In a digital world, you're always stumbling across terms and abbreviations that sound familiar or that you may even be partially familiar with. And yet there are always doubts about whether you are using it in the right place or at the right moment. Therefore, you too probably prefer to check the exact meaning with Google.
The difference between GB and Gbit is the perfect example of this. You know that both abbreviations are part of IT terminology, but you wonder why there are different spellings. For those without specific knowledge of IT, it can be difficult to distinguish between these technical terms. In the article below, we explain what these expressions mean, how to tell them apart, and furthermore why it's important to know the difference.
What do GB and Gbit stand for?
To understand the difference between the two abbreviations, we first need to know their meaning. GB and Gbit are both units of measurement. Both refer to digital storage, they are often found in the context of the web hosting industry. But here the similarities already stop.
What is a gigabyte?
The abbreviation GB (or GByte) stands for gigabyte and describes the storage space of a computer, laptop or other device on which various types of files/data can be stored. Another area where the term comes up frequently is web hosting services. There, it describes the space available if you want to book something, such as a virtual private server (VPS), a hosting package, or an Internet plan.
Cambridge Dictionary definition:
A gigabyte is a unit of measurement for computer information, consisting of 1.000.000.000 bytes consists. It is also a unit of measurement for a computer memory space, which is 1.073.741.824 bytes equals, so something like 1000 megabytes.
One gigabyte is equal to 1.000.000.000 bytes. It's larger than a megabyte (MB) and smaller than a terabyte (TB). One terabyte is equal to 1000 GB.
Some of the most common "standard sizes" expressed in gigabytes are:
DVDs that can contain 4.7 gigabytes of data
Single layer Blue-Rays, on which about 25 GB of data can be stored
hard disks with up to several hundred GB of data (at over 1.000 GB the size is given in terabytes)
SSD drives that can hold 128, 256 or 512 GB of data
Fiber optic network with upload/download speeds of up to 1 GB/s
Computer or graphics card memory of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32 GB
What is a Gigabit?
A gigabit is quite similar to a gigabyte, as both are a unit of measurement for digital storage space as well as data transfer speeds. So how do bytes differ from bits? In short: one byte is equal to eight bits.
According to the definition of the two technical terms:
A gigabit is 10 9 or 1.000.000.000 bits. It is equal to one-eighth the size of a gigabyte (GB), so it is eight times smaller than a gigabyte. Additionally, gigabits are mainly used to measure data transfer rates of local area networks (Ethernet) and input/output (I/O) connections. The exact unit is abbreviated like this: Gbit/s and means gigabits per second.
Why the two terms are often confused?
Both terms sound similar, which can often lead to confusion for users who are not tech-savvy. When trying to sell their storage services, hosting providers sometimes use the terms and abbreviations synonymously as well. However, this is not a serious approach, nor is it particularly customer-friendly, as it can mislead you about the amount of storage space you are paying for. If gigabits was used as the unit of measurement in the hosting package and you are not careful, you will be unpleasantly surprised to discover that you have eight times less storage capacity than expected.
Why it's good to understand the difference between gigabyte and gigabit?
In summary, gigabytes are mainly used to measure data storage and download/upload speeds, while gigabits are specified to measure data transfer speeds in local area networks. Typically, hard disk space, computer RAM and bandwidth capacity are measured in gigabytes (GB) by hosting companies. If your hosting provider uses gigabits as a unit of measurement, then you now know that you get eight times less storage, RAM or bandwidth compared to gigabytes.
Don't be in too much of a hurry to sign the contract for a hosting plan unless you know for sure if the package includes gigabytes or gigabits. If the rates confuse you, ask specifically how the bandwidth or storage offered is rated. Whatever you are told, make sure you get what you pay for and nothing less.
If you are in Belgium and looking for an Internet provider, Mixvoip can offer you the following package, for example: Mixfiber PRO with a download speed of up to 1GB.
Contact our customer service in Braine l'Alleud so they can help you choose the internet package that best suits your business needs.