Facts on Data Size and Bandwidth

How much data is in a megabyte (MB)? How about a gigabyte (GB)? First, let's get some context.

Every time someone views your web page, all of the data (html code, text, graphics, etc.) within the page must be transferred from your web server into the visitor's computer via the internet, which is then viewed by a web browser. As a result, the amount of data transfer that a hosting customer uses is related to the webpages loaded by ALL of their site visitors. The data used by loading a single web page is found by adding up the size of all its components to get a size in bytes (B), so for an individual visitor, their data usage for our website is taken by adding up all pages visited to make a total.

Graphics and other multimedia files account for the vast majority of data transfer used. This becomes apparent when you consider that the average text page consists of only of about 5 Kilobytes (5 KB) of data, while images can be as large as 50-200 KB in size -- and many images are often incorporated into each web page. Flash files are often very large, along with audio and video files. Live audio and video feeds can also be bandwidth hogs. A 3 minute MP3 file equals approximately 3 MB per view! Bandwidth and data transfer are closely related terms, where bandwidth is a measure of the allowable data transfer at any given time. On the topic of data usage, there are 3 major factors to be taken into account:

  1. The amount of traffic your site receives.
  2. The overall size of your site.
  3. The types of files offered on your site.

When talking about size and measurement, we love to use metric prefixes (in bold) because they are descriptive! When you reach a thousand, the units change: 1000millimetres = 1metre, 1000metres = 1kilometre, and so on. For the main list of prefixes, we remember that each step up means increasing by a factor of 1000. But historically, this is in the context of math and science... How about computer science?

Well, we like numbers that are easy to remember. But in the case of bytes, this is not necessarily the case.
8 bits = 1 byte, and 1024bytes = 1kilobyte... Wait, what? I thought kilo- meant x1000? Well, in the case of binary data, size increases by factors of 2, not 10. All we need to know is that binary data prefixes increase by multiplying the previous value by 2^10 (x1024), but the metric prefixes increase by multiplying the previous value by 10^3 (x1000). This has become a contentious topic, and ultimately the quantity of 1024 bytes has been defined as 1 kibibyte, where 1000 bytes is equal to 1kilobyte.

1 kilobyte (KB) = 1000 bytes.
1 megabyte (MB) = 1000 kilobytes.
(1 MB = 1 million bytes)!
1 gigabyte (GB) = 1000 megabytes.
1 terabyte (TB) = 1000 gigabytes.
(1 TB = 1 million MB)!


1 kibibyte (KiB) = 1024 bytes.
1 mebibyte (MiB) = 1024 kibibytes.
(1 MiB = 1,048,576 bytes)!
1 gibibyte (GiB) = 1024 mebibytes.
1 tebibyte (TiB) = 1024 gibibytes.
(1 TiB = 1,048,576 MiB)!

A bit is short for Binary digit. It is the smallest unit of information on a computer; a 0 or a 1. All digital data inside a computer is represented using a binary number system, where each number and character is comprised of 0's and 1's.

Eight bits of information is one byte, which is short for binary term. A byte is the amount of memory space it takes for the computer to store one character, such as the letter "A."

The average personal to professional level site transfers 100 - 1,500MB per month.

Our web hosting plans state the exact gigabyte transfer allocated to its customer's account. No gimmicks. Whether or not you choose to host your website with us, beware the unlimited transfer offers. We do not claim that all web hosting companies engage in these practices, one must take caution when looking for a new webhosting company.

If you go over your quota, you can upgrade to the next size package.

  • Bandwidth
  • 0 Users Found This Useful
Was this answer helpful?

Related Articles

Common SSH Commands - Linux Shell Commands

Navigating in UNIX pwd Shows the full path of the current directory ls Lists all...

Creating a Welcome message for SSH logins

Did you ever want to change or create a new login message anytime someone logs into SSH?First off...

Protecting Yourself Against Viruses & Data Loss

It is vital to ensure your computer is protected from viruses and trojans. As well as installing...

Phishing - Protect your Identity and Finances

Phishing is the name given to an increasingly common type of spam (unsolicited emails) designed...

How Do I Track How Many Hits My Website Gets?

There are a few things that need to be cleared in terms of terminology: 1. Hits - this simply...