Eb (Exabyte) vs. Kb (Kilobyte): Size and Differences Explained


Eb (Exabyte) vs. Kb (Kilobyte): Size and Differences Explained

If you are not conversant with units of data measurement, words like kilobytes, gigabytes, exabytes, and yottabytes can be complex. Most things in our lives now can be traced to or used for data collecting purposes, so knowing the differences between the various unit sizes can be helpful.

Thankfully, although the names of these data measurement units may look complicated, their meaning and explanations are simple.

In this article, we will explain the need-to-know differences between exabytes (EB) and kilobytes (KB). Let’s jump right in!

Eb (Exabyte) vs. KB (Kilobyte): Side-by-Side Comparison

Relationship to Bytes 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes1,000 bytes 
Bigger UnitsZettabyte and yottabyteMegabyte, gigabyte, and terabyte
Smaller UnitsPetabyte, terabyte, gigabyte, negabyte, kilobyte, and byteByte and bit
Primary UseUsed to store big data, especially by large companies like Google or TeslaUsed to measure storage space and to hold small data such as a one-page document
Which is Greater?1,000,000,000,000,000 times bigger than a kilobyteSmaller than an exabyte

Eb (Exabyte) vs. KB (Kilobyte): What’s the Difference?

Exabyte Explained

An exabyte is a data measurement unit equal to 1,000,000 gigabytes. A gigabyte equals 1,000 megabytes, and a megabyte is 1,000,000 bytes. Therefore, an exabyte has 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. Already feeling overwhelmed and confused by the millions and thousands? Let’s explain this step by step, starting with the smallest unit of data measurement: a bit. 

A bit is the smallest unit in computing which means binary digit. It is called a binary digit since there are only two digits that computers understand: 0 and 1. Whenever data is fed into a computer, it is converted to this form and processed through programs to produce the desired information. Unfortunately, a bit is so small that it cannot store or transfer data. Therefore, bits are grouped into eight groups to form a byte.

Although a byte is a small data measurement unit, it can hold at least one character. Assuming you type the word “boy,” you use 3 bytes and 24 bits. This is because the word has 3 characters, which makes up 3 bytes, and 8 bits in each byte, so 8 * 3 = 24. 

After a byte, the next units are given in groups of 1,000. As such, 1,000 bytes make a kilobyte, 1,000 kilobytes make a megabyte, 1,000 megabytes make a gigabyte, 1,000 gigabytes make a terabyte, 1,000 terabytes make a petabyte, and 1,000 petabytes make an exabyte. If you count all the steps from a byte to an exabyte, you understand how an exabyte is equal to 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. 

Exabyte: Real-World Examples

An exabyte is an enormous data storage unit that can store all the amount of data you individually own in only a fraction of its total. It is estimated that if all the words that humans have ever lived on earth were to be stored, they would occupy only 5 exabytes. Imagine the amount of data you store in a device’s 1 terabyte of storage, and there are 1,000,000 terabytes in an exabyte. 

Data Storage by Large Companies

Currently, devices in which storage is measured in exabytes aren’t commercially available since this is a unit for measuring big data. Exabytes are used by large companies such as Google or Tesla, with vast amounts of data they need to store. 

Comparison to Other Units

Surprisingly, although an exabyte is so big, it isn’t the largest unit used in data measurement. There are other larger units like a zettabyte, equal to 1,000 exabytes, and a yottabyte, equal to 1,000,000 exabytes. As global data continues to grow, such large units will become more useful, thus increasing their popularity in the market. 

Kilobytes Explained

A kilobyte is almost the complete opposite of an exabyte. As its name suggests, a kilobyte represents 1,000 bytes. It gets its name from the prefix kilo, which means 1,000.

Compared to other data measurement units like megabytes, gigabytes, and terabytes, not to mention exabytes, a kilobyte is a very small unit. Kilobytes are mainly used to measure only text data. While 5 exabytes can store all words ever spoken in the world, 5 kilobytes will hold a document of about 4 or 5 pages.

