A megabit is 106 or 1,000,000 bits.

One megabit (abbreviated "Mb") is equal to 1,000 kilobits. There are 1,000 megabits in a gigabit. It is important to distinguish megabits (Mb) from megabytes (MB), as there are 8 megabits in a single megabyte. 800 megabits are equal to 100 megabytes.

Megabits per second (Mbps) is commonly used to measure data transfer rates of broadband Internet connections. For example, an ISP may offer cable modem Internet access with download speeds up to 200 Mbps and upload speeds up to 20 Mbps. Fiber connections can provide even faster speeds. For example, 500/500 fiber Internet connections are available in certain areas within the U.S. and Europe. This type of connection provides symmetrical downstream and upstream data transfers at up to 500 megabits per second.

While megabits are used to measure Internet speeds, megabytes are commonly used to measure file size. This difference can make it tricky to determine how long a download will take to complete. You must first divide the download speed by eight in order to convert megabits per second to megabytes per second. For example, if you download a 100 megabyte file at a speed of 40 Mbps, it will take 20 seconds.

40 Mbps / 8 = 5 MBps.   →   100 MB / 5 MBps = 20 seconds.

Updated September 29, 2017 by Per C.

quizTest Your Knowledge

The printed version of an electronic file is also called what?

Small copy
Large copy
Soft copy
Hard copy
Correct! Incorrect!     View the Hard Copy definition.
More Quizzes →

The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

The definition of Megabit on this page is an original definition written by the team. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, please use the green citation links above.

The goal of is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about this definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.