enter “this team”.
    2. Then right click on “Local Disk”.
    3. Enter properties and in the “general” tab indicate the number of bytes available.

Byte Equivalence

Below is a table of bytes with their equivalences in relation to other units:

MeasureSymbolEqualsEquivalence in bytes
ByteB.8 bit1 byte
KilobyteKB1024 bytes1,024 bytes
MegabytesMB1024KB1,048,576 bytes
gigabyteGB1024MB1,073,741,834 bytes
TerabyteTB1024GB1,099,511,627,776 bytes
petabytePb1024TB1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes
Exabyteeb1024 Pb1,152,921,504,606,846,976 bytes
zettabytebbeb 10241,180,591,620,717,411,303,424 bytes
yottabytey b1024 Zb1,208,925,819,614,029,174,706,176 bytes

Currently through the internet you can use what is known as a byte calculator, this tool allows you to pass values ​​from bytes to mb or other larger units of measurement.

On the other hand, regarding the capacity of information stored in bytes, 1B corresponds to a letter, 10B corresponds to one or two words, while 100 B corresponds to one or two sentences.

Frequently Asked Questions about Byte

What is a byte?

It corresponds to a virtual unit of information, which is formed by the union of a set of bits, generally eight.

What are bytes for?

They allow knowing the weight of virtual files and documents, as well as the storage capacity of electronic devices.

How many bits does a byte have?

In the beginning they were designed so that each byte had between 1 and 16 bits, currently each one generally contains eight bits in its conformation.

How many bytes are in a megabyte?

A megabyte is made up of the sum of 1,048,576 bytes.

Who created the term byte?

It was created and used for the first time in the year 1957 by Werner Buchholz.