Byte: a unit of measurement used to measure data.
A byte is what we generally use to denote storage capacity or file size (and also often confuse with bits). A byte is actually 8 bits combined into one packet of information, each bit of which can have two possible outcomes (either 0 or 1 in binary fashion).
Each byte has 256 possible outcomes, found by the expression 2^8, or 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2, because each of the 8 bits can be one of the two possible outcomes.
Bytes were intended to represent one character each, because the 256 possibilities were enough to cover all uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols commonly used.
However, as it expanded, some languages exceeded the 256 and so certain computer programming languages adapted by making bytes 16 bits instead of 8.
Over time it moved from character encoding to data storage. Each kilobyte has 2^10 bytes in it, or 1024. As you move up into Megabytes and Gigabytes, that number is multiplied.
One MB is the equivalent of 1 KB squared, or 1024 x 1024 = 1, 048, 576 bytes. For this reason most bytes represent just one point of data in a file- a letter or pixel usually.
Many small files are still measured in KB, but storage limits, like the HDD in your computer, of the USB memory sticks many people use, are measured in GB or even terabytes.
- Data Transfer Rate
- Null Characters