How Much Data is on a Hard Drive?

Hard drives are measured in bits and bytes - ones and zeros. Fifteen years ago an 80 gigabyte (GB) hard drive was considered to be a large hard drive. By today's standards the smallest hard drive you get in a computer is typically 500GB and it is not uncommon for drives of 1, 2, 3, 4 and even 5 Terabytes (TB). In December 2016 you can go online a purchase a 2TB portable hard drive for approximately $80.00.

By the numbers:

A bit is the base can be either 0 or 1

A byte is 8 bits and is used to designate a character.

A kilobyte (kB) is a 1,000 bytes.

A megabyte (MB) is 1,000,000 bytes (1,000 kB), about the size of a small book.

A gigabyte (GB) is 1,000,000,000 bytes, about 1,000 small books.

A terabyte (TB) is 1,000,000,000,000 bytes or 1,000 GB or about 1 million books.