The Difference Between Megabit (Mbps) and Megabyte (MBps)

When it comes to broadband speed and transferring data, you may have come across the terms Mbps and MBps. While they may look similar, they’re actually two different units of measurement that are commonly used to express the speed of data transfer.

Mbps stands for ‘megabits per second’, while MBps stands for ‘megabytes per second’. The main difference between the two is in the unit of measurement being used – bits vs bytes.

Confusingly both terms are commonly used in computing; Megabits are most often used for measuring an internet connection’s download or upload speed, while Megabytes are used to measure file size.


When researching broadband providers and broadband speeds, it’s important to note that it’s an industry standard to refer to your broadband speed in Megabits, or Mbps.


Now for the explanation. There are eight bits to every byte of data. This is important when understanding how long it will take to transfer data.

A data transfer rate expressed in Mbps means the speed at which data is being transferred in terms of Megabits, which are smaller than Megabytes. So, a transfer rate of 150 Mbps means that 150 Megabits of data is being transferred per second. If you divide 150 Mbps by 8, you get 18.75 Megabytes per second.

This is a really important comparison because when broadband providers compare their speeds in Mbps, faster speeds allow you to transfer more data per second.