Megabits were originally used to measure data storage capacity in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, however, we use them for something else: Measuring data transfer speeds.

    In the guide below, we're going to provide a step-by-step explanation of how to convert Mbps to Kbps. To save yourself some time or to check your work, try our free Mbps to Kbps converter.

    Before we explain how to do the math, we'll start by debunking a common misunderstanding about these units of measure.


    What are Mbps and Kbps?

    Mbps and Kbps are easy to confuse with MB/s and KB/s.

    Mbps stands for "megabits per second," and Kbps stands for "kilobitsper second."

    On the other hand, MB/s stands for "megabytes per second" while KB/s stands for "kilobytes per second."

    See the variance?

    Bits and bytes are completely different units. Bits are smaller than bytes. In fact, you need eight megabits to complete one megabyte.

    And, accordingly, eight kilobits to complete one kilobyte.

    The takeaway here:

    Don't confuse bits with bytes. If you do, you'll throw your calculations off by a lot.

    The Relationship Between Megabits and Kilobits

    The "bit" is the base unit.

    Using Base 10

    One megabit is equivalent to 1,000 kilobits (or one million bits) in the base 10 decimal system.

    One kilobit is equal to 1,000 bits.

    Using Base 2

    Sometimes you'll see these units in the binary system.

    Here one megabit is 1024 kilobits, and one kilobit is 1024 bits.

    How do you convert Mbps to Kbps?

    Now that we're clear on what Mbps and Kbps are and what they aren't, let's find out how to convert them. As you'll soon see, the process is simple.

    The Mbps To Kbps Equation

    First, recall the difference between megabits and kilobits. As we detailed earlier, one Mbps is equal to 1000 Kbps.

    This relationship is the key to converting between the two. Simply multiply your mbps amount by 1000 to complete the conversion.

    The formula is as follows:

      Kbps = Mbps * 1000

    An Example Equation

    Using the formula we provided above, all you have to do is plug in the values you know. In this case, you should already know how many megabits you're trying to convert into kilobits.

    But for the purpose of this guide, we'll assume that you're trying to convert 3 Mbps to Kbps.

    So the equation you set up should be:

      Kbps = 3 * 1000

    The only thing we've done here is swap out the "Mbps" with the number "3."


    Now you're ready to simplify. And simplifying is easy in this case:

    Kbps = 3 * 1000

    = 3000

    So 3 Mbps are equal to 3,000 Kbps.

    Why convert Mbps to Kbps?

    Technically speaking, you never have to convert Mbps to Kbps to measure a download speed. They're both valid ways of measuring data transfer speeds.

    But here's the deal:

    There are several practical reasons to convert them to Kbps. Doing so can make data appear more user-friendly in some cases.

    Imagine, for example, that you're playing your Nintendo Switch and suddenly want to download a high-resolution game.

    Let's say that when you begin the download, the data transfer speed is listed in Mbps.

    There's just one problem:

    The download speed is something like 0.15 Mbps.

    There are a couple of issues here, the first of which is that this number is so close to zero that your device will probably report the download speed as 0 Mbps.

    And the second problem?

    Tiny decimals aren't user-friendly. Many people would likely rather see a data transfer speed of 150 Kbps than a transfer speed of 0.15 Mbps. The number just looks better.

    And probably puts you at ease since it confirms that your download is at least moving. Even if it's doing so at a snail's pace.

    When were Mbps and Kbps first used?

    Mbps and Kbps have been used for several decades now.

    But before we began relying on them, we relied on simple megabits. We frequently used megabits to measure data storage capacities. And for what exactly?

    Video games.

    During the late 1980s, game developers released several video games which had storage capacities that were measured in bits.

    Game cartridges for consoles such as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) often had storage capacities of about eight megabits.

    Megabits were the standard for measuring storage capacities for about a decade. Eventually, however, they fell out of fashion and we began using bytes to describe storage capacity.

    At which point we started relying on them more to measure data transfer speeds.

    Final words?

    Hopefully, this guide has shown you that it's quick and easy to convert from Mbps to Kbps.

    If you have trouble with this formula or simply want to save time, use our conversion calculator instead. It comes with more than 20 data transfer speed units to choose from.

    And for those who have more than one math problem to solve, take a look at our full calculator list to find helpful solutions to those problems too.

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