What is Bit

Bit (binary digit)

A bit (short for binary digit) is the smallest unit of data in a computer. A bit has a single binary value, either 0 or 1

Uses of Bits

Although they’re sometimes written in decimal or byte form, network addresses like IP addresses and MAC addresses are ultimately represented as bits in network communications.

The color depth in display graphics is often measured in terms of bits. For example, monochrome images are one-bit images, while 8-bit images can represent 256 colors or gradients in grayscale. True color graphics are presented in 24-bit, 32-bit, and higher graphics.

Special digital numbers called keys are often used to encrypt data on computer networks. The length of these keys is expressed in terms of the number of bits. The greater the number of bits, the more effective that key is in protecting data. In wireless network security, for example, 40-bit WEP keys are relatively insecure, but 128-bit or larger WEP keys are much more effective.

Tabular Representation of various Memory Sizes

Bit1 bit1/8
Nibble4 bits1/2 (rare)
Byte8 bits1
Kilobyte1024 bytes1024
Megabyte1, 024kilobytes1, 048, 576
Gigabyte1, 024 megabytes1, 073, 741, 824
Terrabyte1, 024 gigabytes1, 099, 511, 627, 776
Petabyte1, 024 terrabytes1, 125, 899, 906, 842, 624
Exabyte1, 024 petabytes1, 152, 921, 504, 606, 846, 976
Zettabyte1, 024 exabytes1, 180, 591, 620, 717, 411, 303, 424
Yottabyte1, 024 zettabytes1, 208, 925, 819, 614, 629, 174, 706, 176
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