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What Is the Difference Between Bits and Bytes?


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Question: What Is the Difference Between Bits and Bytes?
The terms bit and byte are common in computer networking. Both terms refer to digital data transmitted over a network connection. For example, bits and bytes both may represent network addresses or port numbers.

A bit is a single numeric value, either '1' or '0', that encodes a single unit of digital information. A byte is a sequence of bits; usually eight bits equal one byte.

For example, in Internet Protocol (IP) networking, IP addresses contain 32 bits or 4 bytes. The bits encode the network address so that it can be shared on the network. The bytes divide the bits into groups.

The IP address, for instance, is encoded with the following bits and bytes:

    11000000 10101000 00000000 00000001
Bits are grouped into bytes to, generally speaking, increase the efficiency of computer hardware, including network equipment, disks and memory.

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