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A gigabit is a unit of digital information storage or transmission with the symbol Gb. It represents 1 billion (1,000,000,000) bits.

It’s important not to confuse gigabit (Gb) with gigabyte (GB), as they are not the same:

  • 1 gigabit = 1,000 megabits = 1,000,000 kilobits = 1,000,000,000 bits
  • 1 gigabyte = 1,000 megabytes = 1,000,000 kilobytes = 1,000,000,000 bytes = 8,000,000,000 bits (since 1 byte = 8 bits)

In the context of data transfer rates, speeds are often measured in gigabits per second (Gbps). For instance, a network connection that can move 1 gigabit of data in one second is rated as 1 Gbps.

In computer storage, capacity is typically reported in bytes (gigabytes, terabytes), while data transmission rates are usually reported in bits (megabits per second, gigabits per second). This is why, for example, a hard drive might have a storage capacity of 500 gigabytes (GB), while your internet speed might be 50 megabits per second (Mbps).

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