CCENT (ICND1)Networking 101

What is Binary?

Bit’s, crumbs, nibbles, bytes, megabytes ???

Ever wondered why when you buy a 250 Gigabyte hard drive and you format it, you never actually get 250 Gigabytes??? Well it’s all in the exact wording used, and how the information is reported to you.

If we understand the terms of binary, and the difference between a Megabyte and a Megabit, the answer becomes clear.
Firstly, Binary is based on a 2-base number system. The ‘2 numbers’ are 0 and 1 (otherwise known as the “Off” and “On” bits).

A bit, is purely a representation of one value, either a ‘0’ or a ‘1’
A crumb, which is not commonly known or referred to, is a representation of 2 bits (00, 01, 10 ,11)
A nibble, also not that commonly known, is 4 bits, or half a byte. (0000, 0001, 0010, 0011, 0100, 0101, 0110, 0111 etc)
A byte, is a collection of 8 bits, and hence there are 8 bits in a byte. (00000000, 00000001, 00000010, 00000011 etc)

bitbit0 or 1
byteB8 bits
kibibitKibit1024 bits
kilobitkbit1000 bits
kibibyte (binary)KiB1024 bytes
kilobyte (decimal)kB1000 bytes
megabitMbit1000 kilobits
mebibyte (binary)MiB1024 kibibytes
megabyte (decimal)MB1000 kilobytes
gigabitGbit1000 megabits
gibibyte (binary)GiB1024 mebibytes
gigabyte (decimal)GB1000 megabytes
terabitTbit1000 gigabits
tebibyte (binary)TiB1024 gibibytes
terabyte (decimal)TB1000 gigabytes
petabitPbit1000 terabits
pebibyte (binary)PiB1024 tebibytes
petabyte (decimal)PB1000 terabytes
exabitEbit1000 petabits
exbibyte (binary)EiB1024 pebibytes
exabyte (decimal)EB1000 petabytes


So based on the above, I have a hard drive that has ‘250GB’ written on the casing. If  I right-click on my drive in windows, and go to properties, I see that drive size as 250,056,704,000 bytes (250GB), which is 232 GiB.

One thought on “What is Binary?

  1. I started CCNA on Monday and I somehow saw you browsing your website while explaining something.I don’t regret coming here,it’s been very educational. I’m busy learning binary like crazy. Thanks a lot.

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