Breaking Down Bytes – Clarifying Storage Unit Terminology

July 2023

Over the years, computer storage technology has come a long way. And it’s a good thing because the amount of data we generate regularly has also grown exponentially. At one time, being able to store even a kilobyte of data was considered to be an enormous feat. Today, storage systems are capable of handling gigabytes, terabytes, and even more.

Still, if you’re trying to choose the storage amount that best suits your needs, all these different terms can get confusing. By understanding file sizes and types of bytes, you can make more confident decisions when it comes to your own byte hosting needs.

Gigabytes vs. Terabytes

Two of the most commonly used storage terms today include “gigabyte” and “terabyte.”

So, what’s the difference between the two? It’s pretty drastic, actually. A gigabyte refers to 1,000 megabytes of memory – or one million bytes (the standard unit of memory). A terabyte, on the other hand, is equal to 1,000 gigabytes (that’s one trillion individual bytes). So, it’s easy to understand how much larger a terabyte is than a gigabyte.

What About Yottabytes and Brontobytes?

Now that storage technology has come such a long way, the terabyte (which was pretty “big news” as recently as several years ago) is no longer perceived as such an innovation. More and more often these days, we’re seeing terms like “yottabyte” and “brontobyte” being thrown around.

So, what are these? A yottabyte is one of the largest units of memory measurement today. It contains a trillion terabytes, which is such a large number of bytes that it’s difficult for the human mind to comprehend.

And if that wasn’t enough, an even larger unit of memory measurement known as the brontobyte contains a quadrillion terabytes or 1,024 of the aforementioned yottabytes.

Choosing the Right Storage Amounts

Why do all these terms matter, anyway? Because as the amount of data we generate continues to increase, so will our storage needs. It may be hard to imagine ever needing more than a terabyte of space to store all your data, but then again – it wasn’t long ago that most people stored all their data on a single floppy disk.

With this in mind, being able to understand the differences in storage units can help you make informed decisions about your own needs. And of course, if you’re looking for a dedicated hosting account with plenty of storage to suit your current and future needs, ReliableSite will always have you covered with both SSD and HDD options.