Just What Is A Terabyte?


In the 1980's I worked for Tandy Computer Centers consulting, selling and installing computers for small businesses and school systems. The most storage you had on a hard disk drive then was 10 megabytes and I was impressed since I was  storing my data on a 186 kilobyte floppy disk. Today a 500 gigabyte hard drive is readly available even on the lower end computers Mid  priced PC's can have 1 terabyte of disk storage space.

All of these byte words are really confusing to many computer users. The following displays the correlation of all these terms: 

bit – the smallest piece of information used by the computer.

byte – a piece of computer information made up of eight bits.

 1024 bytes = 1 kilobyte

 1024 kilobytes = 1 megabyte

 1024 megabytes = 1 gigabyte

 1025 gigabytes = 1 terabyte


 1 kilobyte = 1thousand

 1 megabyte = 1 million

 1 gigabyte = 1 billion

 1 terabyte = 1 trillion

If you have a 500 gig hard drive it means your drive can store 500 billion characters. A 1 terabyte hard drive will store1 trillion characters which can translate into:

  • 472 hours of broadcast quality video.
  • 150 hours of hi-definition recording.
  • Enough words that it would take every adult in America speaking at the same time five minutes to say them.

Do I need that much storage?  Not really!

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