Kilobytes typically store small text data, but that doesn’t mean they’re unnecessary — we need and use them everyday!

©carlos castilla/Shutterstock.com

Kilobyte Real-World Examples

Small Files and Emails

Due to its small size, it is impossible to get storage devices measured in kilobytes. Instead, kilobytes are mainly used to show the sizes of small files, small programs, or emails without attachments. 

Data Transfer Speeds

Kilobytes are used to measure data transfer speeds or internet speeds, measured in kilobytes per second (Kbps). Even so, kilobytes per second is a slow internet connection or data transfer speed. A reliable internet speed is at least 100 megabytes per second. 

Text Files

Given how small a kilobyte is, it is impossible to come across a storage device measured in kilobytes. Kilobytes are used to measure the sizes of small files, especially text files. Even images are bigger than kilobytes. Trying to measure all the data in a company in kilobytes is like measuring all the water used in a country in milliliters. 

Comparison to Other Units

On the hierarchy of data measurement units, a kilobyte is in the third position from the lowest. The only units smaller than a kilobyte is a byte and a bit. A bit is the smallest unit of measurement, and a byte equals 8 bits. Above a kilobyte, there are other units like

  • One megabyte is equal to 1,000 kilobytes
  • One gigabyte is equal to 1,000,000 kilobytes
  • One terabyte is equal to 1,000,000,000 kilobytes

Although a kilobyte is such a small data measurement unit, it will never become extinct, even when exabytes and other big data units become a common form of data storage. As long as small data such as text documents or emails without attachments exist, kilobytes continue to exist. It is safe to say that there is no world of computing data measurement where kilobytes don’t exist. 

Eb (Exabyte) vs. KB (Kilobyte): 6 Must-Know Facts

  • An exabyte is abbreviated as EB, while a kilobyte is KB.
  • There are 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes in an exabyte and 1,000 bytes in a kilobyte.
  • A kilobyte is 1,000,000,000,000,000 times smaller than an exabyte.
  • An exabyte isn’t commercially available since big companies use it to store big data.
  • A kilobyte is used to measure small data such as text data.
  • 5 kilobytes can hold a document of about 5 pages, while 5 exabytes can hold all the words spoken by all humans who ever lived on Earth.

Wrapping Up

Choosing whether a kilobyte or an exabyte is based on the data you need to store. An exabyte is best for big data — data that is so big then you can’t comprehend it. A kilobyte is for small data, as small as a one-page document. 

If you have to choose one between the two, then an exabyte is the best choice. You can keep storing data in an exabyte device without being notified that your device is almost full. Unfortunately, such devices are unavailable in the market, and even if they were, they would cost a fortune. 

Up Next:

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is bigger, an exabyte or a kilobyte?

An exabyte is bigger than a kilobyte. An exabyte is made from the prefix exa, which means one quintillion; a kilobyte is made from the prefix kilo, which means one thousand. An exabyte is equal to a quintillion bytes, and a kilobyte is equal to a thousand bytes.

What storage size do you need to store an entire series?

The storage size needed to store an entire series is determined by the size of the series. However, if you are buying a storage device, it is best to go for one with its size in gigabytes or terabytes so that you can store much more than one series. 

Is there anything bigger than an exabyte?

There are units bigger than an exabyte, such as a zettabyte and a yottabyte. A zettabyte is equal to 1,000 exabytes, and a yottabyte is equal to 1,000,000 exabytes.

Which is the largest unit of data measurement?

The largest unit of data measurement is a geopbyte. A geopbyte is made up of 1,000,000 yottabytes. Nevertheless, the largest storage device that you can buy is in terabytes. A terabyte is equal to 1,000 gigabytes. 

Are there companies with exabytes of data?

There are companies with exabytes of data, most of which are data storage companies. An exabyte is the largest data storage unit used today. 

Will the world ever run out of data storage space?

It is unlikely that the world will ever run out of storage space. As data increases, so does data storage space. If the largest storage unit used is currently an exabyte, it will be a while before the world gets to yottabytes or even geopbytes. 

To top