Size words

When you read or hear people talking about computers, size or capacities are frequently used. You need to have some basic understanding of the words. All computing is based on the concept that electricity is either on or off – much like the light switch in your room. The basic unit of storage in computers is this state. It is called a bit. Characters (like the letter a or the number 5 are represented by a standard combination of 8 bits, which is called a byte.

The number 1000 is represented by the letter K.

The number 1,000,000 is represented by the prefix Mega.

The number 1,000,000,000 is represented by the prefix Giga.

The number 1,000,000,000,000 is represented by the prefix Tera.

Terms you will most often hear are K bytes, megabytes, gigabytes and terabytes – each is 1000 times larger than the former. You will also see speeds represented with the abbreviation of either Kbps or KBps, or Mbps or MBps. The little b means bits and the BIG B means bytes. Again, K means 1000 and M means mega.