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Binary vs Bit vs Byte – What's the Difference?

What is the difference between binary, bit, and byte? Let's find out.

Binary

Binary means two parts.

In other words, anything consisting of only two parts is called binary.

Here are some examples:

  • True or false is a binary condition.
  • On or off is a binary state.
  • Female or male is a binary gender.
  • 1 or 0 is a binary digit (bit).

Bit

A bit means binary digit (two parts digit).

In other words, a binary digit is the numeral 0 or 1.

Here are some examples:

  • 10 is a binary numeral consisting of two bits (binary digits).
  • 10111 is a binary numeral that has five bits (binary digits).
  • 1MB has one million bits (binary digits).
  • 1011 1010 consists of eight bits (byte).

Byte

A byte is a unit of bits (binary digits).

Typically, one byte equals eight bits (1 byte = 8 bits).

Here are some examples:

  • 1011 1010 is a 1-byte numeral containing 8-bits (eight binary digits).
  • 1101 1111 0110 0011 is a 2-bytes numeral consisting of 16 bits (sixteen binary digits).
  • 0011 0010 0011 0110 0011 0111 is a 3-byte numeral containing 24 bits (twenty-four binary digits).

Overview

  • A binary element is an item that has only two parts.
  • A bit is a binary digit that can only be 0 or 1.
  • A byte is a unit of bits typically in multiples of eight bits.
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