Tb (Terabyte) vs. Kb (Kilobyte): Size and Differences Explained

Petabyte vs Megabyte

Tb (Terabyte) vs. Kb (Kilobyte): Size and Differences Explained

Learning computers and their terminologies is more or less like learning a whole new language. There is a lot to learn from the part, types, components, functions, and history of computers, among others.

Data measurement units are among the areas where the terminology looks and sounds confusing. Understanding these units is helpful since you might need to make data storage decisions, or measure and store data occasionally. Besides, they are simpler than they look if you take the time to understand them.

Below, we look deeply into the differences between a terabyte and a kilobyte. Let’s dive in!

TB (Terabyte) vs. KB (Kilobyte): Side-by-Side Comparison

Number of Bytes 1,000,000,000,000 in decimal and 1,099,511,627,776 in binary 1,000 in decimal and 1,024 in binary 
Number of Gigabytes1,024 or 1,000 gigabytes make a terabyte 1,000,000 or 1,048,576 kilobytes make a gigabyte
Larger Units Petabyte, exabyte, yottabyte, zettabyteMegabyte, gigabyte, and terabyte 
Smaller UnitsKilobyte, megabyte, gigabyteBit, nibble, and byte 
Primary Use Used in storage devices such as hard disks to store data Used to measure sizes of small files and internet speed 
Which is Greater?Greater than a kilobyte Smaller than a terabyte 

TB (Terabyte) vs. KB (Kilobyte): What’s the Difference?

There is a big difference between a terabyte and a kilobyte, from their abbreviations to the number of bytes they hold and how they relate to other units. Let’s look at these differences in the two units, one after the other. 

Terabyte Explained

A terabyte is a unit of data measurement equal to 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. According to the ISU, the prefix tera means trillion. With this, you can now interpret that a terabyte means one trillion bytes (1,000,000,000,000 bytes). However, computers rely on the binary notation that calculates by base 2 numbers. In the binary notation, a terabyte is equal to 1,099,511,627,776 bytes. The name tebibyte is used instead of a terabyte when using binary notations. 

The Hitachi company made the first terabyte in a hard disk drive in 2007. Currently, most storage devices you come across are either in gigabytes or terabytes. 

Comparison to Other Units

Although storage devices with units in terabytes are huge, terabytes aren’t the largest units of storage. For instance:

  • 1,000 terabytes make a petabyte
  • 1,000,000 terabytes make an exabyte

Petabytes and exabytes are so big that there are currently no commercially available devices with such units. They are used by large companies, especially cloud storage companies, to store data. However, just like terabytes were a theory before 2007, we are about 5 to 10 years away from having devices measured in petabytes, exabytes, zettabytes, or even yottabytes as commonly used storage devices. 

Terabyte Real World Examples 

Some places that use terabytes include the examples below.

Human Brain 

Have you ever thought of how big your brain is? It is estimated that the human brain has about 1.25 terabytes. Therefore, your brain can hold more than double the data a 500-gigabyte hard disk holds. Like computers, the brain uses electrical signals for communication. Therefore, although you can’t old the human brain like other storage devices, you know how big a terabyte is. 

Computer Storage 

Although some storage devices are still measured in gigabytes, most manufacturers are moving to terabyte units to hold more data. About two decades ago, computer scientists used a terabyte in theory or assumptions of what units are expected in the future. True to their prediction, the terabyte is a common measurement unit found in external hard disks, laptops, desktops, and Network Attached Storage devices. You can even find some smartphones, especially iPhones, with storage in terabytes. 

Personal Data or Store Data in Small Businesses

One terabyte can hold 250 movies or 6.5 million documents, although these numbers vary based on size. Terabytes are mainly used in photo content creation, especially when shooting high-resolution images. This way, it can hold up to 250,000 photos taken using a 12 MP camera.  


A terabyte is much larger (and, therefore, more useful) than a kilobyte, being able to store much more data.


Kilobytes Explained

Kilobytes are units of data measurement that represent 1,000 or 1,024 bytes. 

