There appears to be some confusion as to what KB/s and Mbps really are and why we measure internet speeds in one or the other. In many cases your broadband provider is giving you one figure and online internet speed checkers are displaying another. Many people believe 1Mbps is the same as 1MB/s, however this is not the case.
Bytes and Bits
The confusion is mainly due to bytes and bits. These are two different ways of measuring data and although they sound similar 1 byte is actually 8 bits. To help reduce some confusion, bytes and bits are displayed differently in acronym form – bytes use capitalised “B”’s while bits use lower case “b”’s.
• 1 byte is 1B
• 1 bit is 1b
Instead of having very long numbers we round up bytes into Kilobytes (KB) and Megabytes (MB).
• 1 kilobyte = 1000 bytes = 1KB
• 1 megabyte = 1000000 bytes = 1MB
We also round up bits into kilobits (Kb) and megabits (Mb).
• 1 kilobit = 1000 bits = 1Kb
• 1 megabit = 1000000 bits = 1Mb