What is KiB?

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What is KiB?
KiB is short for kibibyte, a unit of measurement for digital information called bytes. “Kibi” means 1024, so kibibyte literally means 1024 bytes. “Kibi” is a combination of “kilo” and “binary” owing its close meaning to both terms. “kilo” refers to 1000 which is close to 1024. Since bytes may also be termed as “kilobytes” referring to 1000 bytes, many people actually interchange the terms kibibyte and kilobyte referring to 1000 bytes of information.

But since kibibytes refer to 1024 and is not divisible by 100, it is not commonly used in the digital information world. Much of what people know and use are the simpler “kilobyte” terms because they are easier to remember when it comes to information storage and data transfer rates.

Kibibyte as a form of measurement may be used in determining the size of a particular digital file. The more bytes a file contains, the bigger is the size of that particular file. Typical files that contain data of up to around 1024 bytes are text documents and spreadsheets. These types of documents typically contain not much data except when a lot of image files are attached to them. For bigger file sizes, a corresponding term called “mebibyte” may be used which refers to 1,048,576 bytes. This is the counterpart for the more common megabyte containing 1 million bytes.

Kibibytes may also be used when expressing data transfer rates. In this case the particular rate may be expressed in kibibytes per second or Kib/second. The higher the kibibyte per second rate, the higher is the transfer of data from one source or location to another. Internet connection speeds may also be expressed using kibibytes per second. And similar to normal data transfer rates, the higher rate represent faster speed of connection. Consequently, for bigger files and faster data transfer rates, the term ‘mebibytes per second’ may also be used.

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