How Many Bits Are in a Byte?

There are 8 bits in every byte. Both bits and bytes are units of information storage. A bit is the smallest unit, capable of storing a 0 or a 1. On the other hand, a byte is capable of storing up to 256 unique patterns or numbers.

While bits technically store either a 1 or a 0, what they actually store is one of two possible states. For example, "on" might be a 1 and "off" might be a 0, but a bit isn't enough space to store anything significant. Letters and color values can be represented by 1 byte of information. Letters are represented by the ASCII code, which assigns a number to each keyboard letter or symbol. Higher and more commonly used measurements of information storage, as of 2014, include the kilobyte (1,000 bytes), commonly used for smaller documents and pictures; the megabyte (1 million bytes), which can hold larger documents; the gigabyte (1 billion bytes), typically used to measure available storage space and very large files such as video; and the terabyte (1 trillion bytes), which is used for larger amounts of data storage.