Unlike a terabyte, which is used to store huge amounts of data, a kilobyte is too small to store data. They are mainly used to measure text data. A kilobyte will mainly hold a one or two-page document or a short email without attachments. Additionally, kilobytes are used to measure data transfer speeds or internet speeds. Nevertheless, data transfer or internet speeds measured in kilobytes are too slow. 

Due to their small nature, kilobytes may seem irrelevant in computing. People prefer using other larger units of measurement since data is much bigger. Measuring data in kilobytes is like measuring the distance between two countries in centimeters. Even so, although there are no storage units measured in kilobytes, kilobytes will always be in the data measurement unit hierarchy. 

Comparison to Other Units

Kilobytes are the third smallest data measurement units, and the only units smaller than a kilobyte are a byte and a bit. Here is how kilobytes relate with other units of measurement:

  • 1,000 kilobytes make a megabyte 
  • 1,000,000 kilobytes make a gigabyte 
  • 1,000,000,000 kilobytes make a terabyte 
  • 1,000,000,000,000 kilobytes make a petabyte 
  • 1,000,000,000,000,000 kilobytes make an exabyte 

Kilobyte Real World Examples 

One-Page Document

If you type a document using Microsoft Word, the document will most likely be 1KB. Even if your document is too detailed and occupies more than a page, it is unlikely that you will spend more than 2 or 3 kilobytes. Other bigger files, such as images, usually occupy megabytes. 

Short Emails 

A thread of several short emails will likely take up a kilobyte or two. If the email has large blocks of text or has attachments, it will occupy more than a kilobyte, possibly even megabytes. 

TB (Terabytes) vs. KB (Kilobytes): 7 Must-Know Facts

  • A terabyte is 1,000,000,000 times bigger than a kilobyte.
  • There are 1,000 bytes in a kilobyte, and 1,000,000,000,000 bytes in a terabyte.
  • A terabyte can store up to 250,000 photos taken with a 12 MP camera.
  • A kilobyte is a small unit of data measurement mainly used to measure text data.
  • Terabytes are used in both internal and external storage devices to store personal data or data for small businesses. 
  • The human brain is said to have a size of about 1.25 terabytes.
  • The largest hard disk drive has 26 terabytes.

Wrapping Up

When comparing a kilobyte and a terabyte, a terabyte is more useful than a kilobyte. A kilobyte can hold a 2-page document, while a terabyte can hold 6.5 million documents. Therefore, if you need a storage device for your data, go for those with one or more terabytes. After all, it is impossible to find storage devices measured in kilobytes. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which is bigger, a terabyte or a kilobyte?

A terabyte is bigger than a kilobyte. A kilobyte is made of 1,000 bytes, while a terabyte is made up of 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. 

Does kilobyte and kilobit mean the same thing?

Kilobyte and kilobit do not mean the same thing. A kilobyte means 1,000 bytes, and a kilobit means 1,000 bits.

When used to measure data transfer speed or internet speed, kilobytes per second (KBps) are faster than kilobits per second (Kbps).

Is a terabyte equal to 1,000 or 1,024 gigabytes?

The concept you use determines whether a terabyte equals 1,000 or 1,024 gigabytes. In the binary concept, a terabyte equals 1,024 gigabytes; in the decimal concept, it equals 1,000 gigabytes. 

Are there units bigger than a terabyte?

There are units bigger than a terabyte. These include petabyte, exabyte, zettabyte, yottabyte, brontobyte, and geopbyte. Besides, there are 1,000 bytes between each unit.

Are there units smaller than a kilobyte?

There are units smaller than a kilobyte. These include bit and byte. A nibble is also a unit smaller than a kilobyte.

How big is a terabyte?

A terabyte is big enough to hold 6.5 million documents or 250 movies. A terabyte is also estimated to be equivalent to a massively long novel of over 200,000 pages. 

How big is a kilobyte?

A kilobyte is as big as a one or two-page word document. It is also the size of a short email without attachments. 

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