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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

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